Game Review: A Blind Legend by Dowino

 
 

A Blind Legend is a unique, immersive hack-and-slash adventure game in which you use nothing but sound to traverse the kingdom with your daughter and fight all sorts of creatures and bad guys in order to save your kidnapped wife.


A Blind Legend by Dowino

 

Official Description:

Live the adventures of Edward Blake, the famous blind knight! Guided by your daughter Louise, you must find your way and avoid the many traps that lie in the High Castle Kingdom, while confronting dangerous enemies!

This serious game is fully accessible to visually impaired people, and is aimed at anyone who’s eager for an original, immersive sensory experience through a ground-breaking video game. And because the player is the character, it will help raise public awareness of this kind of disability.

This hack-and-slash game, with a heroic-fantasy flavour, harnesses the innovative technology of binaural sound, which delivers a gripping 3D soundscape and brings characters and actions vividly to life around the player – as if they were actually in the game!

 

More Info:

You can get more info and buy the game here on Steam or here on the game’s website!

 

Review:

I’m here to tell you that, if I could play this, so can you! (Probably.) And that you should!

I had never really played a hack-and-slash game before because I get way too stressed out by them. I just panic in any sort of combat situation. But I’ve been getting headaches from looking at electronic screens, and this was only a few dollars, so I decided to give it a go, and I loved it! Don’t get me wrong, I was still very tense while playing this because I’m still me, but I also had a lot of fun, and it’s a unique, well-made game.

In case you missed the description, it’s entirely audio-based with no visuals. This is such a fantastic idea because 1) it’s completely accessible for anyone who’s blind or visually impaired in any way, and 2) it provides a whole new experience for anyone who is not blind and is accustomed to always relying on their eyes.

The audio-only aspect made for a very interesting and immersive experience. The voice acting and sound effects were fantastic. There’s a whole soundscape that changes as you move around. It’s very cool. (Side note: I don’t understand why everyone hates the robotic voice used for the menu and instructions. It didn’t bother me at all. I liked that it was distinct from the game sounds.)

The gameplay is mostly figuring out which direction to move based on your daughter’s voice calling to you and fighting baddies by hitting the arrow key in the direction the sound is coming from at just the right moment. Sometimes you have to follow your daughter quickly though to avoid getting killed, or be careful to go in the right direction so you don’t fall if you’re walking along cliffs, etc. And the fights get harder as you fight multiple opponents at once and the people/creatures make different noises and there’s different timing to figure out for each opponent and each noise they make. Figuring out the timing is the key, and I found that to be the most challenging aspect of the game, for a few specific fights at least. I couldn’t figure out how to block for my first playthrough, but I managed to complete the game anyway, one stab at a time.

There is occasionally a bit of variety in gameplay when you’ll be instructed to do something different, like one scene where you’re running across rooftops and have to jump when your daughter tells you to and use your shield when you hear an arrow whistling toward you, one scene where you have to figure out how to get out of a dungeon, things like that. I really liked the variations and would’ve liked more like that.

I also liked the story element, what little there was of it. I will say that I found the ending a little anticlimactic though and thought it could have been better.

The game took me about four hours to get through. There’s not much replay value since it would be the same story with the same battles, but you can replay again in hardcore mode for more challenge, which is what I did (and that took me another four hours or so).

There’s also an app for this, if that’s more your style. It’s free, but, from what I understand, you have to purchase extra lives or wait a while for them to regenerate. I used it to try out the game to see whether I’d like it or not and then bought the Steam version.

Anyway, this was cool! It’s a simple concept, but it’s well-executed, and you can tell a lot of work went into it. I really enjoyed playing this, and would love more games like this!

Keyboard Controls (in case anyone needs them):
Main menu = Escape
Select = Enter
Move = Hold up or down arrow
Walk faster = Hold left shift
Walk slower (not sure why you’d need this) = Hold left ctrl
Turn = Left or right arrow
Daughter’s voice = Space bar
Draw or put away sword = Enter
Stab = Arrows
Shield = Hold F
Block = Hold F and then press G (this one is not explained well, but I got it to work by doing this), then let go of both and stab, stab, stab

 
 
 
 

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6 thoughts on “Game Review: A Blind Legend by Dowino

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  1. Greg

    How cool that this game is accessible for visually impaired! I love how immersive it sounds. I can totally see this being a little intimidating given that it’s not visual, if you’re used to that, but sounds like you really enjoyed it. Sounds fun.

    I like that you included the keyboard controls too. Cool idea! :)

    1. Kristen Burns

      It was super immersive. Honestly I think being all audio actually made it easier, at least for me, but then I don’t normally play these kinds of games visually, so idk. Yeah, I had to write down the controls for myself lol, so I thought maybe it’d help others, and that shield block was super hard to figure out since they don’t explain it D-:

  2. Olivia Roach

    I didn’t realise this about my gaming preference but I recently saw a tweet where it listed anxiety-user games where they are basically the video games made for people who have anxiety because it is so calming and… all my favourite games are on there. So you’ll be able to figure from that that this kind of game is so not in my forte. HOWEVER, the fact that it was such an audio heavy game intrigued me in the premise. I didn’t realise until after the description that even the game has no visuals further along the idea and concept of the game and I love that. Not only does it suit the game concept but it also puts the gamer in a new perspective and experience (likely) outside of their usual!!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’d probably love those games too! Although that’s why I normally stick to visual novels, dating sims, puzzle games, etc. They’re not all calming, per se, but they don’t cause anxiety either. But yeah, this one prob isn’t for you lol. I didn’t think it would be for me either though, so who knows! But it was definitely a different perspective, and I loved it.