It is rare to find a game where you are blind and not from a lack of information. The Vale is the first I’ve played without any visuals.
Falling Squirrel Inc have not only envisioned a game where players must rely on senses other than sight but have delivered on their goal. The Vale: Shadow of the Crow is the finished product of that endeavor and we were given a copy to review. As with every game we either received or purchased we put in at least one hour of gameplay before sitting down to write our thoughts and in this instance we played for two.
When given the opportunity to review a game we rarely read many of the press releases and as such when it came time to play my expectations were that this would be some sort of RPG (Role Playing Game). I was shocked when I started the game to be greeted with a screen that was almost entirely black save for a handful of floating sprites. I went on to listen as the story was told and then expected to defend myself against wolves. I feel like the concept for this game was meant to give players a truly blind immersive experience. With the right sound setup you would get a three dimensional cue where threats are attacking from and be able to meet them in kind, however most people rely on television speakers and this advantage is lost. Players can find foes eventually by audio cues indicating when they are hit and then able to keep hitting them but without the immersive feel it falls flat. The audio work on this game is a much higher quality than most games, but it isn’t able to give players the true feel of the game. This game has a lot of potential but not in a two speaker world.