Blind Spot, from developer Unlimited Fly Games, is joining a crowded genre on the PSVR. It’s a story-driven escape-room/puzzle game that does a lot of things right. But does it do enough right to entice you to throw down $30 on yet another escape-room puzzler? Keep reading to find out.
Blind Spot is a PSVR game, so besides the PSVR headset, you’ll need a pair of the Move controllers to play. You will be interacting with many different objects to solve all of these puzzles, and immersion is the name of the game, so the DS4 controller isn’t supported. The Moves work admirably here, although the inherent deficiencies of the last-gen motion controllers are still here. It uses the tried and true movement system that we’ve all grown accustomed to, and it works as good as it ever does. Despite the walking speed being WAY too slow, I appreciate that I don’t have to teleport. It’s disappointing that smooth turning isn’t an option, but I don’t want to focus on all of the negatives upfront, because Blind Spot does a lot right.
First of all, it looks great. Each room has a ton of detail and features some nice lighting effects. You’ll spend the entirety of the game in this mansion, but each room is unique and interesting, which makes your time here more enjoyable. It looks as good or better than any other puzzle game I’ve played in virtual reality. The music is pretty good too, but for me, the music in most video games is like an offensive lineman in American football: I only really notice it when it’s really good, or really bad. Music/rhythm games being the obvious exception. In the case of Blind Spot, the music isn’t epic, but I appreciate that it changes with each room. It’s the little things like this that keep things fresh and brings the frustration level down when you’re trying to solve a tough puzzle.
The music is good, the graphics are great, but the puzzles are what it’s about, and thankfully, they don’t disappoint. The key to a good puzzle game for me is that the puzzles need to be challenging, but there have to be enough clues in-game to solve them. Some games keep the clues to themselves, and you end up needing to simply get lucky to solve them. I wonder if some lesser games do this to flesh out the game’s run time? They wouldn’t do that, would they? In the first two chapters of Blind Spot, the puzzles maintained enough originality to keep it fun and fresh. Some of them were harder than others, but they were all fun to play around with. You might be wondering about the puzzles in the other chapters. Me too, as there are only two chapters available at this time. That’s right, we have to wait for the third chapter, and presumably the game’s conclusion, at some as of yet unspecified later date. Unlimited Fly Games insist that the third chapter is coming and will be a free add on, but you’ll know how that goes. I can say that if they do offer up the third chapter and it does everything right that the first two manage to accomplish, then the price tag will feel a little more justified. As it stands, the first two chapters will probably take you a couple of hours each to complete if you don’t use a walkthrough and solve them the old fashioned way.
The story of Blind Spot is an interesting one, that’s told in a less than ideal way. Without getting too spoilery, you play as a guy who is looking for his sister. It’s clear your childhood wasn’t great, and that you and your sister have some things to work out. The story is relayed to you via text messages from a stranger who speaks in somewhat broken English. Much like in real life, in the game, you’ll have a cell phone permanently attached to your left hand. It serves as a smart way to provide everything you’ll need. The game’s settings menu is here, you’ve got your flashlight, and as I said, the story comes through entirely via these text messages. You won’t need to put the phone away (which is good, because you can’t) to grab a gun, because despite the mansion looking creepy, there are no monsters or enemies to dispatch. You’re just exploring and solving puzzles here.
The story is decent, but delivering the entirety of it through text message alone becomes very tedious. The typos and sometimes sloppy translation aside, reading these long text exchanges didn’t work for me. The occasional text to move the story along would have been good, but I’d be lying if I didn’t skip most of these messages after a while. Much like in real life, I eventually just glanced at the texts enough to get the overall idea and that was good enough for me.
Despite the beautiful mansion to explore and the fun and challenging puzzles, it feels like they are making us pay for the additional chapter that isn’t here yet. They say it’s coming, but so did 18 Floors and countless other games. I’d like to take them at their word, and maybe you will, but for now, the $30 price tag is steep. In addition to this, the walking speed is way too slow for me. It made exploring the large rooms frustrating, and when combined with the lack of a smooth turning option, manoeuvring through the world could be a chore. The good news for Blind Spot and fans of the genre, is that all three of these complaints can be fixed with the alleged upcoming free DLC and a patch to include smooth turning and adjustable walking speed. All of which the developers have said they actually doing or are actively considering.
In the end, if you aren’t already a fan of the genre, Blind Spot probably isn’t going to convert you, but if you do like escape-room puzzlers, then Blind Spot is definitely among the best in this crowded genre.
Blind Spot PSVR Review
- Overall - Very Good - 7/107/10
Blind Spot isn't reinventing the wheel or the escape-room puzzle genre here. Instead, Unlimited Fly Games gives us a beautiful and strange world to explore with some smart and fun puzzles to solve. The story delivery method tries to get in the way and the too slow walking speed doesn't help, but they don't ruin an excellent VR puzzle game. That being said, I don't think it's truly worth the asking price until the developer delivers the third chapter, and hopefully the story's conclusion.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using PS4 Slim.
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