If you’ve been itching for a new point-and-click adventure game set in a grim city full of thugs, murder and mayhem, then The Blind Prophet checks all the boxes. The game is a Kickstarter project by ArsGoetia, and as of this writing has funded almost $3,000 towards creating this narrative experience.
The Blind Prophet opens with a beautiful, hand-drawn comic book-style aesthetic, with different panes illuminating as the story unfolds. A young woman is walking alone and is cornered by a nameless thug. Right as she is about to be attacked, a sword-wielding hero jumps in and slices the thug’s hand clean off, forcing him to flee. This is your first introduction to the protagonist Bartholomeus, an apostle chosen by God to return to Earth to protect humans from the corruption of demons.
A small tutorial briefly explains the mechanics before you are thrown into your first puzzle, finding food for the young woman you just saved. As with any traditional narrative adventure games, there are a lot of points of interest and items that can be clicked on, with the majority of them offering short quips or seemingly-useless information. Your goal is to meticulously investigate each screen and find an item, or a combination of items, to fulfill each part of the puzzle. Most puzzles were easily solved within the same screen, but as the game progresses, you will need to explore other areas to find the solution.
The narrative for The Blind Prophet takes place in the fictional, corrupted city of Rotbork. Within its neon-drenched aesthetic lies a number of mysterious–and often dangerous–places to explore. As with the rest of the game, each location is beautifully hand-drawn, while also conveying a sense of grittiness and unease. Even within the short, 30-45 minute demo, you will see a variety of different settings.
The navigation itself is relatively simple. There is an arrow that appears near the edge of the screen revealing areas that can be explored. Each item that can be clicked on presents you with the same four options each time: Observe, Use, Discuss and Take. While most of the puzzles were fairly straightforward, some of them required blindly clicking each of the four options to find the correct one to use. The game does not give you much in the way of any hints if you get stuck, instead opting to nudge you in the direction of the narrative with a short sentence of what to do next. Parts of the demo were difficult to figure out, as some mechanics were poorly introduced, like trying to figure out that you need to connect a severed hand to a nondescript lamp to proceed, and required a trial-and-error approach to solve the puzzle. One interesting tool that you may find useful is an icon of an eye that will reveal all points of interest, and possibly story hints if you do get stuck at any given point.
Because The Blind Prophet is narrative-driven, there will be a lot of reading. During the demo playthrough, there were a few noticeable typos, and awkward dialogue (which may be due to the game originally being written in French). But, the game is not in a completed state, and one hopes that the grammar mistakes will be ironed out before the game’s final release.
Overall, The Blind Prophet seems promising from what was presented in the demo. From the opening sequence, you are immediately invested in what is happening with the narrative. And, in typical demo fashion, it ends just as things begin to get interesting. The developers are expecting the final game to deliver a 5-6 hour story. Also, the hand-drawn art style is beautiful, drawing inspiration from comic book artists Frank Miller (famous for Sin City) and Mike Mignola (famous for Hell Boy), amongst others. The music and ambiance created fit the city of Rotbork perfectly, and it will be interesting to see what the rest of the map looks like in the final release.
If you’d like to experience The Blind Prophet now, head over to their Kickstarter page to download the free demo.