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Game Info:

Blind Men
Developed by: Man-Eater Games
Published by: Ratalaika Games
Release date: April 17, 2020
Available on: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4
Genre: Visual Novel
Number of players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: M- Mature +17 Strong Language, Sexual Themes
Price: $4.99

I would like to thank Ratalaika Games for sending us a review code for Blind Men on the Nintendo Switch.

As it turns out, watching spy flicks is a celebrated past time for both myself and my father. You see, my dad and I were two totally different types of people. No, we didn’t really play catch with each other or go fishing together, I simply was not into those things. However, there was one thing we enjoyed doing together, and that was watching movies. Our favorites were the James Bond films where the debonair spy comes out on top of a rouge's gallery of diabolical villains. Those movies were always entertaining because you could never really know what was going to happen next.

Fast forward nearly two decades and I have retained my love for those types of movies. I was recently given the chance to review a brand new title called Blind Men on the Nintendo Switch, and I gladly took on the assignment with the understanding that it was about spy stuff. Call it naivety, but I really didn’t know what I was playing when I agreed to review the title. Blind Men is indeed about a secret spy organization and the villains who facilitate it, but it is a far cry from James Bond. In fact, consider it a spy drama satire of sorts.

Before I get into this review, I think it beneficial to know a little about the genre of this game. Blind Men is considered to be a “BL” drama, or “boys love” for short. This style of storytelling has its origins in Japanese manga and is still quite popular across the pond. A BL game is simply a story that features male to male attraction, but it is usually not explicitly sexual. These titles are more about romance and less about sexual and sensual behavior. Most game experiences allow for players to choose how to interact with their “crushes,” whether to brush them off or lead them on, so on and so forth. Blind Men fits very well into this mold as an interactive story and a dating simulator.

Blind Men
Highlights:

Strong Points: Short and engaging playthrough; offers multiple endings; can change game speed
Weak Points: Translated in only two languages; shallow storyline; caters to a specific audience
Moral Warnings: Occasionally strong language; use of alcohol; suggested violence; same-sex attraction is the central focus

The story centers around a young man named Keegan who lost his parents (and his eye) in a tragic car accident years ago. His supervillain uncle, Sphinx, has looked after him for all those years and has reared the fledgling villain in his secret base since the accident. Keegan wishes to become a great villain and join the illustrious Leauge of Evil, much to his uncle’s delight. So Keegan sets off on several missions to prove himself as the self-proclaimed supervillain, Dr. Cyclops, but along the way, he meets the two antagonists who will become his love interests. There is the suave and flirtatious Bond-like Hunter, and the stoic and more serious Sergei. Both of those men become a stumbling block for Keegan in more ways than one.

As is the case with most visual novels, Blind Men gives the players various choices to manipulate the outcome of the game. There are a grand total of 8 endings, 4 endings for each romance possibility with each spy. All dialogue speeds can be controlled by the player, and cut scenes can be skipped at will. This gives the player to option to search out each eight of these endings in relatively no time at all. If one allows for the dialogue to run naturally without skipping, one playthrough is about as long as a standard Hollywood movie. The developers did a very good job of making Blind Men a smooth visual novel to navigate through.

The game only supports two languages, English and Spanish. Blind Men was originally created in Spanish, so the parts that are voiced are completely in that language. The English dialogue is very basic, almost juvenile in its delivery. Along with this, there are quite a few grammatical errors in the translation. If someone usually struggles to get through a visual novel, this makes the experience so much harder. The art style itself is somewhat cartoonish and whimsical, which does not gel very well with the adult themes that are displayed.

Blind Men
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 62%
Gameplay: 10/20
Graphics: 6/10
Sound: 8/10
Stability: 4/5
Controls: 3/5

Morality Score - 52%
Violence: 6/10
Language: 4/10
Sexual Content: 3/10
Occult/Supernatural: 9/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical: 4/10

Since this is Christ Centered Gamer, I think the only way to accurately assess the moral issues within this game is to do so in light of Scriptures. First off, this game is not violent and shows very little blood and gore, if any, within its sprawling storylines. There is some adult language, but even that is kept to a minimum. The main problem is with male to male attraction, which implies homosexuality. That is an action that is spoken against within the Scriptures in various places. So, this game stumbles greatly in that area.

I will admit, however, that I did not see as much “sexual” activity as I was initially expecting. This game is a romance story, and as such, it is very ambiguous about the sexual orientations of the characters themselves. The most sexual activity that is shown is within a couple of scenes where the men are kissing each other. It doesn’t really go beyond that, even though it is implied. Regardless, many players with personal convictions against the homosexual lifestyle will want to steer clear from this game.

With all these things in mind, I can conclude that Blind Men is a straight-forward and accessible visual novel with a shallow, yet moderately entertaining storyline which presents a wide array of endings. The adult themes of alcohol consumption and same-sex romance are easy breaking points for many, and the ambiguity of the relationships makes this title uncomfortable for many players.

It’s up to you what you would like to play, but if you are a Christian reading this, I hope that you allow for the Words contained within the Scriptures to be your guide in choosing your newest title.

About the Author

J.R. Sommerfeldt

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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