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About the StoryI scarcely know the woman at my side. I don't even know why she was the one I turned to. I can only hope that we haven't been followed, that she won't ask too many questions. The only choice left to me now is to trust her.
4th Place overall; 3rd Place, Miss Congeniality Awards - 16th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2010)
Nominee, Best Writing; Nominee, Best Individual PC - 2010 XYZZY Awards
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Number of Reviews: 7
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Most Helpful Member Reviews
The gameplay works well for what it's supposed to do, which is to supplement the story without distracting from it (puzzle fans will want to look elsewhere). It's generally clear what you're supposed to do and where you're supposed to go, but the game doesn't overdo the hand-holding. There were a few things I still felt a sense of accomplishment for working out, but I'm pretty terrible at this stuff, so that may just be me.
I have only one problem with the game overall -- and unfortunately it's hard to discuss without mentioning the endings, so please forgive me for the spoilers.
There are vague, but definitely present, homoerotic undertones to the relationship between Helena and Marissa, which makes the whole thing come off as "predatory psychotic lesbian (Spoiler - click to show)stalks, hurts, and possibly kills the object of her affections." The fact that the place where these undertones are most obvious is the ending where (Spoiler - click to show)Helena kills Marissa (while lying on top of her on a bed, no less) really does not help here. I feel a little bad complaining about this (after all, lesbians can be crazy just like anyone else can), but the "predatory psychotic lesbian" thing has a long and sordid history as the most common portrayal of lesbians in fiction. This game feels like a bit of a throwback to the days of Mrs. Danvers and the like, and the fact that it's all kept on a subtextual level only adds to that.
I don't mean to suggest that the author played into this stereotype on purpose; I know how easy it is to stumble into these things without meaning to. But it left a bad taste in my mouth in a game I otherwise quite enjoyed.
It's morning of the next day. Your friend is out and you have the empty house to yourself. Your mind is full of unanswered questions. And thus begins your search for understanding. But be forewarned as you embark, for in this search you may uncover a darker evil than you had first imagined.
"The Blind House" is a beautiful and disturbing short work of fiction. It is basically puzzleless, and is thus best enjoyed when approached as a story, rather than a game. There is plenty of opportunity for free exploration during portions of the game, but after certain tasks are completed, the story takes over. NPC interaction is limited to multiple choice lists of pre-written dialogue, but this seems to work well in this particular game. "The Blind House" is best enjoyed when approached with an open mind. And it's definitely worth a replay or two (there are interesting clues throughout the story which will more appreciated after having reached the end.)
The introductory section struck me as a little purple-prosey, but by the end, the writing either improved (injecting a lot of atmosphere without any cheesiness) or I stopped noticing any flourishy bits.
Here's where I'm lost: even though the author states that this is an interactive story, and more about your interpretation than puzzles...I didn't really feel like I got all the stuff I needed to construct my own background.
In particular, (Spoiler - click to show)I couldn't even tell if I was real or not. Some little bits made me think that hey--maybe I'm a figment of this gal's imagination or a separate personality?--but other evidence seems to point to the idea that I'm real and abusive. Or maybe I killed the houseowner in the first scene??. And I couldn't quite figure out how Estelle fit into all this. And I really WANTED to know.
It's pretty well-implemented, and there's a couple of interesting things to do (like (Spoiler - click to show)replacing the dry flowers in the bathroom with the roses...which I might have dyed with hair dye??), and overall, you'll enjoy snooping around someone else's house for an evening.
But the interpretive aspect of the work/work's meaning just didn't do it for me.
See All 7 Member Reviews
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"Note: requires a Z6-capable interpreter, preferably with Blorb sound support." [--blurb from Competition Aught-One]
Recommended ListsThe Blind House appears in the following Recommended Lists:
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PollsThe following polls include votes for The Blind House:
Unreliable narrators by verityvirtue
I'm interested in games which hinge on the 'unreliable narrator', from amnesia to a plain distorted worldview. The more this distortion affects the storyline, the better.
First and Third Person Second Person Narratives by dacharya64
Not as complicated as it sounds! Interactive fiction is dominated by the iconic second person narrative (*You* find yourself in a room). But this is not the only way that these stories could be told. I'm looking for those games out there...
Mouse & Milquetoast - Modern-World Games With a Timid Protagonist by Ghalev
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