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The Blind House

by Amanda Allen

2010

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Reviews and Ratings

5 star:
(3)
4 star:
(18)
3 star:
(12)
2 star:
(2)
1 star:
(1)
Average Rating:
Number of Ratings: 36
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- ryd5185, November 14, 2020

- doodlelogic, October 17, 2020

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
An experience more than an adventure, September 24, 2020
by Stephane F. (Nancy, France)
Maybe it's because I'm not a native English speaker, but I didn't understand much of the story. Apart from this minor drawback, The Blind House is a very well written interactive fiction, with descriptions that are both sober and striking, and that manage to distill a real unease, a heavy, mysterious atmosphere, where one constantly expects things to go very wrong. The house offers a significant number of objects to examine and manipulate, the few puzzles are not complicated enough to be really frustrating, and generally speaking the flow of the game is very good. An experience more than an adventure.

My transcript here :

http://me-myself-if.blogspot.com/2020/09/transcript-of-blind-house-by-amanda.html

*

Peut-être est-ce dû au fait que je ne suis pas nativement anglophone, mais je n'ai à peu près rien compris à l'histoire. En dehors de cet inconvénient mineur, The Blind House est une fiction interactive très bien écrite, aux descriptions à la fois sobres et frappantes, et qui arrivent à distiller un réel malaise, une ambiance pesante, mystérieuse, où l'on s'attend sans cesse à ce que les choses tournent très mal. La maison offre un nombre appréciable d'objets à examiner et manipuler, les quelques puzzles ne sont pas assez compliqués pour être vraiment frustrants, et d'une manière générale le flow du jeu est très bon. Une expérience plus qu'une aventure.

- mstahl, September 15, 2018

- airylef, December 17, 2017

- zylla, March 5, 2017

- RoboDragonn, January 31, 2017

- Aselia, September 1, 2016

- Denk, April 26, 2016

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Creepy game about reality and refuge, February 3, 2016
This game is about two women, one staying in another' s home. The story of how they got there and who they are is slowly unraveled throughout the game.

As I played the first 3/4 of the game, I thought it was one of the best horror games I had ever played, with good implementation. The little hints to the real nature of the situation came out so well.

But I didn't care for the endings. I felt it didn't mesh well with the earlier setup. But this is common to most horror games.

There are a few annoying search-everywhere puzzles, so don't feel bad getting help.

- E.K., November 12, 2013

- DJ (Olalla, Washington), May 9, 2013

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Says it's about plot, atmosphere and exploration, but is more of a puzzlefest, April 14, 2013
I started with this one by following the author's initial advice upon booting the game: I read the About text. It claimed that the focus of the game is more on plot, atmosphere and exploration rather than on intense puzzle-solving.

And then we started off with a bunch of puzzles. Plot-driven puzzles, mind you, but I found myself refreshingly all geared up for story, and suddenly I was trying to figure out how to lock doors and cover mirrors and get rid of light through the window so that I could fulfill the very pressing need of getting to sleep. Plot and atmosphere rather than puzzles, eh? I felt kind of betrayed right out of the gate on this one, and perhaps because the game promises to be not puzzly, there are no hints and alternative solutions don't work the way they should.

The other initial impression I had, though, was a positive one: nice art, author-drawn, with good use of Glulx features. There's a nicely crafted, aesthetically pleasing map visible during play, which shows the layout of objects mentioned in room descriptions. It provides a better sense of place. There's also an image of the two characters in the game, and I'm curious if this image will change as the story progresses (sadly, it turns out that it does not, though that would have been a nice feature).

The game also says I'm supposed to be thinking about things a lot. I try that a bit. I try to think about the thing that's most pressing on my mind right now, according to the status bar, and can't figure out a way to think about that. I'm not sure what that refers to, the game tells me.

And then here we go again, with some more puzzles. Here's the thing, Author: I like puzzleless IF, so please don't build me up to believe I'm going to experience a game that's puzzleless, and then put scavenger hunts and look-behind-object puzzles in my way.

I sense that the game, though solid in writing and intriguing in plot, could really have benefited from more testers/testing, and that makes me a little sad, because there's a lot that's solid here and it feels so close to being really good. But it's frustrating me just enough to be annoying.

I can't decide if the game was ultimately intentionally surreal and disjointed due to perceived themes of mental illness or just... well... if it was just really screwed up writing.

Anyway, my husband wishes I'd had a microphone recording me while I played this, because this game drew from me a whole range of audible emotions: loud sighing, profanity, frustrating grrs, nervous laughter, a couple of fairly loud outbursts, and once (just for effect) I slammed a nearby stool into the carpeting. I had an audience, though. I was conscious of that.

This is probably a two star game, but it's almost a three, and I am the sort who likes to give the benefit of the doubt, so I'll give it a three. Sad, though, as this could have done so much better.

I never thought an IF will play with my innocent mind…, March 13, 2013
This review is mostly for new players…


Let’s begin with the story of the game, there is a woman Helena, she got some kind of accident and she is staying in her friend’s house, Marissa. That’s all I will tell about the story. Even after I beat the game, I’m quite confuse, this games kinda play with your mind. You are exploring this house, finding clues and stuff, the puzzle are very easy, there is no map in this game... BUT, there’s a 4 year old drawing in each room, and my brain know where all the places are without need the map, the drawing make me remember each place easily, also the house you are exploring is very tiny. The game is very short, at least the ending I get. I recommend this one to new players, because the puzzle are easy, very easy, If you have played dozens of point and click (like me), you will only find a bit of a challenge, but you will discover what to do quickly. This game do some tricky things to fool the player, but, in my opinion, the author make a error, I will not say what it is, but lets say, if not where for that, I will have thought I was going crazy instead that the game was make to be that way. This is a fun little game, newbie will not need to be afraid of this one, so far, is the easiest IF game I have played, I beat it without need of hints or anything, and I have been playing game with pictures since I was a child so believe in me, if your are new, play this one, trust me.

- verityvirtue (London), January 24, 2013

- Ben Treat (Maine, USA), July 8, 2012

- Andrew Schultz (Chicago), May 14, 2012

- Wade Clarke (Sydney, Australia), November 24, 2011

- Hannes, November 12, 2011

- Sam Kabo Ashwell (Seattle), August 2, 2011

- WaterMonkey314, July 4, 2011

1 of 13 people found the following review helpful:
Lesbian Noir, May 14, 2011
by AmberShards (The Gothic South)
Initially, The Blind House impresses you, artfully and graciously. The setting is dark, psychological, and constrained, yet sauced in delicious unease. The puzzles are also simple, at first, and even the ones which are not intrigue you instead of frustrate you. The layout of the screen features the game's graphic at the lower right and a graphical map at the lower left -- truly, a revolution in IF branding. Lastly, the main character's main current thoughts are floating just below the status bar. These game mechanics go a long way towards making TBH playable, and memorable, and cement the noir atmosphere.

Then the puzzles get less obvious and my interest wanes. The middle section takes too much time to unriddle and drains the prickly, panicky fear away. I'm also convinced that there's some sort of timing bug -- occasionally Marissa doesn't return (I waited until after 9 PM), and other times she returns after barely thirty moves. Originally, I thought that had Marissa returned earlier, the further revelations of the game would be avoided, but that was only wishful thinking.

The main character grows less likable as she becomes better defined; her thoughts hover upon indecency, and her jealousy of Estelle betrays her attraction to women (it's a jealous madness, but attraction nonetheless). Other scenes reveal this as well, and not in any subtle, interpretable way. The ending scenes make it completely clear. TBH is lesbian noir.

This casts a vomit-colored light upon the rest of the game. The middle section is Helena pawing through the private life of someone that she wishes was her lover. Even the introduction makes more sense -- why were the characters seemingly so close? (Spoiler - click to show)What actually happened last night, except for a lover's fight that turned deadly? The ending does succeed in wrapping things up, although it is anti-climactic, and it assumes a few things that you may not have done.

The writing in many places is taut, eerie, and evocative, but that in no way atones for requiring someone to live inside Helena's skin. That horror remains, like the memory of being deathly sick.

- JohnW (Brno, Czech Republic), March 16, 2011

- Ben Cressey (Seattle, WA), February 14, 2011

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful:
Well-written, but problematic, February 13, 2011
There's a lot to like about The Blind House. The writing is elegant and atmospheric. The characterization is strong. The player has only three brief conversations with Marissa, but everything in her house tells us something about her -- her paintings, the books on her bookshelf, the videos she watches. The player character, Helena, is more of an enigma, but she's supposed to be. The horror aspect is also done well. It relies more on implication than on shock or gory descriptions; throughout the game's series of unsettlingly surreal episodes there's a build-up of dread leading to a climax that's less a shock than a confirmation of the player's worst suspicions.

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.


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