A Blind Legend was developed by Dowino for PC, IOS, and Google Play and was released in 2016.
You play as Edward Blake a legendary blind knight who embarks on a quest to save his wife after she’s kidnapped by an evil king. Joining you on you quest is Edward’s daughter, Louise (we’ll talk more about her later) who guides you with her voice. While the premise sounds a bit cliche, I found it to be enjoyable for what it was.
What’s unique about this game is that there are no visuals, you play the game based purely off of sound, so for those who have lost their vision and miss gaming this game is probably going to be for you.
The best part about A Blind Legend is the combat system. The game gives very clever audio cues to tell you when to either attack, block or parry. It’s simple yet fun, and I know I’m not the first to make this comparison, but it feels like the one of closest things we’ve gotten so far to a Daredevil game. My only complaint with the combat system is that by the end the developers reuse a lot of the same audio cues for different enemies and it gets a little annoying, but I feel it can be overlooked seeing as it’s a small indie developer.
My biggest gripe with the game is the traversal, and by extent Louise. While the traversal seems a great idea at first it quickly becomes a repetitive slog. What makes the traversal so unenjoyable is Louise (no disrespect meant towards the voice actress). Instead of staying by you and guiding you, Louise always runs a little ways ahead then yells one of about six voice lines that are then repeatedly used for the rest of the game. It almost made Navi’s (The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time) screams of “Hey Listen!” seem enjoyable. The developers probably could have turned most of these sections into cut-scenes and have been better off for it. Instead it feels like they were a little too ambitious than what they could reasonably do with their budget, and I can at least applaud them for the effort.
The voice acting is serviceable at best. Edward is voice acted by Alex Laube who funnily enough sounds kind of like Jeremy Irons. Laube does his best but his performance ultimately fell flat and seemed kind of stiff to me. Next we have Tallulah Farquhar as Louise who would have been fine had they not repeatedly used the same voice lines over and over an over again.
Another thing worth mentioning is that the game gets almost downright hostile towards the player at the end and not in a good way. I’m fine with games being difficult, some of the best games of recent memory (Cuphead, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice) are extremely difficult (and are even harder when you’re legally blind, trust me), but that difficulty is there because it enhances the game and makes it feel all the more rewarding. Here it feels forced and unnecessary. Without getting into spoilers there’s this scene towards the end set in a crowded market where you’re having to follow the sound of Louise’s voice all while dodging guards. There also seems to be buckets and objects strewn about the level that if you run into the game will instantly fail you and send you back about ten minutes. The only way to avoid the objects is to follow Louise (and her repetitive voice lines) almost precisely. This part when done correctly should take about 20 minutes tops. It took me nearly two hours. Maybe I just missed a trick to the level or something but when I check online most people seemed to be just as angry on the part as I was.
As for those skeptics on the internet who may doubt I beat the game, here’s a couple of photos I took displaying the achievement for beating the game as well as total playtime. I added what the photos say in text for those who are fully blind and are using a screen reader to read the article.
The Blind King: You have finished the game.
A Blind Legend: 3.4 hrs last two weeks / 3.4 hrs on record.
Conclusion: A Blind Legend is a great concept dragged down by repetitive voice lines, and a couple of technical woes. Ultimately If you’re blind I think you’ll find something worthwhile but know that the game isn’t perfect and it doesn’t really need to be. Honestly I think it’s awesome this game got made in the first place and would like to see this premise expanded upon in the future, maybe with a bigger budget.
6/10 or C+