Really loved this one. Black the Fall didn't get too much praise or attention (after release when it's most needed), although in my belief it should. There are two core reasons for it. First of all, even though you barely hear or read a word in it, it's a narrative puzzle game, where the story is told throughout the environment and objects, rather than words. It's a game about factory worker trying to escape an authoritarian regime, heavily inspired by communist rule. Since I'm coming from a country that used to experience that rule, I have some understanding of its aesthetics and zombified daily life. Black the Fall catches some details to describe that era and at the same time, it's not lecturing or annoying. For example, it's graphics and artistic style, for many eyes may look half-baked or incomplete, some models are pretty detailed and animated, some are simple and ugly, some are without any texture at all. Some of us may see it as a bug, while I see this as an exceptionally realistic resemblance of communist past. Pretty much everything, starting with household items, ending with entire living districts looked that way. Some things where half-baked because there were no resources, nor sense of style, while other things looked unfinished and almost ready to collapse due to organized theft. Somehow Black the Fall managed to manifest it all through surroundings of the game, but I won't argue, maybe I see those things because I want to. For a westerner, this game may look rather different, somewhat reminiscent of old Apple ads, but then again, it's a touching aspect of the game (it would be interesting to see how it would look if we would remove communist propaganda from tv screens and replace it with modern fox news broadcasts). It shows a regime, clearly based on Ceaușescu's communist rule, but the ending gives a glimpse of a modern-day Romania and it's lingering problems. In other words, Black the Fall kind of reminds us that history tends to repeat itself and this reminder is as timely as ever.
The second reason is the gameplay. It's somewhat reminiscent of a cult classic „Another World“, but also offers a variety of puzzles. Yet, the overall experience is way too short and it's probably the case where developers should've played with assets and existing puzzles to just fake and bloat an amount of content. It's a platforming puzzle game, mostly focusing on logical pathfinding problems, but also offering some cool puzzles with physics, companion dog usage, lightning or unexpectedly changing perspective. Puzzles are designed very well, since each one of them is solvable without external help, by just staring at the problem for 5 to 10 minutes. It's a perfect balance when the game doesn't feel too easy and progressing through it is still rewarding, but... Since there are no puzzles that make you stuck for an hour, overall playthrough time feels way to short for asking price of 15EUR. However, if you see it discounted, I would really recommend you to give it a go.
The sculpture says Larian Studios, at first I thought that I'd really love to hear the story behind it, cause we all know Larian! But it's probably just a way to say thanks to Larian, for their support during Black the Falls Kickstarter campaign.
«Blew my mind»