Don’t Blink – Before Your Eyes.

I usually have some snarky thing to say here but this week I don’t have much to say. I am getting quite bored with playing games and I thought about just kinda moving away from playing games for a short time.

I am quite fond of AAA games. Judge me as you will.

I was adament on moving away from games for the rest of the month until I stumbled across this week’s game on Twitter. Again, Twitter can eat shit but sometimes it has some good stuff on there.

Here we go talking about death again…

Death is pretty fucking scary. It is the only constant in our life. It lingers and it can take those we love at any moment. Death is sad. We lose those that we love and they are just not there anymore, unexpectedly gone from our lives. Death is happy. It reminds us of the lives of those we lost lived. It can be a celebration of life as opposed to sad take of their lives.

This week it is all three, the fucking trifecta. This week I ride the river with a boatman that is also a wolf, recount my life through the lens of a child, struggle to not blink and tear up a little bit. This week I play Before Your Eyes.

Before Your Eyes is First person narrative adventure game developed by Goodbyeworld Games and published by Skybound Games. The game released April 8th, is only available for the PC and retails for $10.

Your eyes are the eyes of an eleven-year old boy named Benny. Benny is dead and is riding the river with a wolfman who picks lost souls up from the river to escort them to the gate of the afterlife to be judged. You don’t remember much so you are sent back all the way to the beginning of your life; to retell it all from the beginning. The webcam mechanic begins here because whenever a metronome appears and you blink, your life jumps ahead.

The writing is just so damn good.

Your life eventually begins to unfold, you are the son of a pianist and a professor. Your mother passes down her toy piano to you in hopes of you becoming a musician, something that she failed in doing. Distractions in the form of a girl named Chloe enters the fray and the relationship that you had with your mother sours, quickly. Skipping school, playing video games and ignoring recital deadlines are only a few decisions you make while playing the game. Eventually Benny comes down with an illness and the rest of the game follows Benny’s life while he copes with this illness.

I won’t say anymore because I do not want to spoil a masterful second half.

Circling back to the webcam and blinking mechanic that the game hinges on. It works, it seems like a gimmick at first but once you play with the webcam function on, it feels authentic, like your looking through the memories of a person. At moments I wished that I did not blink so I could see more of a memory.

Blinking is in every thing you do: Taking notes requires you blink to jot the drawings on the page, viewing old photos, painting on canvas all take advantage of the webcam and your eyes.

The games looks great; really colorful.

The voice acting is something that should be noted. Eric Edelstein and Sarah Burns do a fantastic job voicing the parents of Benny. The Ferryman, voiced by Stephen Friedrich is also just great.

Before Yours Eyes is a great game. It lasted only about two hours but I enjoyed every. single. fucking. moment. I loved being able to see myself freak out when I blinked by accident and skipped a moment or when the game ended and i reflected on the journey that I had just went on.

Before Your Eyes is a beautiful game.

I am sitting at my job right now trying to come up with a better phrase than just “play this fucking game” but, alas, I cannot because I find it hard to explain just how good and how important this game is to the world of indie games.

Before your eyes is a sad game.

You watch a life pass right by, in an instant and are expected to make choices that hurt people. Every decision you make feels real and the characters feel real.

Before Your Eyes is a god-tier game.

Just go buy it.

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