The Blind Prophet is a mature, gritty and biblical graphic novel, wrapped around an indie point-and-click adventure game. The gameplay and graphics are simple yet enjoyable, though its story and soundtrack carry the weight of the game’s grim atmosphere. Fans of traditional adventure games will feel right at home with the control scheme and will find great joy in exploring the brooding environments, interacting with an eclectic cast and digging into the depth of the world’s demonic corruption.
- What is The Blind Prophet? It’s a unique narrative-driven point-and-click adventure based in a cybergoth world, with a graphic novel art style and a story that revolves around a biblical struggle between the divine and the damned.
- Reviewed On: PC
- Price: $19.99
- Developer: Ars Goetia
- Publisher: Ars Goetia, Plug In Digital, Maple Whispering Limited
- Release Date: Feb 5, 2020.
- Website: theblindprophetgame.com
A Story for the Ages
You play as Bartholomeus, an apostle of Christ, sent back to Earth in badass demon-slaying form; with a sword, biker jacket, and a hipster haircut. A stoic spiritual warrior, reminiscent of John Constantine or Eli (from The Book of Eli), you wash-up on the docks of Gore Bay and immediately intervene in an altercation about to go brutally awry. After you save a local woman from certain doom and amputate the hand of her assailant, you begin a supernatural investigation through the surrounding town of Rotbork, with the aim of purging a demonic infestation. You realize quickly that the infestation is more than what it seems and your quest quickly takes on more significant meaning.
Minus the poor possessed souls whom you quickly dispatch, the characters who populate The Blind Prophet’s world provide a lively counterpoint to the generally dark atmosphere of the game. Contrary to their economic depression, further weighed down by drug addiction and alcoholism, the inhabitants of Rotbork are surprisingly chatty and mildly humorous, making you smile just enough to connect and delve deeper into their stories.
Point and Purge
The Blind Prophet’s gameplay is incredibly simple and anyone familiar with point-and-click adventure games like Thimbleweed Park or Grim Fandango will immediately understand how to operate the radial menu (look, use, take, talk) to communicate and begin exploring.
The unique mechanic of the game is a character ability called “stalkers eye”, which is more or less a hint system that reveals all objects in a scene that the player can interact with. This helps minimize situations where the player’s progression is halted due to some unseen interaction, though the game design does a respectable job of preventing such bottlenecks as well. One area where the gameplay deviates from this formula is in the minigames, which attempt to break-up the gameplay, but ultimately come across as arbitrary.
Beauty in the Darkest Dungeon
The most immediate and striking aspect of The Blind Prophet is its graphic novel style presentation, along with its pen and ink art style, which looks closer to excellent concept art than finished game graphics. Regardless, the artwork does a thoroughly convincing job of selling the mood of the game and each scene is full of intricate detail that my eyes enjoyed sinking into. My favorite aspect of the game is the world’s overall design; an unusual mix of “brutally chic” Paris, the Canadian Maritimes and East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The music of The Blind Profit deserves recognition as well, as it does an excellent job of enhancing the mood, providing a cybergoth audioscape to the entire experience. With a droning ambient vibe through much of the game, punches of techno accentuate certain scenes, while beautiful medieval melodies compliment others. The game prompts you before starting that it’s best experienced with headphones, and I feel that this is good advice.
Zoom Out: Verdict
Audiovisuals - 7/10
Gameplay - 6.5/10
Story - 7.5/10
The Blind Prophet is a worthy indie adventure, but it’s lack of budget shows in the game’s limited visuals and depth of gameplay. Beautiful and enjoyable as they are, they never reach beyond conceptual assets. I won’t say this hurts the game necessarily, but leaves me wondering how good this game could have been with a larger budget and development team. What I enjoy about The Blind Prophet is the story and the overall atmosphere presented, which feels refreshingly un-American and strikingly different than most big-budget games.
- Dozens of beautifully realized illustrations and graphic novel art style
- Excellent soundtrack enhances the mood and style
- An engaging story with an eclectic mix of characters
- The low budget revealed in artwork that’s more conceptual than finished
- Mini-games make for an arbitrary distraction from the main game
- The conversation is a little buggy with some odd English translation