Unsighted is an exquisite fight for survival


A time constraint is a bold choice for a Metroidvania. It’s something I thought I hated in a game, especially as a player who gets lost easily. But time is at the heart of visually impaired, making material scarcity a central concern. It motivated me to continue to cut and parry through the many layered maps of the world, to fight for the survival of my people, and to set the stage for exquisite exploration and discovery throughout. visually impairedevocative and mortal world.

In visually impaired, the automatons are hungry for a precious substance, the Anima, which serves as their vital force. When it runs out, the Automatons face a fate worse than death: they transform into a brainless enemy called the “Blind,” attacking the friends and family they once lived with. In the wake of a war between humans and automatons, you take on the role of Alma, a combat automaton determined to resolve the crisis and save his fallen friends, members of his combat team, who defended the automatons during war.

Every character Alma talks with has a countdown of hours to go through, from the traders in Gear Village to NPCs throughout the game. As their counters approach zero, the automatons begin to deteriorate, having l look shabby when you interact with them and eventually go blind. But Alma is also there: whenever she dies, a pause screen displays her remaining game hours to live, which translates into the time a player has left to complete the match. The only way to prevent an Automaton from going blind is to give it a single-use item, Meteor Dust, which extends its life by 24 hours in-game. It can also be used to extend Alma’s life.

The difficult trade-off between who to save and who to leave behind is at the heart of visually impaired, and this is an essential characteristic of the responsiveness of the world. It’s tempting to try and save everyone, but you just can’t. I initially gave Meteor Dust to an older farmer named Teresa, who only had a few hours left, but this only slightly increased her playtime – I couldn’t find enough Meteor Dust extra to save her. I returned to find its storefront erased; a few screens farther on, his cracked suit rested in a pile of rubble. Not only had I failed it, but now I had less for myself and less time to resolve the Anima crisis for everyone.

Alma in Unsighted, standing in front of a puzzle

Image: Studio Pixel Punk / Humble Games, Humble Bundle

I was forced to take a mercenary approach, assigning Meteor Dust to Samuel who makes tokens for the game. Nier: Automataas the upgrade system. I needed his services to survive. It was only a moment when the game plunged me into a moral vacuum. If Alma’s counter drops below 100 hours, an NPC will offer to assassinate other characters to give you their Anima. These compromises – what you do for Anima and who you give Meteor Dust to – are a surprising reminder of how scarcity can force us to see others through the lens of utility. Avoiding those heartbreaking decisions has become a powerful incentive to level up faster, explore smarter, learn new leveling skills, and dig into the map for more Meteor Dust.

In a world where every second counts, there is a strong incentive to try new ideas and less time to get down to a path that doesn’t work. visually impairedThe world of its three meticulously interconnected layers full of little treasures: there are lush forests, icy aquariums and intricate skyways with tangles of balustrades. The objective is to collect five Meteor Fragments in order to build a powerful weapon, but the game does not require you to obtain them in any particular order. The keys are universal, so I used them to open new region doors, curious to open new areas. I traced elevators, emerging where overpowered enemies tried to kill me. As I learned to defend myself, I began to destroy all the barriers that were meant to hold me back.

The game’s brilliant, Zelda-style dungeons are tightly designed around themes, and my growing toolbox has given me multiple ways to solve puzzles. I used my ice grenade gun and ice shuriken, toggle switches with a grappling hook or the slash of a knife. These dungeons were filled with enemy classes that were clearly previously friendly Automatons who had gone blind – many of them were the same types of Automatons that lived in Gear Village. I took on platform challenges and referred to the map to find shortcuts to reach Meteor Shard bosses – and I used these new skills to fight blind automata, many of whom were fallen members of my team.

If the countdown pressure seems too strong, the game can also be played in explore mode, which pauses the timers of all characters, including Alma’s. (It’s available anytime in the options menu, along with a suite of difficulty modifiers.) This is especially useful if you’ve gotten lost or find the game’s isometric combat difficult, as I did in start. Combat can be tough if you’re not used to parry-based mechanics. Alma can only get a few hits before his stamina bar runs out, but a “perfect” parry rewards players with a critical hit, making combat feel like a satisfying rhythm game.

Blind people looking at the graves of fallen friends

Image: Studio Pixel Punk / Humble Games, Humble Bundle

As you explore, you come across character stories told through journals and flashbacks. They reveal more than visually impairedlore, as the backstory of Anima’s crisis. But these flashbacks are most poignant when they reveal Alma’s own origin story and the stories of her teammates, or the tension between her brash desire to save everyone and awkward combat training with her team. What emerges is a love story between queer humanoid robots, as Alma tracks down the battle ax wielding automaton Raquel – desperate to save his life, even at the expense of his own.

visually impaired is phenomenal for many reasons, especially its stunning scenery and brilliant puzzle design. But it’s the sense of urgency – with the in-game countdown that prompts me to pick myself up when the going gets tough – and the way it’s fed back into the game’s interconnected map that makes visually impaired a must. Whether it is for pure survival or for love, there are always reasons to find our way.

About Johanna Gooding

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