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Beyond Eyes is an adventure game developed by Tiger & Squid and published by Team17. The game shows how Rae, a ten-year-old girl who has lost her sight due to an accident with fireworks, engages in situations around her as she searches for her friend, Nani the cat.
When Nani doesn’t show up for a few seasons, Rae decides to leave the safety of the garden and search for him. The whole world around her is based on her memory of how things were when she still had her sight. This means that when you approach certain objects they will change to what they really are. For example, a broken down car is a man mowing the lawn, or a fountain being a sewer.
What makes Beyond Eyes appealing is its artwork. Starting off in a white world, as Rae explores, bursts of watercolour paint make up the areas she is exploring. This may happen slowly but after time, it develops into a beautiful landscape of gorgeous countryside and villages.
There are certain sounds that will bring small areas to life and provide clues, helping Rae to find her way. For example, there are numerous birds that call out, leaving Rae with a clear path to follow. There will be a few times where Rae will walk into things that frighten her. This changes the colours around you, from bright and beautiful, to becoming very dark and frightening, to the point where it does send a few chills down your spine at the animosity of it all. I feel that this is to perhaps highlight that being visibly impaired can be terrifying and lonely. Other senses are used frequently throughout the whole game, with smells represented by yellow swirls that cling to certain objects and a green swirl is used for objects Rae can interact with.
As you follow Rae on her search for Nani, you will see what a beautiful world it is. With a small area filled in as you walk, you’ll have to discover the dangers ahead, and spend a good while uncovering the little details of the game that adds to its beauty. The game really shows off how beautiful the watercolour effect is, and brings to light how simplicity is often overlooked in video games.
Overall, Beyond Eyes is a creative, enjoyable experience. If you love slow-paced games with a beautiful story, then Beyond Eyes is perfect. The art and music style fit the game beautifully, it would best be played via headphones for the full experience. The two cons I have would be after a while, Rae’s walking speed, although it does add to the realism, can be grating on the player. The other con is it is a very short game, I could have easily played a lot more of it.
I give it 7 out of 10 stars. Have you played this game? let me know what you think in the comments below,
Beyond Eyes was reviewed on the Xbox One. Be sure to check out the trailer below to get an idea of the visuals!