Blanc is a charming indie adventure with a short, but engaging story. Dapper Jr. and I share our experience and review the game on the Nintendo Switch.
Blanc is a visually stunning cooperative journey set in a unique, hand-drawn world with two unlikely furry heroes. Players have the option of controlling either a wolf cub or fawn simultaneously or separately, either solo or with two players. The game’s story follows the two animals as they search for a way to reunite with their families after getting lost in a sudden snowstorm. The game's narrative is told through text-free gameplay and storytelling with ambient soundscapes to guide you through the experience. The game’s monochromatic art style is beautiful, with hand-drawn characters and environments, each level offering a unique atmosphere.
"The game’s monochromatic art style is beautiful, with hand-drawn characters and environments, each level offering a unique atmosphere."
Although the game is a little on the short side and has some minor technical issues, it's still worth experiencing. My 8-year-son and I navigated the frigid wonderland to share our experience with the emotional story and fun co-op elements let's dive into our full review.
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch and PC
Developer(s): Casus Ludi
Publisher (s): Gearbox Publishing
Modes: Single-player, local co-op
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
A beautiful, emotional journey
Blanc's story revolves around two unlikely heroes, a wolf cub and fawn, separated from their families by a snowstorm. As the two protagonists traverse their new surroundings, they must work together to retrace their families' footsteps and work to reunite with them. Along the way, they discover new friends, face challenges and solve environmental puzzles as they move through each of the game's levels. Blanc offers players an emotional journey through its text-free gameplay, ambient soundscapes, and hand-drawn art style that create a captivating atmosphere.
"Blanc offers players an emotional journey through its text-free gameplay, ambient soundscapes, and hand-drawn art style that create a captivating atmosphere. "
The lack of narration adds to the experience and creates more of a connection to the characters as you progress through the game. The game reminds me of an animated short film in terms of story scope, it's short but creates a lot of emotions through the character's plight to find their families. My son and I laughed and even shed a few tears on our playthrough of the game. No spoilers, but there are a few close calls with characters, and it awoke some feelings of sorrow connected to a furry family member we recently lost. I think that is part of the power of the open narrative, it allows you to connect with these characters in a personal way, filling in the blanks with your own experiences. That being said, the game is very short and can be completed in a single 3-4 hour sitting. I really enjoyed playing the game with my son, it was a beautiful adventure to share.
"I really enjoyed playing the game with my son, it was a beautiful adventure to share."
Simplified gameplay that opens the adventure to more players
The gameplay in Blanc is focused on exploration, with a few puzzles sprinkled throughout that require you to manipulate the environment in clever ways. Thanks to its two-button + joystick-based gameplay, Blanc is easy to pick up and play. Even if you don't have much gaming experience, you can still enjoy the game with a very short learning curve. Blanc offers plenty of cooperative gameplay options for both local multiplayer and solo player options. In local multiplayer, one player takes control of the wolf cub while the other plays as the fawn using different buttons to move them around the environment.
"Even if you don't have much gaming experience, you can still enjoy the game with a very short learning curve."
The game’s puzzles require players to work together to progress, something my son and I really enjoyed doing. Each animal has its own unique strengths that will allow you to explore the game's tranquil landscapes together. For example, the taller fawn will kneel down to help boost the shorter wolf cub up onto ledges. The wolf can help out by pulling big objects that are too heavy for the fawn. Working together and helping one another made us feel like a real team.
Blanc's visual style and performance
The first time I laid eyes on the beautiful world of Blanc was during a Nintendo Direct and I instantly fell in love with the art style. The stunning world is black-and-white with all elements featuring a unique handcrafted style with plenty of character. You can see the pen, ink and pencil strokes in the characters and background elements that create a unique visual style. I thought my son would also find the colourless world unappealing but he was quick to point out the different shades of grey that brought this world to life. We both love the unique monochromatic world of Blanc, it stands out from many other games with its bold style. On the performance side of things, there were aspects of the game that did suffer from some technical hitches. Some areas had framerate drops and camera angle issues that would cut into buildings and the background environment. It wasn't anything that ruined the experience, but it did take away from the immersion of the world.
Final Verdict on Blanc: An enchanting experience worth diving into
Overall, Blanc is an enchanting game that offers a unique and heartwarming story of family and friendship. Its simple gameplay mechanics make it more accessible for all ages and skill levels while the handcrafted visuals will draw you into its captivating atmosphere. Even with some minor technical hiccups, Blanc offers a memorable experience that I'm sure many will enjoy playing with their friends or family.
"Even with some minor technical hiccups, Blanc offers a memorable experience that I'm sure many will enjoy playing with their friends or family."
If you're looking for an adventure that combines exploration and puzzle-solving in a charming world, then look no further than Blanc it's worth hopping into the beautiful, snow-covered indie adventure.
- Unique, handcrafted visual style
- Accessible two-button gameplay
- Excellent co-op multiplayer for local play
- Minor technical issues
- Short in length compared to other games
- Very little replayability once the main adventure is completed
Overall Rating: 28.5/40 (71%)
A copy of the game was provided by Gearbox Studios for the purpose of this review.
About the Author - Matthew "Dapper Tux" Rondina
Matthew has been involved in all things gaming since the 8-bit era. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry who has been passionate about technology and gaming for over 20 years. Along with being the Managing Editor of dappertux.com, he has bylines with Best Buy, Cineplex Entertainment, Mobile Syrup and Walmart. Follow Matthew’s gaming + tech adventures on twitter, Instagram and join in on the fun!
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