Blind Drive is a high concept fever dream b-movie translated into a fantastic video game. For all intent and purposes, you can close your eyes for the entire game. Blind Drive relies on your ears and sound recognition as gameplay. It is easily one of the most unique and interesting games I’ve played in recent years and the audio is spot on.
You play as Donnie who has signed up for a science trial but doesn’t realise he has been duped. He has fallen into a bizarre high stakes battle where he has been blindfolded and placed in an automatic car that keeps moving forward… into ongoing traffic! You’ve been placed there by an ice cream mafia boss as part of a turf war. It is a demented cross over of Speed and Saw. As you are blindfolded, you can’t see anything in front of you but you can hear everything. Whilst talking to the mafia boss and your grandma over the hands-free phone, you’ll be steering your car left and right to avoid traffic.
Blind Drive is only a two-button game – dodge left and dodge right. It grossly underplays everything that happens around it. The entire game is an audiobook of chaos. There are 27 levels and every second level introduces a new way to confuse you. As traffic comes up either side, you’ll hear it in your headphones (headphones are better over speakers every time here). You then need to dodge the opposite direction to avoid the traffic. When the levels change, so does the audio. The mafia boss opens the windows – now you’ve got wind sounds everywhere. Then he turns on the radio full blast and you can’t hear the traffic coming at you either. There are comedic ones too like a fly getting in and buzzing in stereo around your head. Then we have the potty-mouthed angry Alexa knockoff giving you the wrong GPS directions. Add to that your mafia boss and grandma having arguments with you over the phone and you are in for a wild ride.
Each distraction is unique and checkpoints put you back to the start of the previous level. There is an easy and a normal mode to start with and they increase the traffic to avoid, be that cars, barriers, cows, gunshots or dolphins with missiles on. For every 20 things you miss, you gain a heart back. You can hit cyclists and ice cream trucks for bonuses though! This includes a super power-up that makes your sound pinprick clear but at high speed. Traffic is randomised every time although the whole game structure stays the same. This keeps things a little fresh although repeat playthroughs may make the script feel less fun when the surprise is taken away.
A special mention must go out to the cast of characters too. They read the script like it’s the craziest b-movie ever made and make it a joy to behold. Blind Drive borrows from the Jackbox Party Pack voice talent and their knowledge, expertise and delivery shine through.
Blind Drive is not your typical game and thank god for that. It is a challenging and tense comedic delight from start to finish that I’ll enjoy dipping back into time and again. A truly unique experience.
Review code provided by publisher.
A truly unique experience. A perfect example of audio making a fantastic gaming experience.
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