Despite a few minor flaws, The Blind Prophet is a solid adventure game with a dark story, classic point-and-click puzzles, and a beautiful hand-drawn art style.
After a successful Kickstarter campaign, a year in development, and a few delays, The Blind Prophet – Blood of the Apostle is now available to all.
The game combines classic point-and-click gameplay with comic book visuals and a dark story about demons and sacrifice, and it does so pretty well; for the most part.
Something is Rotten in Rotbork
Rotbork is a hive of scum and villainy. Violence, drug use, and corruption are rampant, and nobody seems to want to do anything about it. Nobody except for Bartholomeus.
Bartholomeus is an immortal servant of God, sent to Earth to cleanse it of demonic influence. He’s a bit like Geralt from The Witcher – stoic, aloof, and easily annoyed with people – though he’s much more chatty and expressive. He is also the character we are playing.
As Bartholomeus, we arrive at Rotbork and immediately come up against the evil infesting the city in a short yet brutal fight that sets the tone for the rest of the game. From there, the story slowly unfolds into a supernatural mystery that puts us up against some of Hell’s most vicious and cunning denizens.
Unsurprisingly, the story is the best part of the game. The Blind Prophet’s world of demons and heavenly protectors is a suitable stage for a dark tale about the worst of humanity. There are clear villains, lots of lore to draw from, and a great sense of progression between acts. I love how the story keeps raising the stakes with every new demon it introduces and keeps you engaged with a dramatic and often bloody chain of events.
Even so, it isn’t very memorable. I enjoyed following the plot while playing, but once the game was over, I stopped thinking about it. I do remember it feeling a bit rushed towards the end as it scrumbles to tie up the story. Still, even then, it was adequately climactic.
Point, Click, Slay
The Blind Prophet isn’t an action game where you slay demons left and right. It’s an adventure inspired by the themes and gameplay of such classics as Gabriel Knight and Broken Sword.
The game features really rudimentary point-and-click mechanics. You point, you click, and hopefully, something cool happens. Well, it’s a little more than that, since you can choose which action you want to try and perform. Still, the gameplay is very, very basic, which Frankly, I really appreciate. It’s a bit bareboned, but a good point-and-click title doesn’t need anything more.
But developer Ars Goetia wanted to add something more, something that will spice up the gameplay. And that is how we got the minigames.
I’ll be blunt – I don’t like the minigames. Yes, a couple of them are fun, and they don’t tend to repeat themselves most of the time, but they all feel like unnecessary filler. I did enjoy one or two of the minigames – the ones that were actually relevant to the story – but I also solved quite a few of them accidentally without much thought.
It’s good that the developers tried something new, but I could do with more inventory-based puzzles and less lever-pulling and shooting galleries.
Straight Out of a Comic Book
While the gameplay is inspired by great point-and-click titles, the visuals hail from the realm of comic books. The hand-drawn art style, combined with the themes of demons and redemption, immediately invoke the classic Hellblazer comics.
But even if you’re not a comic book fan, it’s easy to see just how much work went into making the game look this good. Every screen is bursting with color and detail, and each environment looks fresh and unique. I particularly love the architecture of the city of Rotbork. It’s the same mix of old and new you often see in European cities, but with a sinister, desperate vibe.
True to form, the soundtrack is also a blend of modern electronic tracks that bore straight into your skill, and slower, almost etherial mood music. It’s all very fitting and serves to enhance the game’s atmosphere.
Just Short of Heavenly
Sadly, there are a few bumps along the way that hinder that very same atmosphere. What’s more annoying is that these are mostly issues that can be fixed with just a little more polish.
For example, there are multiple times during dialogue where the English text is replaced with French or was entirely missing. Playing in the game in the original French seems like the way to go, as the English version reads like a mediocre translation and isn’t very natural.
There are a few jarring editing and pacing issues as well that diminish the impact of a couple of dramatic moments.
But even with these minor flaws, The Blind Prophet is a solid indie adventure. The story is dark and mature without being too edgy. The themes of corruption, violence, and redemption sit well within the world of demons and apostles the game creates. And of course, the game looks pretty darn good. I wish the game would’ve stuck with a more straightforward point-and-click gameplay and ditch the minigames, but that is just a personal preference.
You’ll more than enjoy your time on the streets of Rotbork, solving puzzles and hunting demons. Though, maybe wait till after the devs do a round or two of bug-slaying.
Developer: Ars Goetia
Publisher: Ars Goetia
Release Date: Feb. 5, 2020
Available On: PC
Reviewed On: PC
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