Beyond Eyes

Beyond Eyes is a game that follows the story of a young girl called Rae who goes blind in an accident.  She becomes friends with a cat who visists her house, but when he stops coming she decides to brave the world that she has feared to find her friend, Nani.  It is only a short game taking me less than an hour and a half to complete.  Despite this, it is a beautiful game that I enjoyed immensley.

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The game features beautiful colours and graphics.  Due to Rae’s blindness, the player is only able to see a short
distance around her at a time.  The different seasons and weather also affect the colours and visible distance.  Spring and summer have bright and vibrant colours, whilst winter and autumn are duller and do not allow the player to see such distances.  Rain also shortens the distance and hides places that you have already been.  Fear is another factor that changes the colours seen by the player.  Fear creates a darkness to the world around her.

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The small things about this game are what make it most wonderful.  The colours are one of these factors but my favourite is her movements and reactions to the world around her.  When walking close to an object Rae will put out her hand to feel it, just like a blind girl would.  When she’s walking alongside an object she will reach out her hand and feel the object as she continues to move and I think it is just beautiful.  Her fear causes her to clutch her arms to her chest and close herself off from the world around her.  One of my favourite parts of the game was when she was forced to back away from a dog, cautiously stepping backwards until she eventually fell over and tumbled to the ground.  All of the motions seemed so lifelike and exactly what I imagine a young blind girl would do.

When Rae first ventures out of the safety of the garden she has a childlike innocence and belief of the world.  She imagines she sees a beautiul water fountain but in reality it is  drain covered in dirt and mud.  She sees an innocent clothesline with clothes flapping in the wind but in reality it is a scarecrow covered in crows.  These mistakes cause her to begin expecting the worst when things are not so bad.  She imagines more crows when they are only chickens and sees the cars she fears when a man is mowing his lawn.

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She fears loud noises and won’t go near them.  Dogs and crows must be avoided whenever they appear.  A wall of darkness appears, not allowing Rae to pass until she finds a button on a post and presses it.  A gap opens in the wall and she is able to corss a busy road which was previously filled with fast moving and loud cars which could scare any child, not just a blind one.

She comes across another young girl who knows her name and whose name she knows, Lily.  They speak in the sweetest childlike voices and Rae helps Lily to find her ball.  Lily then helps Rae to distract a dog blocking her path.

If you don’t want to know what happens at the end do not read any further!

*Spoiler Alert!*

Towards the end of the game Rae thinks she has found Nani but it is just some stray cats that hiss and spit at her.  She hears Nani’s bell and must walk around the walls that are between her and her friend.  A section of the wall falls as she leans on it and the walls turn into gravestones.  When she eventually makes her way through the graveyard to where she can hear the bell she finds Nani’s collar stuck in a tree branch, blowing in the wind.  After all the effort she has gone to to find Nani, venturing into the world despite her fear of it all to find her only friend, she must accept the fact that Nani is dead and will never come back.

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I was very dissapointed at this point.  It was all for nothing!  Rae would be so devestated that she would probably never leave her garden again.  I decided to wait until the end of the credits just in case, which I very rarely do.  I was rewarded for my patience.  Although it was clear that Nani was, in fact, dead, Lily made a visit to Rae’s garden.  Rae let her in and we are lead to believe that they will become good friends and that her adventure has lead to her making other friends and not fearing the world as much as she used to.

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