The Blind Prophet is a graphic novel that I want to read. Unfortunately, that’s not possible. But thankfully it is a game that I can play. The upcoming project from Ars Goetia is a narrative game with point-and-click mechanics that explores the perverse city of Rotbork. We got our hands on a demo, and I was able to play through the prologue of the story. Demons have descended on the world, and Bartholomeus, an apostle of God, has been sent to cleanse the corruption. He drifts into the harbor on a small vessel, and the story begins.
As a point-and-click adventure, the game is pretty straightforward. Move through the still shots of the city by selecting rooms, buildings, passageways, or people to interact with.
Anything that you can click on has four available options for Bartholomeus: take, use, observe, and discuss. These actions will control all of your time in Rotbork. Initiate conversations with people, observe your surroundings, use objects in your pursuit of evil, and take what you need to find answers. One feature that I appreciated Ars Goetia incorporating into The Blind Prophet was the apostle’s “sight” which enabled players to identify all of the elements on the screen that you can act on. It prevented me from scrolling across the screen endlessly to find an interaction that I had missed.
My recommendation for the developer would be to grey out or to make inaccessible some of the four actions when they’re not relevant. For example, street signs or wall graffiti and other features of the world that won’t factor into the story do not need to have options for using, taking, or discussing. Keep the observations of Bartholomeus. That adds to the character development and helps to immerse players in the world. But other actions that are unavailable do not need to be accompanied by additional flavor text. It’s unnecessary.
Other than that, the story was rich and intriguing, and the gameplay went smoothly. Puzzles and traps were exciting diversions, and I progressed through the demo comfortably.
I only encountered one bug in the game, early on, but it’s still worth mentioning. There was a moment when I couldn’t enter through a window, which was the only path forward. The action wheel would not populate on the screen and exiting the game before reloading wasn’t fixing the problem. I ended up erasing the game and starting from scratch. I hadn’t played for very long so that didn’t bother me, but if that happened further in the story, that would be upsetting.
The Blind Prophet has high potential. The artwork is gorgeous. The game plays like panels in a graphic novel, and the detail is wonderful. Players are thrown into the dark underbelly of Rotbork, and the demonic story feels well-suited to the environment. I want to learn more about Bartholomeus and this diseased world. Looking forward to what Ars Goetia reveals for the full launch.
If you love a good story, then you’ll like The Blind Prophet. It’s a noir fiction led by an avenging apostle with a sword. The demo is headed in the right direction, and I think the finished product will be a narrative gem for players to experience.