"We learn to live when we learn to give each other what we need to survive..."
Blanc is a short adventure game centered around the unlikely cooperation between a young wolf and deer. They have been separated from their families and must help each other (and others) on their quest to find them. The beauty of this game is not only this touching story, but also the hand-drawn art style of the visuals. Blanc is presented in a unique way in which there is no dialogue or reading, just context clues and emotion.
The game starts out with the wolf waking up to discover his family is gone. He sets out to find them when he finds the deer, who is also all alone. They start their relationship off on rocky terms. When the wolf gets too close to the deer, he growls and barks at him. However, as the two continue their journey, they grow closer.
The pair travel a long way to find their families, and in doing so find many obstacles to face and other animals they should help. Both the deer and wolf have different ways they can help each other through their obstacles. The deer can push objects and help the wolf reach higher places, while the wolf can pull objects and make it through small spaces.
An example of helping other animals is when the deer and wolf come across a duck whose ducklings can’t cross a couple of paths because of the strong wind. The deer and wolf use their bodies to prevent the wind from blowing over the ducklings as they cross the paths.
You are given a helpful tutorial on the game’s controls and restrictions at the beginning. Speaking of restrictions, there is no way to move the camera. This can be a bit annoying at certain times in the game, but it wasn’t too much of a problem overall. Blanc can be played either solo or with two people (locally or online), though I highly suggest you play with a partner; it’s much easier that way, and more fun as well.
I did face a couple interface troubles while playing, but these could also just be blamed on precision issues. There were a few times where I needed to jump or interact with an object and I couldn’t do so unless I was in a very specific position, which can be hard to figure out. There was also one point in which I was to open a door, and couldn’t, so I had to restart the game. Blanc does auto-save every so often, so this wasn’t a major problem.
As stated before, Blanc is displayed with a hand-drawn style that adds a very comforting story-book vibe to the game. It’s played entirely in black and white, which also adds to the division of the deer and wolf, as one is white and the other is black. The music is also very vital to the game; since there is no dialogue, it helps the players to understand the emotion of what’s happening. Everything is very beautifully done and works so well to convey its message and moral, even with no words.
In Blanc, two characters who are supposed to hate each other are able to come together and even form a friendship. The game tells us that hate is something that’s taught, not instinctual, and that makes for a very comforting, encouraging experience.
Review: Blanc (Nintendo Switch)
Blanc provides a short but charming co-op adventure experience as you (and hopefully a friend) help a wolf and a deer find their families and assist other animals along the way. The black and white, hand-drawn style enhances the touching story of this unlikely pair coming together to help one another.