You may remember a time when computer games were relegated to the realm of text. No sprites, no controllers, just a keyboard and glowing green text. A new iOS game called Blackbar harkens back to the olden days of computer gaming while referencing a modern meme, namely NSA spying and their penchant for blocking out words and sentences in released documents.
Blackbar is a text game: a sci-fi story of a dystopian future told through the medium of word puzzles. Reminiscent of text adventures and interactive fiction, it has a unique mechanic centered around the concept of censorship. Censorship is frustrating, but the human spirit can beat that frustration by turning it into a game. You’ll pick up and understand Blackbar instantly; however, its challenges will keep you searching, thinking, and trying for days.
The game puts the player in the role of Vi, a person who receives letters from a friend who has just accepted a role at the “Department of Communications.” The messages contain blacked out text, which the player then has to fill out as the game progresses. As the sci-fi themed adventure progresses, filling in the blacked out messages becomes more challenging, and like many old-school text games, no hints or clues are offered.
Blackbar is $2.99 in the App Store, and get ready for one hell of a ride.