Leisurely Strolling Nowhere in Beyond Eyes

Time Spent: 31 Minutes
Initial Impression: Boring
Chance of Revisiting: Slim to None

I’m a huge fan of games such as Gone Home & The Stanley Parable. These games are described as walking simulators because essentially that’s what they are. Gameplay is typically limited to very minor environmental interaction which means that games like these live or die on whether or not the game compels the player to continue forward by way of a strong narrative, interesting environment or in the case of the Stanley Parable, a hilarious narrator.

In the time I spent with Beyond Eyes I encountered none of these things.

You play as a girl named Rae who unfortunately loses her sight at a young age. She eventually befriends a stray cat whom she calls Nani but when the cat ceases to visit Rae decides to go out and find her thus beginning your adventure.

The game plays off the idea that you’re blind by generating the world as you encounter it. This is similar somewhat to how a title like Shape of the World generates its environments but it’s less seemingly organic as that title.

The thing about Beyond Eyes is that it continues to build off the idea of a blind protagonist by perhaps first showing you what Rae perceives to be a wood pecker on a tree, a normally relatively pleasant thing. As you approach though it changes into what the sound actually was which was the tick of a crosswalk and Rae is frightened by sound of the traffic.


You’ll occasionally encounter these “bad” things and you’ll know they’re such based on how Rae reacts and the purple aura that encircles them. The simple object is to move away from them. They can’t kill you as far as I can tell and they seem to serve no other purpose than to direct Rae elsewhere.

So where do you go?

Well in my time I crossed a bridge over a creek and I heard some chickens in a nearby gated area. So I meandered over and opened the gate (an animation that took entirely too long for what was being done) and I walked inside. Rae giggled happily at the chickens and I walked around expecting there to be some reason for me having been able to open the gate and walk in here.

But there wasn’t.

So I meandered back out and continued up the path from the bridge. I should mention before I forget how slow the game’s walking speed is. There is no run button. None. I mean it makes sense that there wouldn’t be since as a blind girl you wouldn’t be gallivanting across the country side but then again, you also wouldn’t go anywhere outside your front yard without a walking stick either so…..  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Navig2015-08-13_00003ating the world can be a bit of a pain. It’s interesting to watch these environments slowly take form as the game’s painterly style really is quite beautiful but all too often do you  run into a bush or a wall that you can’t get through and so you have to turn around and try another way.

You can also get somewhat stuck on the environment as well because when you walk into a surface you can’t interact with or climb over Rae just short of puts her arms up and you clumsily have to turn her around which she struggles to do due to some sort of invisible wall or what not.

Houses and cottages I encountered could not be entered and exploring their front yards yielded no purpose whatsoever.
At the end of my stroll I crossed another bridge over a creek at which point I gazed to my left and saw the bridge I crossed ten minutes earlier.

I had made a full circle through this area for no apparent reason at all.


I was somewhat infuriated to say the least.

As I mentioned before walking simulators live or die on the strength of the narrative, the world or a combination of both.

Looking for my cat is not a compelling enough story for me to keep playing and the world, while gorgeous, isn’t all that interesting.

Also, Rae here and there calling “Nani” gets somewhat annoying.

I’d recommend avoiding this one. It’s a game I feel favors its own concept but forgets to factor in just how infuriating it might be to actually play.

-Kevin Ryan

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