For those looking for a short game to play with a friend, look no further than French indie game studio Casus Ludi’s “Blanc,” which was released on Feb. 14 to the Nintendo Switch and Windows computers.
“Blanc” tells a story of two unlikely friends – a wolf cub and a fawn – helping each other find their way back to their families. Over the course of roughly two hours, players will traverse the snowy landscape, complete minor puzzles and make new furry friends along the way.
At first, the fawn and cub seem weary of each other, but the duo quickly become friends after realizing they share a similar motive of wanting to be reunited with their families.
While the gameplay is simple, “Blanc” still captivates the player with stunning visuals, a heartfelt story, and loveable characters.
The puzzles are typically easy to solve, but they are adorable. As the wolf cub and fawn become more familiar with one another, they learn new ways to help each other get past an obstacle, whether it be from the deer using itself as a sort of stepping stool for the wolf to jump onto places they otherwise couldn’t reach or the wolf using its sharp teeth to cut a rope to release something for the deer.
“Blanc” can be played by only one person. However, it is at its best playing with a friend, whether they are joining through online co-op play or local co-op on the same console. Playing “Blanc” alone, you must control both the wolf cub and fawn characters and it can get a bit finicky.
The storytelling in “Blanc” is well done, for the most part. Even though there is no dialogue throughout the game, it is still easy to become attached to the wolf, deer and the animal friends they meet along the way.
The beginning of “Blanc” is a masterclass in visual storytelling, but the cracks start to show in the game’s last few chapters. “Blanc” is composed of 10 chapters, and after completing chapter seven and loading into chapter eight, the duo is found falling out of a pipe – seemingly somewhere they had taken shelter from a massive snowstorm.
This feels like a massive jump in the story and like a level may have been cut from the game. While it is only speculation, all the other chapters had a flow between them that made sense. We were never left wondering how the wolf and deer got to a new location. This sense of fluidity is missing in the intro cutscene of chapter eight.
The final two chapters also feel a bit shorter and more rushed than some of the earlier levels. While this certainly isn’t a dealbreaker, and “Blanc” was still a joy to play, it is still a bit disappointing to imagine what might have been cut from the game.
“Blanc” isn’t a perfect game. It has a few flaws and aspects to it that feel unpolished, but the pros still easily outweigh the cons, and for $14.99, it is worth picking up. It is a short but enjoyable experience and is a clear passion project from Casus Ludi.