Blackbar ($2.99) by Neven Mrgan is an interactive text game that takes place in a dystopian future similar to that found in George Orwell’s “1984.” Anyone who has read this novel will find that the science fiction story told through Blackbar is reminiscent of it.
The core concept of Blackbar involves reading text with censored words, and guessing the answer as to what they should say. Seems simple, right? Not only are you uncovering censored words, but doing so will help you piece together a story. The game begins with a letter addressed to Vi, written by Kenty. The reader has no idea who these individuals are, but by reading the letters between them and others, one can piece the clues together to figure out what’s taking place.
The first level begins with only one unknown word. Words are censored because all letters go through the Department of Communication before being received. The only hints provided as to what these words could be are previous letters, or background knowledge. This may come from common every day phrases, or other sources. I obviously don’t want to give away any answers.
Other than this, there isn’t much else to the game. The concept may seem boring, but I can assure you that the story picks up quickly. Through each letter, you’ll find more information about the characters, as well as the Orwellian society they live in. You can flip back to view previous letters, but some of the words you uncovered can become redacted, meaning you’ll have to remember what they were.
Although I’d love to say much more about this game, I really shouldn’t. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, and I don’t think I’ve gotten very far. There’s no indication as to when the game will end, and this keeps things mysterious. It may not seem like much, but Blackbar is one of those games you just have to try. If you do, you’ll probably grow to love it.
Blackbar is a universal app, and is available in the App Store for $2.99.