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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Blanc is a downloadable cooperative puzzle adventure game available on the Nintendo Switch and Windows-based PCs. Players take control of a young wolf cub and a young fawn who find each other after being abandoned in a snowstorm. The duo must work together to overcome obstacles as they try to find their respective families. Players can control both animals in single-player games or play with others in local or online co-op games, with each player controlling the actions of either the cub or the fawn. The game is relatively easy to pick up and play for all ages and skill levels, with a story that includes strong themes of teamwork and friendship.
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What’s It About?
BLANC is tells the emotional tale of a wolf cub and a fawn brought together by fate, and the bond they form together. Players will take control of both animals in single-player play or team up with a friend in local or online co-operative play. Left alone and afraid after a heavy snowstorm, the two unlikely allies find each other and set out to follow the paths their families left behind. As they travel, the duo must find ways to work together to make it through the harsh weather and to overcome all manner of obstacles. Players will make their way through the beautiful hand-drawn world, controlling either the cub or fawn and guiding them through their heartfelt journey.
Is It Any Good?
In a world where games are often filled with flashy effects, grandiose dialogue, and complex gameplay, sometimes there's an elegance and beauty in simplicity that's easy to overlook. With its hand-drawn black and white style, its text free storytelling, and its basic two-button control scheme, Blanc is less about flair and more about heart. The puzzle elements do get the players more involved in the tale, but this feels like less of a game and more like an interactive sketchbook. As the story unfolds, it draws the players deep into a truly emotional experience, and it's an experience that's best shared with others.
Blanc was designed from the ground up as a cooperative game. Sure, players can go solo in the game's single-player mode, but it makes things unnecessarily complicated. Playing solo requires the player to control both animals simultaneously. This can quickly become awkward when the cub and the fawn cross paths and switch sides of the screen. While there is an option in the pause menu to switch roles, having to do so on a regular basis interrupts the otherwise smooth flow and immersion of the game. In contrast, playing with a friend in either same screen local or online play just feels natural. Online play does keep players from communicating vocally, but that non-verbal teamwork fits the narrative perfectly. While the challenge is light and the game is short, with little replay value, it's still a great all ages story that'll tug at the heartstrings.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about cooperative gaming. What are some of the lessons that co-op games can teach kids about working together as a team to overcome obstacles?
How do games like Blanc use unique artistic styles and design to deliver a story, even without saying a word?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Windows
- Pricing structure: Paid ($14.99)
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Gearbox Publishing
- Release date: February 14, 2023
- Genre: Adventure
- Topics: Friendship, Science and Nature, Wild Animals
- Character Strengths: Teamwork
- ESRB rating: E for No Descriptions
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: February 15, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
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Flawed story with mature themes has some fun co-op moments.
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Charming retro-themed game presents maddening challenge.
For kids who love teamwork
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