Black The Fall

PS4, Steam, Switch, Xbox One
2017
4 hours 8.5 / 10
Replay Value
Difficulty

An all-around enjoyable puzzle-platformer, telling a dark and important story about Romanian Communism.

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Overview Black The Fall is an atmospheric, puzzle-platformer which takes place in a world inspired by Romanian Communism. You control a single person, solving puzzles as you try to escape the oppressive dictatorship. Without any dialogue, the story plays out as you work towards your escape, learning more about where you are and the circumstances under which you're living. The story is dark, compelling and carefully constructed. The story drives the gameplay, with new elements consistently working their way into puzzles, making for clean, seamless transitions. The first half of the game takes place indoors, and puzzles are primarily completed with platforming and a fancy laser pointer that can control other humans or hit buttons. In the second half of the game you find an adorable robot pal, akin to a dog, which is used to solve more difficult puzzles and paves a path for new creativity. Each puzzle is unique, requiring a different way of thinking. These puzzles are related to what is going on in the dark and detailed scenes, filled with crisp 3D models and atmospheric lighting.

Gameplay The gameplay is similar throughout -- solve puzzles to progress. Your character can crouch, sprint, and jump, all of which are used to solve different puzzles. Adding to this the laser pointer, and later on the robot, no two puzzles are the same. They each provide an enjoyable challenge, and constantly incorporate new elements. As you make your escape, you are introduced to new areas and learn more about the Communist regime that you are trying to leave. Each area has its own set of satisfying, creative puzzles which get progressively more difficult. The puzzles never get too difficult, but definitely make you plan and think. Deaths can come quick and often, but the respawn times are almost nonexistent, making it easy to jump back in and try again.

Cool Features There are secrets hidden across the game, with each secret rewarding you with an achievement (for those systems that support it). These secrets are carefully hidden and provide dark and interesting new scenes.

Is it for you? Black The Fall is an all-around enjoyable puzzler, telling a dark and important story about Romanian Communism. The story is fascinating to follow and well-done throughout. The puzzles always feel at the perfect difficulty and they're fun to solve no matter the tools you're given. Black The Fall utilizes its four-hour long campaign to tell its compelling story and fit in as many puzzles as possible. There are no dull moments in the game and anyone who enjoys puzzle-platformers -- especially with a dark atmosphere -- should pick this game up.