By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on September 1, 2016
First day of school, first day of school, first day of school! Some kids are excited, others a bit scared. Whatever the case may be, the first day of school is one to remember. The first time you're really away from your parents, you have to listen to a strange adult called a teacher and if you're lucky, you make some new friends.
The first day of school for Ian, our protagonist, is a bit different. Actually, everything is a bit different for Ian, because he is blind. Together with guide dog North he enters his new school. The principal is waiting for him and after some slightly awkward comments he shows you to your classroom. He leaves you there to take a look around and asks you to come to the gym in a couple of minutes.
It's a pretty special day for the school as well. Today is the day that they are going to open messages, drawings and presents from students who went to the same school fifty years ago. There are also some slides, which they are going to watch together. And that's when all hell breaks loose!
Your classmates are turning into zombielike creatures! Ian really wants to leave his school as quick as possible and preferably in one piece. But that could be a problem. You won't hear me saying that blind people are completely helpless, but I think we can all agree this thing is more difficult to do without sight. And that's where you, the player, comes in.
Yes, in this game you're not playing as Ian himself; instead, you take the role of Ian's trusty guide dog North. North can walk, crouch, run and, of course, bark. You can guide Ian or walk by yourself. But beware! Make sure you leave Ian in a safe place, so the other zombie kids can't reach him. And make sure you don't leave him alone for too long or he will be scared.
Though the school is filled with zombies, it's not a horror game with gore and jump scares. Actually, it's a non-violent game. Instead of slaying zombies with chainsaws and shotguns, it's the trick to maneuver Ian and North through the zombie-filled hallways. As North, you can bark to lure zombies your way and then dodge them and bring Ian to safety.
This, however, is easier said than done. I got caught more than once, I have to admit. It's difficult to choose a safe way and avoid the zombie kids. I struggled to find the safe way, distract the zombies and get back to Ian before he got scared all at the same time. And to be honest, sometimes it didn't feel fair that when I enter a classroom, it was filled with zombie kids and I even didn't even get the chance to make my way out of there before getting caught. But then again, no one ever said that avoiding zombies had to be easy, right?
The graphics of this game are fine, not mind-blowing, but good. Most of the time, the game is a bit dark with just enough light to see where you are going and where your opponents are. Instead of growling zombies covered with blood, there are nice looking children in normal clothing, but with glowing, bright eyes. And most of the time it's quiet. I think that suits the situation here, because you'll have to sneak around quite a bit.
For the fans of collectibles in a game, there's some good news. There is more to the story then you would think when you first start this game. During the game you can find several tapes which contain pieces of stories about other people. So it's not only about Ian and his dog. There's much, much more to discover.
As far as I'm concerned, Sindie Games and Soedesco have done a great job bringing this game into the world. It's refreshing to play a non-violent videogame and I had so much fun! Sure, it was quite difficult from time to time, but I think that's what makes this game interesting. So put your brain to work and stay loyal, stay alive!