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Before Your Eyes is an interactive afterlife you play by blinking

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Is it a little cliché to say that life often passes by in the blink of an eye? Maybe, but I'll make an exception to talk about Before Your Eyes, a wildly novel narrative adventure game that only progresses when you shut your real, human eyelids.

You'll need a webcam, naturally.

Described as an "interactive afterlife played with real-life blinks", Before Your Eyes is an experimental debut from L.A. indie collective GoodbyeWorld Games. The setup is simple. You're dead. But while you're on your way to the afterlife, the Ferryman would like to help you take stock of how you got here. 

Your life plays out in a series of vignettes, from infancy through childhood, first loves and funerals. The game follows your eyes as you relive scenes, raising contextual cues you can interact with using your peepers. But these are fleeting moments—Before Your Eyes seems to know you can't stare unblinkingly forever. 

When you eventually have to blink, time will pass, and the moment will be lost. Before Your Eyes is, fittingly, a game about life flashing before your eyes. 

It's definitely novel, and I'm very keen to see whether the feature really pans out (though I do worry about skipping half the story over a dry contact lens). I'm also curious whether the game will be playable using more traditional controls. But mostly, I'm just a fan of seeing more games play with the idea of vision in games. Last month, Blind Drive made a convincing pitch for a comedy road trip you can play blindfolded.

Before Your Eyes will launch on Steam on April 8th.

Natalie Clayton

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time—and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and having herself developed critically acclaimed small games like Can Androids Pray, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She's also played for a competitive Splatoon team, and unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.