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.