Another Sight Review – Stumbling in the Dark
Another Sight is a narrative-driven puzzle platformer set at the tail-end of the 1800s. It’s Victoria-era London, and the industrial age is ramping up. You play as Kit; a well-spoken and proper teenage girl who, following a mysterious fall into the London underground, loses her vision.
Accompanied by an equally mysterious cat named Hodge, it’s your job to safely guide Kit back to the surface by venturing through a wondrous underground world.
Another Sight Review
Another Sight starts out with strong Alice in Wonderland vibes; a mysterious magical land; a seemingly all-knowing cat; and a lost girl.
Whilst exploring a tunnel, the floor underneath Kit suddenly collapses and she finds herself in a strange place somewhere below the London Underground. Lost and confused, this is where she meets Hodge; a strange, yet intelligent and helpful cat.
Kit’s desire to return to the surface, as well as her need to return to her father, is what drives the narrative. Along the way, Kit and Hodge meet a cast of colourful real-world characters (Claude Monet, Nikola Tesla, and Helena Blavatsky, etc.) who either seek to help Kit or use her to advance their own agenda.
Aside from the Victoria-era writing and delivery, Another Sight’s plot is rather enjoyable; one filled with intrigue and mystery. The voice acting, especially the actress playing Kit, really channels that 1800s style of speaking; therefore, it can either be really annoying or pleasant. It all depends on how you feel about the Queen’s English.
Lost in the Maze
Another Sight’s gameplay is a continuous loop of puzzle solving and platforming (with some stealth thrown in for good measure). There’s almost zero combat and as a result, the game feels slow-paced and sluggish.
To help keep things interesting, Another Sight allows you to control both Kit and Hodge. By pressing the right shoulder button, players can swap between both characters in order to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles.
Both Kit and Hodge have their respective strengths; for instance, Hodge can leap, jump and bounce to great heights; whilst Kit can activate levers and hulking machinery.
Eyes in the Dark
More than that, however, Hodge also serves as Kit’s (as well as the player’s) eyes in the dark. As I mentioned above, Kit’s fall essentially blinded her; though she retains the ability to ‘see’ her immediate surrounding, sounds, and Hodge.
Translated to gameplay, this means the game screen is almost entirely black save for Hodge’s location; areas around objects emitting sound; a small bubble surrounding Kit herself.
Creating a video game where blindness is a mechanic would definitely be challenging. My hat goes off to developers Lunar Great Wall Studios for crafting Another Sight‘s unique gameplay elements to this effect.
Kit’s inability to see beyond two feet in front of her makes for an isolating experience; one that translates directly to the player. Like Kit, you too are unable to see the environment around you, making exploration all the more difficult.
Trust Me, I’m a Cat
Thankfully, you can survey new areas by swapping over to Hodge. Unlike when controlling Kit, Hodge allows players to see the entire environment; thereby making exploration and navigation a lot easier.
As Hodge, you can survey the surrounding area and figure out where to go; reach great heights and activate switches to allow passage for Kit; as well as act as a sort of beacon for her.
Kit’s move-set is extremely limited. She can climb ladders, activate switches and perform jumps; but only if she can see in front of her. Pressing one of the controller face buttons, Kit will call out to Hodge; who’ll respond with a little meow.
Aside from being very cute, this causes Hodge to ‘light up’, thereby allowing Kit to see him. It’s a helpful little mechanic that serves to direct Kit; as well as quicken her walking pace. By default, Kit’s walk is rather slow (as would yours, if you were blind); however, her pace becomes swifter if she is able to ‘see’ where she’s going.
Fumble in the Dark
While the ability to ‘see’ is welcomed, playing as Hodge detracts from the overall experience of the game. Another Sight‘s approach to blindness has been well considered and implemented pretty well.
Translating the feeling of being blind into a video game is not something many developers have attempted; but here, developers Lunar Great Well Studios, have achieved something special.
I would had liked to have played as Kit for the entire game. While her movement is slow-paced, and at times quite boring, it would have been a far more enriching and empathetic experience. The ability to switch between two characters; one who can see and one who can’t, almost cheapens the ideas behind the game.
However, I can appreciate why Kit and Hodge are both playable. It makes Another Sight‘s puzzles more accessible; though they can be pretty challenging at times.
As I mentioned above, there’s no combat in Another Sight. Rather, your time will be spent solving a string of puzzles that become more and more difficult.
While most puzzles are basically your standard ‘find the switch to open the door’ variety, they’re actually pretty well-designed and clever. The more interesting ones are when you need to find new ways to guide Kit through the environment; be that by using Hodge, or activating
A lot of the time, however, you’ll be playing as Hodge and navigating him through awkward platforming areas in order to push a switch. Being a cat, Hodge can leap and bound, though the precision of said jumps is often imprecise.
This makes platforming sections frustrating and, in most cases, annoying as you can never be sure if Hodge is going to grab hold of; or even land on a ledge.
Another Sight could have been something truly special.
Its unique gameplay elements really, I think, captures what it would be like to be blind. This is something other video games have attempted, yet failed at doing.
Playing as Kit, I felt isolated and scared because I was unable to see the world around me. As the player, this was a profound experience because it took away my sight; it got me thinking about how life is like for those who are blind in the real world.
But instead, Another Sight pairs the player are with a secondary character who can see. This detracts from everything the development team achieves with Kit’s gameplay; cheapening it by giving players an ‘easy mode’, as it were.
Still, Another Sight is a reasonably enjoyable adventure for those enjoy puzzle-solving and listening to the Queen’s English.
Another Sight was reviewed on PS4 with a digital code provided by the publisher.
Game title: Another Sight
Unique "blindness" gameplay - 9/10
Two-character dynamic cheapens unique gameplay elements - 4/10
Intricate puzzles to solve - 8/10
Slow-pace gets dull - 5/10