An unlikely pairing of two young critters who would usually be prey and predator or just would never really cross paths, is a classic story, but oh boy is it cute. Think classic Disney tales like The Fox and the Hound, Bambi, The Lion King or The Jungle Book. There’s a reason this works so well as it connects to our emotions, and tugs on the heartstrings in some cases. And Blanc solidifies itself as another addition to this adorableness, but this time in a game format as opposed to on the big screen!
Blanc follows an unlikely friendship between a fawn and a wolf pup who have become separated from their families and are now stranded in the snowy wilds. The pair have to work together in order to follow the footprints left behind by their respective species and make their way home. The story is broken up into 10 chapters, with the full game cutting in at around two and a half hours. I found the whole atmosphere of Blanc to be very therapeutic which was great for a relaxed gaming evening, but it also didn’t let down on emotional moments either. Blanc featured heartfelt and emotionally charged sections and those that truly tugged on the heartstrings, which is quite impressive given its short playtime! The story is simple with a clear objective, but to be honest it was still effective especially considering the next point.
What I really liked about Blanc is that it is a co-op title with one player controlling the fawn and the other being the wolf pup, which can be played locally or online with a friend. It’s not often that you find a local co-op title these days, so this was a welcome addition. Therefore, I feel like Blanc is perfect for both a long-distance gaming session and if you have a physical gathering, especially as it has a short playtime. Blanc is very much a social game, which makes the story’s clear objective easy to work towards.
The visuals in Blanc are a complete winner. Firstly, the fawn and wolf pup are both absolutely adorable, which is amplified by the beautiful hand-drawn black and white design style which works efficiently with the 3D landscape and character movements. It is elegantly animated, you can tell the team put a lot of love and care into the development as it never looked awkward and the dynamic actions didn’t look off when moving around the environment. Blanc also sports calming music and a soundtrack that amplifies each situation which magnificently accompanies the therapeutic and atmospheric visuals.
One main takeaway from Blanc is that teamwork is key! The game requires you to work together in order to progress the story and complete tasks. The fawn has the ability to push objects whereas the wolf pup can pull objects, and the fawn can also later duck down in order to give the wolf pup a boost onto higher platforms. This becomes essential in the cute animal-themed missions such as when there is another stuck fawn and wolf pup as well as when you have to escort the goat kids. Each player will have a corresponding kid and fawn or wolf pup that will mimic their actions, so you have to pay attention to what objects you are up against as well as your stranded pal! The environment plays a key role in Blanc as the unforgiving blizzards and winds are a driving force in the task of escorting the goslings to shelter where you act as a barrier against the winds. This mission picks up in difficulty where both players have to again work together by ‘catching’ the goslings from each other across different sides of a shrub. It is fun and keeps teamwork as a priority otherwise you’ll never progress.
Luckily, the controls are very easy to get a hang of, but the puzzles in Blanc still keep you thinking about how to advance so the gameplay doesn’t ever feel dull. I also really enjoyed the ‘sliding’ mechanic where you essentially become a sledge and slide down the snow-covered hills, it was a small touch but it was a lot of fun especially as you are playing co-op. The only criticism of Blanc was that during our playthrough, we did encounter a couple of glitches such as being stuck in the jumping mechanic with no way to get off of it, which did mean we had to reboot the game. This is the only reason it hasn’t achieved a higher score. Although annoying, it didn’t distract from the overall gameplay or experience, so hopefully, any glitches like this will be corrected with an early patch.
Overall, I found Blanc to be a charming game that is great for all ages and occasions from date nights to family game nights. I personally played it as an online date night and it was great fun especially as the short playtime meant we could run through the whole game in an evening. It’s short but sweet and I feel like dragging out the story further would take away from the experience as it’s a linear narrative. The visuals were astounding and like nothing I’d encountered before, with the story genuinely feeling heartwarming, innocent, and tear-jerking.
Blanc was also featured in our roundup for couch co-op games that are better with buddies, so be sure to check that out!
Holly played Blanc on PC with a review code.