If you’re a couple that games together, a good co-op experience might be part of your regular date night plans. Games like It Takes Two are excellent choices for couples, though great local multiplayer games like that aren’t exactly common. Fortunately, a good option just landed on Nintendo Switch and PC in the form of Blanc.
Blanc is a short co-op game about a wolf cub and a fawn who find themselves pairing up to navigate a snowstorm. It’s a relatively straightforward adventure game revolving around simple puzzle-solving that requires some communication between partners. It’s most unique feature, though, is its lovely handcrafted art, which translates black-and-white 2D drawings into 3D.
If I were reviewing Blanc outside of the context of a “date game,” I’d have a fair amount to critique. Interactions are fairly limited, as the main difference between the two characters is that one can pull objects while the other can push. The only other nuance is that the fawn can boost the pup up to high places, but none of those systems get used with much complexity. I also experienced a fair share of performance issues on Switch, with choppy frame rates taking away from its striking art. It can also be hard to make out where you can move to or what objects you can jump on due to that art design.
All that said, Blanc kind of fits the bill for a date night perfectly. That lack of puzzle complexity I mentioned might make the experience shallow for seasoned gamers looking for a challenge, but its much better-suited for a casual setting. It’s unlikely that you’ll run into many spots where you’re staring at the screen unsure of what to do next. Each player knows their role, which makes it easy to communicate who needs to go where and do what. If a door needs to be dragged open, that’s the pup’s cue. If a barrel needs to be pushed aside, send in the fawn.
Its light story makes it an especially sweet date pick. It essentially plays out like a Disney animated short, with the unlikely woodland friends helping other animals through the storm. At one point, the pair needs to help escort a goose’s children across a windy cliffside by shielding them as they waddle. It’s all very cute and earnest, so you don’t have to sit in fear that it’s about to go Old Yeller on you. It’s strictly a game about partnership and paying the benefits of it forward.
Though what’s perhaps most crucial here is it’s short length. Clocking in at around two hours, Blanc can essentially be completed in the time it would take you to watch a sappy romance movie. That means you won’t need to coordinate when the two of you are both free to continue the story. You can play it together in one sitting and use the extra time to do … whatever else you’re looking to do on Valentine’s Day.
Blanc is available now on Nintendo Switch and PC.
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