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Video Game / Beyond Eyes

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Beyond Eyes is a 2015 Environmental Narrative Game for PC, Xbox One and Play Station 4, developed by Dutch indie game studio Tiger & Squid, and published by Team17. You play as a girl named Rae walking around serene, nearly deserted suburban environments in search for her lost cat, Nani. The twist? She is blind, so she has to rely on other senses to explore the world around her, which are represented as a dream-like pastel-colored landscape that shifts and morphs around Rae as she learns more about it.

There are no enemies, nor any puzzles more complex than "bring object A to point B". It is perhaps one of the definite examples of the phrase "walking simulator" as nearly the entire gameplay consists of slow, cautious walking. It is, however, beautiful, inspirational, and just short enough not to wear out its welcome.

This game provides examples of:

  • Anti-Frustration Features: Rae can't see and therefore can't be sure of anything she isn't close enough to touch... but she does seem to be blessed with excellent memory and the ability to perfectly estimate distances, since anything she has explored remains visible for the player.
  • Arcadia: The game is set in a beautiful pastoral landscape with old stone walls, arches, fields and farm animals.
  • Art Game
  • Beautiful Void: There are very few other humans around, and all but one of them ignore Rae's presence. (The one who doesn't, a girl named Lily of about Rae's age, eventually befriends Rae in the end.) The world just looks... almost abandoned. There are, however, animals and birds aplenty, some of them used as obstacles. Also a more literal example in that unexplored areas appear as empty white space.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Nani is gone, but Rae finds a new, human friend.
  • Creepy Crows: Rae certainly thinks so.
  • Determinator: Being blind, Rae is challenged even by mundane obstacles that would pose no problem to a non-handicapped person, such as road traffic and dogs. Still, she pushes through in her quest to be reunited with Nani.
  • Deus ex Machina: Very minor (and justified) example when a scary dog blocking Rae's path is called away by its owner.
  • Empathic Environment: Justified, as the visuals are woven by Rae's imagination. The most obvious example of this trope is the colors getting muted and darker when Rae is afraid.
  • Environmental Narrative Game
  • Excuse Plot: Your cat is gone, go find it! And then there's the twist in the end...
  • Fog of War: The unexplored white void. It temporarily gets worse in Chapter 5, where rain obscures everything except objects in the closest vicinity, even erasing previously visited areas.
  • Free-Range Children
  • Gray Rain of Depression: It's not actually that gray, but it does subdue the otherwise vibrant colors, and is indeed quite depressing.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Alongside walls and believably tall fences, these act as zone boundaries. You cannot jump and can only climb over a few scripted obstacles, so that is a given. Impassable bushes, uncrossable streams, unclimbable benches, and sometimes gaps just too narrow to walk through...
  • Mordor: The road is initially represented in a way that calls this trope to mind. Of course, once Rae finds the zebra crossing she proceeds to Walk into Mordor
  • Minimalism
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending: In the end, Rae finds Nani dead, seemingly making her entire journey have been for nothing. However, later Lily, a girl she met along the way, comes to visit her.
  • Scenery Porn: As expected for the genre.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: You can be a Friend to All Living Things if you choose to, feeding a cow, ducks, and befriending an angry dog.