The Blind Griffin suggested to me by Chic Pixel for #DatingSimonth was a rather interesting foray into the world of Otome! Previously I had dabbled in Hatoful Boyfriend and Katawa Shoujo, but never to the extent of playing through them multiple times to unlock different paths and endings.
#DatingSimonth was a chance for me to broaden the types of videogames I play. I find myself gravitating to mainly JRPG’s and while I enjoy them immensely, they are a large commitment and time-sink. The Blind Griffin was a change of pace as there was no grinding, no boss fights and no ‘missable loot’. It was just me focusing on the story and the character dynamics, and as to me, story is the most important aspect of a game so playing through a game that consists solely of story was an amazing experience.
There will be occasional ending spoilers throughout this piece.
The Blind Griffin sets place in 1920’s America. It touches on important issues of that time such as racism and prohibition (the banning of production and sale of alcohol). As the main character, you stumble upon The Blind Griffin, a speakeasy home to the cast of the game. Unemployed and homeless, you take them up their job offer as the front of house and bartender. Soon after, you realise that The Blind Griffin is struggling to stay afloat due to the fact that the residents are all magicians who are more interested in their own magical endeavours than the speakeasy itself. Faced with the challenge of learning the ropes at The Blind Griffin, and the discovery that you too are a magician who in three months will need to take a test to see if you can control your magic; failure resulting in the loss of memory of everything that has happened, it is therefore up to the three very available bachelors of The Blind Griffin to teach you everything they know.
The Blind Griffin will always be remembered as the first otome game that I ever completed. I downloaded it on a whim and did not read the story before the purchase. This led to me not knowing about the mature content throughout the game. As soon as I played I took a liking to Emilio and was taken aback when I received his ‘Cycle of Revenge’ ending. I never expected the man I was attempting to woo to accidentally murder a woman and child and then be executed. I sat and stared at the screen for a good five minutes wondering if I wanted to go on. I stuck with it and was rewarded with many lovely endings involving Emilio, Alexei and Giovanni. Admittedly by the end of the game Alexei had become my favourite. He’s serious and devoted but easy to crack. His embarrassment as being caught in a state of undress was absolutely adorable.
The quality of the game surprised me. I went in with no expectations as The Blind Griffin was free with a payment option if you wish to do so. If you pay over $1 you are rewarded with a digital art-book that consists of over 50 pages of character development, location artwork and notes from the developers of the game. I opened the art-book before playing the game and was amazed at the detail and love that went into the game.
Once I loaded The Blind Griffin up I was met with the beautiful artwork I had already seen in the art-book. What I really appreciated was the inclusion of old American slang and a glossary that included all of their meanings. This was helpful as a few of the terms I knew but often I didn’t. All I had to do was click on the word itself and the witty definition would appear. The glossary was also accessible in the main menu.
I had a wonderful experience throughout my time with The Blind Griffin. There was nothing that I experienced that I did not enjoy. The game was meticulously detailed, and so well-polished that I am glad that I chose it as my first otome game. For balance though, if I had to mention a negative it would be that I did not see enough romance between the characters. The romance started to develop and then it time skipped to where they were already together. However I was still happy with the true endings for all three characters.
You can read more about The Blind Griffin and download it here. As a free download you have nothing to lose by giving it a try! In saying that The Blind Griffin is definitely worth your support.