Title: The Blind Griffin
Company: Asphodel Quartet
Release date: April 4th, 2015
Genre: Historical Fantasy,
Synopsis: “It’s the roaring 20’s. Alcohol- loving Americans are chafing underneath the restrictions of Prohibition, but speakeasies have thankfully risen to fill the void with ill-begotten booze. The Blind Griffin is one such speakeasy in San Francisco, California, but it’s about to go out of business….because its employees are a den of magicians who are more concerned with their magical studies and experiments than moonshine! Desperate not to lose the building that has become their haven, they hire the first streetsmart guttersnipe they find with some experience to help turn things around, but could she perhaps turn out to be the strongest magician of them all?” (From: itch.io)
You play as “the youngest child of a large Chinese family who had to make herself useful from a young age and thus never received any formal education. Practical, street-smart, and no nonsense. For some reason, you hate your actual name so you go by the name you set.” (From: itch.io)
Characters you can romance (descriptions quoted from: itch.io) :
“The speakeasy’s premier violinist. He moonlights as a saxophone player but he’s awful at it (nobody tells him). The laid-back older brother of the group and widely regarded to be the strongest magician of the coven, Gino takes the safety of the group as a whole very seriously. Specializes in earth magic”.
“The displaced nobleman. He and his family were part of the Russian imperial court, but had to emigrate to America after the revolution. Though he acts cold towards people he’s unfamiliar with and comes off as blunt and awkward at first, he is actually kind at heart and easily flustered. Specializes in water/ice magic.”
“The working class baby of the group. Emilio is the most junior member of the coven until the heroine arrives. His family runs a small bistro, but they barely make ends meet. His bad experiences with non-mages have put a chip on his shoulder and added fuel to his already hot-tempered, megalomaniacal tendencies. Specializes in fire magic.”
To be honest, I had been putting off playing this game for such a long time (it had been sitting in my laptop for months). I now regret not having played it sooner. The story-telling within this game is interesting to say the least. They provide a glossary for words that were only available during that time—however, there are certain terms that you can guess what they mean since they more or less have the same meaning as the lingo we use nowadays. The art itself is good (not the best art, but it’s certainly not the worst). You certainly feel like you’re living back in the 20s. Of course, depending on the choices you make, you have certain outcomes. One thing I wasn’t expecting is that certain choices can have you experience the story in the other characters’ perspective. I love how they also used certain phrases in the character’s language (I actually laughed when I saw the protagonist curse in Chinese and Emilio suddenly speak in Spanish). The overall diversity is well-balanced.
With that being said, there are things that make it seem short-lived. You can only be with the men of the game. I was hoping that you could be with the women (one cis-gender and one trans) because at one point, it made it seem that way. You also can barely see the difference story-wise, but then again, it’s made by an indie game developer so it’s not that bad. There are also certain triggering topics so player discretion advised.
With that being said, I give “The Blind Griffin” three paws out of five 🐾 🐾 🐾. This is certainly a nice experience set in the past. I do recommend this if you ever have the chance. I hope you enjoyed reading this. Until next time. Keep your paws and bowls of ramen up, everyone! Nya! 🐾