For the uninitiated, Blackbar is a cross between a puzzle and text based adventure game available on iOS and Google Play. As the player, you are tasked with decrypting redacted letters that reveal Blackbar’s story in an intelligent and unique fashion.
The only way to discovering the truth in Blackbar's story is filling in censored sections of each piece of correspondence correctly. I genuinely felt intrigued and compelled to continue uncovering the hidden details in Blackbar as the story came together. However, the art of the story-telling in Blackbar is at times more interesting than the story itself which has its highs and lows. As a game, it can completed in a single session, provided some of the more unintuitive solutions to puzzles don’t leave you stumped on a page. Unfortunately, those road blocks are likely to happen as Blackbar breaks its rhythm by offering riddles that seem out of place in what started off as a smoothly delivered experience. While it may leave something to be desired, I thought Blackbar was clever and captivating even after some of the initial luster wore off. I would’ve preferred a much longer story, but won’t fault it for being a rather short affair. I only wish the story content and puzzle systems remained more consistent.
Consequently, I gave Blackbar a Milds Davis on the Game Awry Review Scale. Blackbar stands out as an original experience yet falls victim to it's own untapped potential. Artistically, Blackbar belongs in the upper echelon of mobile games despite it's abruptly underwhelming narrative. - Brian Garthoff