Blind Drive – How To Apply Adrenaline For Audiophiles


The topic of video game accessibility has grown considerably in the last five years, and understandably so. Will I like a specific game that has become less factor in game development? More, can I physically play the game? Are there physical barriers that stop somebody from playing? There’s an entire audience that, either with modification or developer implementation, has begun experiencing the same AAA or indie gems we’ve grown accustomed to. That is truly a beautiful thing to behold, and we should be applauding the industry for taking more significant steps to accommodate this. That aside, a question arose playing Blind Drive. How many are more developers willing to make accessibility the sole game mechanic of their titles? Something perhaps worth pondering for the future.

What is it?

Blind Drive, in and of itself, is a simple game to get to grips with. An arcade-style affair, you have ongoing obstacles to avoid at all times and evolving destinations as you progress. You have only two buttons, the left and right arrow keys, to press at all times. As audio is primarily what the entire game focuses on, the visuals remain minimal. The whole gameplay is based on how good your hearing is. Audiophiles stress headphones for sound quality in music, but you’ll almost definitely need them here. Don’t despair; Blind Drive can be calibrated for airpod users and any wireless aficionados.

You have a HUD detailing your life, score, and how far you’ve driven. Depending on what mode you play on, you’ll also have a bar of light that darts across the screen, either left or right. However, playing on Blindfold mode completely removes everything and arguably serves as a purer experience of the game. Free from visual distraction entirely, it feels like how the game was supposed to be played, but the choice isBlind Drive - HUD still welcome.

There are three difficulty modes. Easy is substantially so and suits the story-driven approach. Medium offers the best balance, a satisfying challenge, and would be the recommended setting for everybody. On the other hand, hard can reach rage-inducing peaks and border the sadistic territory. Its ‘extreme levels of pain’ moniker are no joke. There are secret areas to encounter too, but details remain scarce on finding them.

What’s It Like?

The story revolves around Donnie, an unemployed average Joe, who signs up for a research project to find himself blindfolded and chained up in the driver’s seat of a car. Given instructions from a mysterious voice on the phone, the car starts itself, and Donnie has to navigate the car back to his grandma’s house, expecting him home for dinner. She also calls periodically to make sure he is alright. If the premise sounds bonkers, it’s because it is. You’ll encounter cyclists, ice cream trucks, the police, a psychotic GPS, cows, kamikaze bikers, and a cast of characters that are obliged to get trigger happy. At first glance, Blind Drive has a grindhouse presentation but is absolutely a Jackbox Games-style execution.

Blind Drive is hysterically funny. Occasionally dipping into the surreal, progressing unfolds into all bets are off, anything-can-and-will-happen, escalating scenarios. The dialogue and immersion remain consistently entertaining even with the game’s short duration. The further you drive, new auditory distractions or ways to utilise the minuscule control scheme feel unforced and mostly logical at this point. Also worth mentioning is that everyone except dear old grandma Anita has a mouth like an extra from Casino. The sound design of this game is exemplary. Developer Lo-Fi People have performed an incredible job of making the game’s journey feel like one, with purely audio alone. This has to be one of the titles with the most innovative sound design in gaming.

Blind Drive - Left and Right

What’s Wrong With It?

At least on your first playthrough. Once you’ve beaten Blind Drive, it’s challenging to grasp incentives to replay it. Completionists will have the achievements to go for, but the story no longer has twists or turns to offer. You will be playing for the challenge afterwards, and the dialogue takes a backseat to play the game, which removes a vast part of its appeal. To date, nobody appears yet to have beaten the game without getting hit once.

Not strictly related, but part of that feels down to the audio design where pressing the right button in time requires precise microsecond movement. There were more than a few moments when you crashed because the window to react was so tiny, and it felt nearly impossible to catch it. Even on medium mode, I’d also experienced this a handful of times, and it seemed near inescapable. The point is to create a challenge, understandably, but it bordered on unfair more than once. The audio is just that well designed, even taking damage can set you up for a good old jump scare if unprepared.

Blind Drive - UnderwaterA specific chapter of the game has you listen for a particular sound to avoid spoilers. Something in the spatial design focuses it seemingly more in the middle rather than left or right channels, and it does feel like guesswork trying to pick the correct way. It also falls in the opposite direction from time to time, where the audio cues do feel a little off. This same chapter also doesn’t signpost enough of what you are meant to do. Annoyingly, you can die with all lives intact unexpectedly here. The same applies to aiming for cyclists and ice cream trucks. When you hear the audio, mistiming the button press even by a fraction of a second often results in them being missed, and you can kiss that extra life goodbye.

Should I Play It?

All in all, these criticisms do not detract enough from recommending Blind Drive. Lo-Fi People deserve to be commended for creating a title that innovates in gameplay that few have considered. It is a rare title that offers a unique experience that happens to be hilarious and deceptively testing to boot—a true cult classic in the making and a benchmark for accessibility in games. Adjusting and making allowances provides perseverance after all.

Blind Drive is out now on Steam,, and iOS and Play Store.

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