Tw: Suicide and gore.
Blue Whale is a…weird game, and it is also a creepy one. I’m not entirely sure how to wrap my head around this game given that I can barely tell what it is trying to do. I wouldn’t quite say that it is a bad game but I can’t exactly recommend it due to a variety of reasons.
If one hasn’t caught on based on the title, Blue Whale has the same title as a rumored app that tasks teenagers with tasks meant to wear down their mental state over the course of 50 days until ordering the participant to kill themselves on the final day. There is no concrete proof that such an app ever existed but I do think that a horror adventure title based on a teenage girl playing said game makes for an interesting concept. Unfortunately this game is only loosely based on the rumored app and does not make great use of its premise.
You play as a Russian weeb girl named Midori who gets a message on her social media account inviting her to play the Blue Whale game. This all happens in the first few minutes of the game after opening with a disclaimer that teens committing suicide is bad and they don’t advocate for it. You get a look at Midori’s computer and see exactly what type of girl she is.
Yep, she’s a fujoshi and is therefore suicidally depressed. On top of that, you get a brief look at her not Facebook profile and see a pic that I found familiar.
Ignoring the message from Blue Whale, if one has read my review of Shoujo Tsubaki a while back then that image probably rings a bell. It WAS used in my review after all. Speaking of which, the main character of Shoujo Tsubaki was ALSO a young girl named Midori who kills herself at the end of the movie. Either this is an uncanny coincidence or whoever made this game is the only person on the planet aside from me and Hiroshi Harada that likes this fucked up anime.
Between the references to Shoujo Tsubaki and that stolen Yume Nikki sprites, Blue Whale does a nice job at setting up an atmosphere. The music is especially effective at setting the tone and the sprite work is pretty good. Unfortunately there are two fatal flaws that prevent Blue Whale from being a good game.
The first of these is the fact that there are no save points in this game and it is easy to die. The game is only about thirty minutes long but it still gets annoying to have to start over because the game was not clear about something being a hazard. For instance, there was a steam blockade in the way that kills you if you walk into it without warning and the only way to turn it off is to enter a building with a door that does not actually look like a door and to turn off the switch. The fact that there are no online guides makes this even more frustrating.
The second fatal flaw in this game is that the ending is ambiguous and shows Midori watching a tape with a blue whale on it. There is so much that could have been done with a plot based off a demented suicide game yet Blue Whale chooses to do nothing with it. It is a shame to considering that there was a small bit of potential shown before the game’s ending, and this is what keeps this game from being a Steam Greenlight Landfill entry. Unfortunately I can only recommend this game if it goes on sale for a bout fifty cents or something; just let Blue Whale float on by otherwise.
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