Blanc Review: The Calm After the Storm

Blanc Review

Blanc is a comforting tale of two unlikely friends, featuring a wolf cub and a fawn who are trying to find their way home. Lost in a heavy snowstorm with unknown challenges ahead, two players must work together to reunite the young animals with their families. 

There is something romantic and serene about a snowy landscape. The simplicity of the designs and the choice of a monochrome palette captured the essence of calm perfectly. Although being stranded in a snowstorm in actuality is devastating, the feeling I got from Blanc was warmth. Despite the two animals being complete opposites, they used their differences as strengths to help each other. This was a cozy co-op game perfect for two. With a Valentine’s release date, there is nothing better than spending a cold winter night indoors with your favorite person. 

A Journey For Two

Blanc is available for local and online play, which gives players the flexibility to enjoy with someone they’re not physically with. Partnership is key when it comes to succeeding in Blanc. The fawn is too large to fit into small openings, but the wolf cub can crawl through holes. On the other hand, the fawn can jump high while the cub relies on the fawn to boost him up. There are other mechanisms available in the game later on, such as the ability to push and pull objects and block the wind for other animals. Each new level brings a slightly different challenge and the need for cooperation only gets stronger.

If you are playing locally, it is easy to tell your partner, “Hey, let me up here”. There is also a button you can use for your character to call for help. This allows the other player to know you’re stuck without having to vocalize your need. This function can be useful if you’re playing with someone online but aren’t on a call with them. 

Blanc was very easy to learn and suitable for all ages. Even my partner, who rarely touches the Nintendo Switch, was able to figure out the controls immediately. The puzzles were also logical and difficult enough to keep both of us engaged. It could have been more challenging, but that would defeat the purpose of being both accessible and entertaining.

There weren’t a lot of instructions provided, but luckily newly introduced tasks helped set the expectations for the next level. Most of the time, we had to rely on our problem-solving and intuition to figure things out. There’s also some observation required, so take note of your surroundings and current circumstances. It helps to talk it out (if you can), but it’s also fun to try to succeed without thinking too hard. 

Overcoming Challenges Together

It was a comforting experience and even frustrating moments did not cause much grief. We never got punished for failing to perform a task, but it can be annoying to keep failing all the time. There were times we circled around trying to find our path, but nothing bad happens if you take too long to do the right thing. Sometimes you may have to perform the same action over and over again until you get it. There will be levels where it feels repetitive and tedious, but once you clear the obstacle there’s a sense of accomplishment that you can share with your loved one.

One of the biggest challenges I found with Blanc was the camera angle. Due to its layout and navigation, the camera perspective could feel awkward sometimes. There were moments when I couldn’t gauge the height or distance of an object, or even find the aperture to crawl into. After looking around for more clues, I then realize I could have jumped to the other side of the ravine. Fortunately, most of the time it will display how you can interact with the object. This quickly eliminated whether the object could be moved or if it was only there for aesthetics. However, it isn’t always obvious so a little exploration is still required. 

The Calm After the Storm

In a world where so many co-op games are funny and chaotic, Blanc stood out in a quiet and impressive way. Within minutes of starting the game, my partner and I already felt relaxed. Although some moments made me question my eyesight, nothing was stopping me from doing more exploring instead. Blanc presented a perfect balance between storytelling and play, telling a heartwarming tale while offering the right amount of challenge in its puzzles. 

I played this with my partner and we both enjoyed the experience. The artwork, the ease of controls, and the pleasant scenery made game night feel relaxing. Most of Blanc required teamwork and nothing was difficult enough to cause any arguments. It was a welcome change of pace from the co-op games we were used to. Plus, the cute protagonists resembling our little puppy certainly added to the “aww” factor. 

With every new landscape and puzzle, you can feel the love that went into the development of this game. Available for both local and online play, you can enjoy this with your loved ones in the same room or from far away. Blanc is here for you to take this journey together.

***A Nintendo Switch code was provided by the publisher***

The Good

  • Comforting and fulfilling
  • Gorgeous landscapes and visuals
  • Local and online multiplayer available

The Bad

  • Repetitive tasks 
  • Some awkward camera angles