Before Your Eyes is an emotional first person narrative adventure which tells the story of a soul’s journey into the afterlife using your real-life blinks.
The story begins after Benny’s death, aboard the ship of a mythical Ferryman tasked with shepherding souls to the afterlife. In order to help you pass on, he must first learn the story of Benny’s life. And so, he sends them back to relive his most important moments.
The game adopts a unique mechanic, where every time you blink, you progress the story.
By using your webcam, the game fully immerses you within the story, allowing you to control the narrative whilst blinking through the most important memories of Benny’s life.
Whilst we can’t give away too many details, we wanted to write a short note below that has spoilers, to emphasize why Before Your Eyes deserves to be on our mental health related games list. Please only read further if you have played the game, or do not mind reading spoilers for Before Your Eyes.
The heavy themes within this game are not initially obvious, as you essentially play two versions of this game without realising it. The narrative tackles childhood trauma, chronic illness and death in such a powerful and emotional way.
As you progress within the game, it is revealed that the player’s memories aren’t exactly what they seem to be, but are in fact a romanticised version of what life could have been like. As a player, you take on the task of slowly uncovering repressed memories from Benny’s childhood, learning the truth behind his life and death.
The most striking thing that I (Rosie) found, was the feeling of desperately trying to hold onto the moments of joy within the game. Integrating blinking into this was incredibly clever, as it stressed the urgency and short-lived nature of these moments within a bleak time.