Dystopian Text-Based Puzzler 'Blackbar' Arrives in App Store

by

Developer Neven Mrgn, one half of The Incident developer Big Bucket Games, has released his new text-based dystopian sci-fi game, Blackbar.

The game, which was co-developed by James Moore of Panic, has similar traits to old text-based adventure games and interactive fiction. Players will become Vi, deciphering a series of letters from Kenty, an employee of the fictional Department of Communication. Letters are filled with blacked out words that must be filled in to progress through the game, eventually leading to a larger conspiracy.

Blackbar is a text game: a sci-fi story of a dystopian future told through the medium of word puzzles. Reminiscent of text adventures and interactive fiction, it has a unique mechanic centered around the concept of censorship. Censorship is frustrating, but the human spirit can beat that frustration by turning it into a game.

You'll pick up and understand Blackbar instantly; however, its challenges will keep you searching, thinking, and trying for days.

blackbar
Our sister site TouchArcade played Blackbar and thought it was a fun and "incredibly interesting" game:

I'm expecting many more twists and turns throughout the story, all based around deciphering the censorship you're being subjected to. It's incredibly interesting so far. As strange as it sounds, just trying to discover what the censored words are is actually really fun too.

Blackbar is available for $2.99 for the iPhone and iPad. [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

gage006 Avatar
97 months ago
Vi? Rather play as Emacs.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hobbbz Avatar
97 months ago

I thought this game looked fun. I downloaded it and seem to have come to the end within only a couple hours of noncontinuous play...a bit spendy at $2.99 if that's really the end. :confused:


A latte at my local coffee shop costs $3.85. That drink entertains me minimally for about 45 minutes.

This game which 2 people put months of work into costs $2.99 and is playable for a couple hours and really tickles your brainparts.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hobbbz Avatar
97 months ago

I was comparing to other iOS games, not other forms of entertainment. I can count on one hand the number of games I've paid more than $1.99 for on iOS. The other games in this category for me were much more involved graphically and took far longer to play through, and thus would have required far greater resources on the creation side than this game.

That said, I did enjoy the game, but I was simply surprised at the short amount of time it took to reach the end. Based on the description saying "its challenges will keep you searching, thinking, and trying for days," I was hoping for something that I could pick up and play for a while over a longer period of time, and this game did not deliver that.


Here's what i put on reddit about it:

If I put my hours into a piece of work, I charge for it.
the only way to change the 99c glut in the app store is to change it. I charge what I do for my work mostly because that's what it's worth and partly to keep away anyone who would pay less.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ahbiteme Avatar
97 months ago
Ending

I got to the screen where I had to enter the character's first name to comply and did so. I thought the ending was pretty weak.

But then I went back and instead of putting in Vi, I put in "NO".

Try it.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheManInBlack Avatar
97 months ago

I've gotten stuck on the one with two three letter words censored and a picture of two women in swimsuits.


you probably won't find anyone who will help you with this one it's close to The End.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
talmy Avatar
97 months ago

Thank you both! :D

----------



When you go on vacation you "xxxx xxxx xxxx xxx" from work. Does that help? ;)


Thanks, that did it!

Just a general observation -- some blanks can be filled in with different words. I quit the program and restarted and some blanks had different words than I used. So there is some flexibility.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

magsafecasedangle

Apple Elaborates on Potential for iPhone 12 and MagSafe Accessories to Interfere With Implantable Medical Devices

Saturday January 23, 2021 2:42 pm PST by
Since the launch of iPhone 12 models in October, Apple has acknowledged that the devices may cause electromagnetic interference with medical devices like pacemakers and defibrillators, but the company has now shared additional information. Apple added the following paragraph to a related support document today:Medical devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators might contain...
Top Stories 44 Feature

Top Stories: 'Thinner and Lighter' MacBook Air, Smaller iPhone 13 Notch, iOS 14.4 Incoming

Saturday January 23, 2021 6:00 am PST by
We continued to hear a lot more about Apple's plans for its Mac lineup this week, including word of a high-end redesigned MacBook Air and the return of an SD card slot as part of the upcoming MacBook Pro redesign. It also sounds like Apple has been working on Face ID for Mac, but it won't be appearing in a redesigned iMac this year as originally planned. This week also saw rumors about the...
bloodoxygenapplewatch

Apple Watch Series 7 Rumored to Feature Blood Glucose Monitoring

Monday January 25, 2021 5:05 am PST by
The Apple Watch Series 7 will reportedly feature blood glucose monitoring via an optical sensor, according to ETNews. The report, which mainly focuses on the blood glucose capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, explains that Apple is intending to bring blood glucose monitoring to the upcoming Apple Watch Series 7 using a non-invasive optical sensor. Measuring blood glucose levels,...
maxresdefault

Microsoft Touts Surface Pro 7 as 'The Better Choice' Over MacBook Pro in New Ad

Saturday January 23, 2021 11:02 am PST by
Microsoft yesterday shared a new ad on YouTube titled "Microsoft Surface Pro 7: The Better Choice," in which the company compares its tablet computer to Apple's 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro, as spotted by MSPoweruser. The ad highlights the Surface Pro 7's touchscreen and included stylus as opposed to only a "little bar" (the Touch Bar) on the MacBook Pro. Other advantages of the Surface Pro 7...
airpods galaxy buds comparison

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro vs. Apple AirPods Pro

Friday January 22, 2021 2:34 pm PST by
Samsung in January unveiled new flagship Galaxy S21 smartphones and alongside the new phones, introduced the $200 Galaxy Buds Pro, which are priced at $199 and offer Active Noise Cancellation. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. These new Galaxy Buds Pro are clearly designed to compete with Apple's AirPods Pro, so we thought we'd compare the two sets of earbuds in our...
2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Bloomberg: Next MacBook Pro to Feature SD Card Reader

Friday January 22, 2021 7:50 am PST by
Last week, reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlined his expectations for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models later this year, including the return of the MagSafe charging connector, the removal of the Touch Bar, a new flat-edged design, and the return of more ports built into the notebooks for expanded connectivity. A concept of a modern MacBook Pro with an SD card reader Kuo did not...
time to walk apple watch

Apple Fitness+ Feature 'Time to Walk' Launching Soon With Audio Stories From Special Guests

Saturday January 23, 2021 7:13 pm PST by
Earlier this week, Apple seeded the watchOS 7.3 Release Candidate, which is typically the final beta version of a software update. The release notes for the update list a new "Time to Walk" feature for Apple Fitness+ subscribers, described as "an audio experience in the Workout app where guests share inspiring stories as you walk." Apple Fitness+ subscribers will be able to open the Workout...
Flat MacBook Air Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on 'Thinner and Lighter' High-End MacBook Air With MagSafe, Could Launch in Second Half of 2021

Friday January 22, 2021 3:34 am PST by
Apple is working on a "thinner and lighter" version of the MacBook Air that the company plans to release during the second half of this year at the earliest or in 2022, according to a new report by well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. It will include Apple's MagSafe charging technology and a next-generation version of the company's in-house Mac processors. Apple has discussed...
q4 2020 mac growth feature

Mac Sales Skyrocketing After M1 Launch

Tuesday January 19, 2021 3:00 am PST by
Apple's worldwide Mac shipments grew massively in the fourth quarter of 2020 after the launch of three new Macs with the M1 chip, according to new PC shipping estimates shared by Gartner. Apple shipped an estimated 6.9 million Macs, up from the 5.25 million it shipped at the same time in 2019, marking significant growth of 31.3 percent. In spite of the growth of Mac sales, Apple remained...
apple time to walk apple watch airpods 01252021 inline

Apple's New 'Time to Walk' Feature Launches Today for Fitness+ Subscribers

Monday January 25, 2021 6:30 am PST by
Apple today officially introduced Time to Walk, a new feature for Apple Fitness+ subscribers with audio stories from influential people that Apple Watch users can listen to with AirPods or other wireless headphones while walking. Time to Walk episodes will be automatically downloaded to the Apple Watch with a Fitness+ subscription, and users can start an episode directly from the Workout...