Blanc review: Puzzle-solving co-op is infuriatingly adorable

Gearbox /

Title: BlancBlanc review: Puzzle-solving co-op is infuriatingly adorable
Developer: Casus Ludi
Publisher: Gearbox Publishing
Platforms: Nintendo Switch (reviewed on), Microsoft Windows
Release Date: February 14, 2023

In Gearbox Publishing’s new title, Blanc, you and a friend play as a wolf cub and a little fawn trying to find their way back home during a huge winter storm. A puzzle solving extravaganza that gets slightly more complex as you progress in the story, it’s set in a beautifully hand-drawn and frozen world.

There are ten chapters in the game, running about 2 to 3 hours to complete the whole game, depending on how stuck you get in the increasingly complex activities.

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Though the game seems simple enough, the controls and automatic camera add a layer of complexity and, often, frustration to the game play. Blanc is a co-op game, but if you do choose the solo route, you will have to control both animals with the different halves of the joy-cons, which is extremely challenging.

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Each character has specific actions they can perform, and they both compliment each other so that team work is a must if you want to get anywhere in the game. The little wolf cub has the ability to pull and cut things, and the little fawn can push items and help the little wolf cub climb up on things that may be a little out of reach for it.

The first half of the game is adorable and gets the player used to having to either switching between characters in solo mode or gets two players used to taking turns clearing the path for the two adventuring animals to get back home during a horrendous blizzard.

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The camera is the most frustrating part of the game, as it is highly dependent on the location of both characters in the shared screen space and there is no way to move the camera around for a better angle. That can make some spots really hard to get to and some objectives very hard to get to. The player or players must keep the fawn and the wolf cub close together enough to keep the camera happy and avoid getting stuck – which can happen a lot as there is literally no way to figure out where you’re supposed to go other than just by going there. No mini maps or arrows – just good ol’ “approach and try to interact” gameplay.

The first half of the game was easy enough for my twin 6-year-olds to enjoy and squeal over how adorable the characters and their little sounds are (and yes, the sounds do get a little annoying at times). They figured out the puzzles (some with a little nudge) and were elated when they did the right thing by reading the words “jump” or “push” or “pull” or “cut”.

The second half is where my husband and I had to take over – the complexity increases after you meet a mother duck with her little ducklings trying to cross a patch of land where the wind is strong enough to blow away the little ducklings. Having to shield the little ducklings and cross was very infuriating at certain points due to camera angles and overall difficulty, but it was still fun and cute. And it also makes for good and funny dialogue between two players.

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And then you meet little goat kids, and play one the hardest parts of the game. It made two experienced adult gamers have to pause for a little break in order to keep the level of frustration manageable (and curse out the camera).

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By far, my favorite part of the game is the art.

Blanc is entirely drawn by hand prior to animation, and the attention to detail and talent in that department are beautiful. The game does deliver a snowy and cold environment with uncertainty and longing for a family reunion, and it provides a gorgeous and complex environment to interact with.

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Overall, Blanc is a cute and entertaining game that will really test your team work and puzzle-solving abilities (or multi-tasking, if you’re playing solo). It’s great for both kids and adults, and it’s a truly gorgeous game that gets you to care about two tiny wild animals helping each other out in the cruel winter.

Blanc (Nintendo Switch) Score: 8/10

Blanc is a cute and entertaining game that will test your team work and puzzle-solving abilities. 

A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.