How do you save the world when it’s plunged into darkness, the very sun ripped straight out of the sky? What hope can you have of exploring a world with no light to show the way? For Tobar, the Abyss beyond the village lanterns holds no fear – Tobar was born blind. With the feisty sprite Yoska on hand to help him navigate, he steps out unaffected into the world that would drive others to their end.
Three Monkeys is Tobar’s incredible story. An ambitious audio only RPG, Three Monkeys encourages players to put themselves in Tobar’s place and explore a 3D world with only their hearing and their seeing sprite to rely on. It’s a fantasy setting with a thoughtful and refreshingly well-fleshed-out approach to a non-traditional protagonist.
Three Monkeys is an innovative and evocative project, using an expansive sound library and some neat telegraphing to make finding your way feel natural, as well as really giving players a sense of space and scale. Care has been taken to ensure that fully sighted players and visually impaired players alike will both find the game challenging and enjoyable. It’s certainly very reactive way to play – combat relies on human instinct and timing mixed with help from your seeing-eye sprite, leading to an organic and satisfying experience.
It can’t be easy to promote a game with no visuals at all – we’re so used to gauging our interest on graphical styles, how interesting or complex the UI looks, what areas, monsters or characters we’re teased with… but the stylised promotional graphics set the mood of the game surprisingly well despite offering little insight into how we’ll be playing. What’s really more telling of the game’s potential though are the audio clips, layers of atmospheric sounds and spoken narrative that help place the listener right into the heart of the story. Even without the interactive elements, the auditory teasers are evocative and intriguing. Find yourself some headphones before listening to them, you won’t regret it.
The Kickstarter for Three Monkeys will be running up until the 11th of March, and will fund the first part of the Three Monkeys adventure. Rewards include soundtrack downloads, steam access keys, audio book prequels, and for high tier supports some pretty punchy pairs of headphones. Although the backing target of £28,000 is currently a way off fully funded, the game is set to make it to release regardless – the scale of the final release is the goal of the Kickstarter. Offering not just a full-bodied fantasy romp, but a meaningful personal experience to players as well, Three Monkeys seems fully deserving of funding.