3 Blind Mice: A Remediation Game for Improper Children
You've been a bad child. Maybe your behavior's been shoddy; maybe you're just not trying in school. Or maybe you're trying your hardest and it simply isn't enough, and that's the worst kind of failure of all. A bad score will mean... consequences. Can you pass, or will you be "removed from society"? And why does the test seem like it was designed to terrify children rather than fairly evaluate them? 3 Blind Mice, a free point-and-click horror game from Seemingly Pointless, doesn't provide many answers... but does provide an interesting experience nevertheless.
The test is fairly simple, of course, since it's supposed to be geared towards fictional dystopian children. You'll point and click your way through a series of questions that might challenge a little kid... in other words, nothing's going to be very difficult here. Be on the lookout for screamers, though. Since the game doesn't extend past the end of the test, it's a self-contained experience and there's no real way to lose. It's about what you see while you're taking it, the dissonance between the content and the intended audience, and the disturbing context of that dissonance. Sometimes the lack of subtlety ("The Government"?) is a little bit jarring, but for the most part it's easy to sit back, listen to the mice's creepy murmuring, and pretend you're at an age where identifying shapes and colors is a feat worthy of praise.
To some, dystopian themes have felt more relevant lately. With the recent news about government surveillance in the US, it's an especially hot topic... the thought of being watched, especially by the people in charge, inspires a lot of strong feelings in a lot of people. It could be that 3 Blind Mice is, or can be taken as, a commentary on these current events, but if so, well... the message sort of gets lost when the surveillance aspect seems to fall through the cracks. However, even if it doesn't work as a commentary, it still works as a nicely chilling piece of entertainment, especially since it should only take you about five minutes to play.
[Note: Our staff debated whether this game was meant for players of all ages, or only adults. We came to the conclusion that it's probably not meant for children at all, and it's likely to be too scary for the very young. Older or more mature horror-loving children may still enjoy it, though. Parents, play first, and know your child's limits.]
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