Stranger Things is set to return this summer, and what’s a better way to get you in the mood for some kids fighting against mysterious forces than a game about kids fighting against mysterious forces. Part Hardy Boys, and part Stranger Things, Blackout Club does a great job invoking a feeling of child investigator in video game format.
There are lots of Left 4 Dead style co-op games out there, but The Blackout Club does something novel with the four player co-op premise. Instead of blasting or chopping your way through waves of enemies, Blackout Club is about stealth and cunning. As kids, you can’t take down the brainwashed adults without special equipment, and even then, you can’t expect to incapacitate them all. Killing them is out of the question, because, even though they’re out to get you, they’re still your friend’s parents, or worse, even your own!
The Blackout Club knows something is wrong with their neighborhood. The adults are acting strangely, so it’s up to them to sneak out at night and see what their sleepwalking parents are getting up to, and whatever it is, it’s pretty sinister.
Each house contains sleepwalking adults, and cultists roam the streets. If you get caught, there’s the possibility you will be dragged away and captured, or worse: the Shape will get you. The Shape is an evil, amorphous red blob that you can only see when your character closes his or her eyes. If it grabs you, you are lost to its influence, and will only be fixed by the intervention of your fellow club members.
Each time the Blackout Club hits the streets, they are given different objectives. These can range from removing propaganda, to gathering evidence of the dark goings-on. Each mission takes place across the same neighborhood—with more and more of the town opening up as your characters progress.
You complete these objectives using various skills and tools. Skills allow you to ignore pain, or take down sleepwalking adults. There are various tools and gadgets that can help you achieve your goals, too, like the grappling hook that allows you to get to high locations (or down from them) and the taser which allows you to stun adults. Other items can be found throughout the levels, like foam grenades, bandages, and tranquilizer darts (to name a few).
To add even more novelty to this unique premise, The Blackout Club even has a sort of player versus player interaction. You and your friends can be invaded by other players who can help the cultists try and stop the kids. This invader doesn’t attack the kids directly, but instead attracts the attention of the sleepwalkers and cultists.
The Blackout Club is a different sort of co-op game, and takes a chance to give you an experience that no other game quite matches. If you want to experience what it’s like to be a kid in a club investigating the sinister underbelly of their town, The Blackout Club delivers.
The Blackout Club will be leaving Early Access on Steam this summer. In the meantime, you can check it out in Early Access now.
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