What kind of a “videogame” has no video? Nomenclature aside, this is an interesting exploration of audio-only games.
Playing Real Sound as a sighted player, it’s hard not to be disoriented at first. Its dialogue—better acted than in any game I’ve played—cannot be skipped over or sped up by mashing a button repeatedly. We’re used to visual distinctions between “gameplay” and “cutscene,” where the former requires our active attention and the latter for us to sit back and relax; in Real Sound, the player must hang on every word, always listening for the next chime that indicates that you have to make an immediate decision as to how the story will go. I wasn’t sure what to do with my body at first; whether to close my eyes, look at the blank screen, or vaguely stare into space (I chose the latter). Small sonic details that I never would have noticed in a conventional videogame—like the moment-to-moment interactions between the musical score, the actor’s voices, and the elaborate sound effects—suddenly came together to form an entire world in a way I had never experienced. —Kill Screen