By Scott Leach
This app is only available on the App Store for iOS devices.
Able Black is an immersive story experience that uses images and sound to guide you through a series of puzzles.
Able is a lonely android struggling with his Citizenship Exam, a test he must pass if he doesn’t want to be shut down. Follow Able as he searches for purpose and a way out of isolation. Discover the secrets of Ark 19, an underground habitat designed to save humanity from disaster. Find out why Able has been left alone in the ark. Uncover what’s hidden there. Take the Citizenship Exam and discover who Able Black really is.
Navigate through five chapters of story text and experience the Citizenship Exam as Able does. After each chapter you’ll be faced with a series of questions that put you in the shoes of Able Black. Answer poetic riddles that echo the theme of each chapter. Solve cryptic puzzles to unlock Able’s story.
Able Black is part story, part game, and full of secrets.
This experience includes puzzles that some users may find challenging. If you need some help head to www.ableblack.com or visit the Able Black Facebook page www.facebook.com/AbleBlackSleepwalker
Follow me @skotleach
What's New in Version 3.0
*New Agility Training mode added. Complete the experience to unlock an endless shooter mini game.
*8 new easter eggs to unlock. Hidden among them are notes that reveal some of Able Black's backstory.
*A new hint mode has been added. There's no more hard and easy mode. You can now get 5 hints per puzzle. If you can solve all the puzzles without using any hints you'll be rewarded. For those struggling with puzzles this makes things easier.
*Lots of visual polish including sharper text.
*Bug and grammar fixes.
Short story, not game
This is a well written story with a few interactive elements added to allow for the illusion of mystery. I wouldn't recommend it to kids who get bored quickly, but for those that like to read and have an interactive experience, this is a nice change of pace. Not a spoiler, but it does start to become obvious after part two as to where the story is going. The quizzes/puzzles are fun, but the outcome is not necessarily an accurate psychoanalytical depiction of the test taker. The reasoning behind the selection of who represents whom is not why I selected one thing over another, but it is interesting as to how it can be perceived to be that way (this makes little sense to those just reading the review - please try the app and see for yourself what I mean). Even if you try to "juke the test" the results will still guide you to the next phase. (I kind of was wishing it would be like the choose your own adventure books and end results would be different.)
Five stars for its intrigue and interface. It's different enough from what's out there in this genre and has great potential. Please continue to build on this.
This is possibly the best mobile game I've ever played. The story scenes are well written with beautiful ambient noises and music, as well as pretty colorful designs that contrast with the black background and white text. The only issue I found is on the end test results for the 4th exam, there is a misspelling of you're, spelled your. The puzzles in this game are very challenging and really require you to think. The spider key one really stumped me, and I had to look up an online walk through to solve it. Even better, once the story is done, there are a few mini games and other features that can be unlocked and played around with. My only question is where do you go after you beat the high score of 143 and read Skot's note? I haven't found an answer. All in all, this is a beautiful and thought provoking game with challenging puzzles and an interesting story. I would love to see more of these in the future. Great job Skot.
Great Puzzler, Great Plot
Well, Skot, you've consumed a few of my hours, so far. I've played the main game and am now working on those Easter eggs. I still need a few. I've replayed a few times to try and see if they were hidden there, but I'm still not sure what to do. I need a few more, the Tree, Ghost, 1124 and 11:11. I'll figure it out, eventually.
The game itself was very immersive, as your description would suggest. I needed a bit of help on a few of them, my first time around. While the hints worked for most, I could not, for the life of me, understand the spider key. I had to look that one up. Creative. The puzzles were generally doable, even if I had to resort to hints, a few times.
My first play through took about an hour or so. While some may say that isn't worth the price, I quite enjoyed the story itself. Predictable, at times. Even so, the introspective aspect was something that really interested me. I enjoyed it, at least. In addition, while I did only spend an hour the first time, I've replayed several times. Right now, I think I've spent a total of four or five hours on the game. Well worth the price, I would say. Thanks for the game.
Tl;dr: Challenging but doable puzzles, interesting if a bit short and predictable plot. Recommended to anyone who likes text-based games with good plot. Not recommended to someone who can't stand puzzlers and/or can't bear to spend money on games.