Have You Played… Blind Monk’s Society?

Sorry for the quality loss in resizing this screenshot from 1440p.

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Audio-only games like Papa Sangre have been spooking up pocket telephones a treat, but the idea of navigating by sound alone will always make me think of having a good old chuckle. The Blind Monk’s Society [official site] is a free, silly Half-Life 2 mod from 2008, a black screen and some helpful audio direction. Should ravenous ravens ever devour my eyes, I’ll listen carefully for a friendly Blind Monk.

There you are, alone in the wilderness, seeing nothing but black. Don’t worry! Members of The Blind Monks will teach you how to navigate with your ears, guiding you around and filling your ears with silly voices. Then… unlikely events unfold as you stumble around, trying to find your way. It’s short and funny and I liked it, okay. At the time I’d have mentioned Portal at about this point in a HYP? – it does have a song and all – but maybe The Stanley Parable warrants a mention now too, in that it’s a funny HL2 thing and you do lots of walking. Those old stroll-o-gags. I’m not making a strong case here.

I won’t say much about those things because it’s only about 15 minutes long, and I wouldn’t want to regurgitate punchlines to jokes you haven’t heard.

You can download it from ModDB.


  1. Slackar says:

    Had to refresh the page several times thinking the image was not loading properly.

  2. BorgiaCamarones says:

    This left a strong impression on me even though I was very bad at it (played for about 5 min then quit when I couldn’t follow the monk). I’d be very interested in trying out a complete audio based game though.

    That would certainly be something, right? A videogame without the video? Seems like nobody picked up on that mod’s idea.

    • HuvaaKoodia says:

      This is why the term ‘digital game’ exists; it’s output agnostic.

      I found a few audio only titles on mobile devices:
      Blind Legend
      Blind Side
      Papa Sangre

      This one is on PC as well, but still in development:
      Three Monkeys

      Also this site claims to have over 500 titles, although not all of them are designed specifically around audio:

    • Phasma Felis says:

      I was going to suggest Cadet 227, which was looking sounding pretty cool, but apparently the creator had Life Circumstances and it was abandoned before release. :( The same guy made Burger Quest instead, which is also blind-friendly, but at a glance it appears to just be a choose-your-own-adventure with fully voiced narration.

  3. Jalan says:

    When I read the summary I immediately went back in my mind to Enemy Zero. While not quite the same thing, it’s interesting to see the concept taken even further.

    I wish there was a publisher willing to take the risk to release a full game like this (and a developer with enough skill to pull it off perfectly). I guess the only potential failures that publishers are willing to take risks on these days are the ones involving recycled to death franchises or well-known character IPs.

  4. Qazi says:

    Is it working now then?

    Last I knew the SteamPipe update completely screwed this mod over.