How Blinking Works in Before Your Eyes

Addressing a few commonly asked questions about blinking in Before Your Eyes.

After writing a few articles regarding Before Your Eyes, and seeing other articles pop up about the game, I’ve noticed a common concern among gamers regarding the game’s incorporation of player blinks. 

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Before Your Eyes is a game you play using your webcam, with your blinks used to help move you forward through the game. You aren’t forced to play the game this way, but it’s strongly recommended as it’s the best way to experience Before Your Eyes. 

To hopefully help alleviate some concerns, here’s a quick piece on what you can expect from the blinking gameplay of Before Your Eyes. 

How Blinking Works in Before Your Eyes

Do you jump forward every time you blink in Before Your Eyes? 

No, you don’t jump forward every time you blink. Instead, the game features a “Blink Counter” as noted in a recent interview with Graham and Oliver of GoodbyeWorld Games.

The Blink Counter is a small metronome that appears at the bottom of the screen. When you see this Blink Counter, you know that your next blink will jump you forward. There are also things you can find and interact with in various scenes that will help you stay in a scene for a longer period of time. 

Do you have to play Before Your Eyes with your webcam, is there a version played without blinking?

You don’t have to play Before Your Eyes using your webcam. The game offers the option to bypass this and play the game using your computer mouse instead, with left-click acting as a manual blink in the game.

You can play through the entire game with a webcam (and mouse), or with just a mouse, both are fully supported.

Do you get any eye fatigue while playing Before Your Eyes? 

This will largely depend on the individual player and how they want to play the game. You aren’t forced to keep your eyes open as long as possible while playing Before Your Eyes, though you will be rewarded in the game with additional clues and story elements if you do. 

Even if you blink as quickly as you can, ignoring all opportunities to prolong a scene, you’ll still be able to enjoy and understand the game’s story. Furthermore, the game isn’t focused solely on blinking, but rather using your eyes as a sort of peripheral. 

For example, there are scenes in the game that will have you close your eyes entirely. Blinking is a key part of gameplay, but not the gameplay in its entirety, if that makes sense.  

Note that you also shouldn’t play the game in a way that causes your eyes any sort of fatigue. As mentioned above, you can play the game using your mouse so even if you feel like you missed a lot during your first playthrough using your webcam, you’re free to go back in using your mouse in order to catch everything. 

My Personal Experience With The Game

During my first playthrough of the game using my webcam, I found it hard to fight back blinks as I have anxiety and this causes me to blink a lot. The more anxious I am, the more I blink, I can’t control it. 

It’s also hard to avoid blinking if you’re crying, and as mentioned in my review of the game, Before Your Eyes is a tearjerker.

I didn’t experience any eye fatigue while playing, and blinking a lot didn’t do anything to diminish my experience or enjoyment of the game.

On my second playthrough, I used my mouse and felt very satisfied with the experience (when combined with my previous experience using my webcam).

It was easier to capture screenshots while playing with a mouse without worrying about jumping past a scene, and I was able to stay in a scene as long as I wanted in order to really soak in the atmosphere. 

The game is relatively short (roughly an hour, hour and a half) so playing it twice – once with a webcam as intended and once without – is very doable. That being said, gamers should approach Before Your Eyes in the way that’s most comfortable to them.

If you have issues with your eyes, medical or otherwise, and feel like the webcam experience would be unpleasant you’re free to use your mouse instead. 

And finally, I really hope gamers give Before Your Eyes a chance. In my review of the game here on Prima, I gave it a 10 out of 10 and strongly stand by that score.

Before Your Eyes is truly a must-play experience both with a webcam and without. 

Related: Before Your Eyes | Interview With Oliver Lewin and Graham Parkes of GoodbyeWorld Games


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Morgan Shaver
Morgan is a writer, metalhead, horror lover, and indie game enthusiast. When it comes to games, they love nothing more than to wax poetic about all the latest and greatest indies to anyone who'll listen. They're also a Tetris fanatic who's fiercely competitive in games like Tetris 99... and all games in general. But mostly Tetris. You can follow Morgan on Twitter @Author_MShaver