Benjamin Brynn was not a loser, and his story is worth fighting for to discover.

I love interactive stories that provide a perspective into other people’s lives. Games like FIREWATCH, WHAT REMAINS OF EDITH FINCH, THAT DRAGON, CANCER, and many more. If there’s a unique story that combines a gameplay mechanism that allows me to feel empathy for others, I’m in.

BEFORE YOUR EYES is an interactive video game from Netflix that explores how life goes by in a “blink” of an eye. The mechanism in the game is that you have to blink to advance the story. This might sound gimmicky, but it works splendidly. 

The game opens with you dead and aboard a ship. The ferryman is tasked to learn your story for your soul’s judgment. The only way he can do that is for you to relive your memories with your eyes open. The second you blink, you will move on to the next point in your memories. These memories cover growing pain moments – from first love, pet, and failure. Yet, this story succeeds in how these fractured memories tie together to tell something much more beautiful.

I wouldn’t dare spoil the left turn in BEFORE YOUR EYES. But, I will say to bring some kleenex. Like in real life, the game takes you from moments you want to have your eyes wide open for and others that are so painful you’ll want to keep them closed.

My only complaint with the game is the flat non-interactive ferryman drags down the compelling interactive narrative. I understand this is the mechanism the creators picked. However, it takes ten minutes from the game’s already short runtime. 

BEFORE YOUR EYES is a love letter to the arts, and being a child. I highly recommend playing it with your older non-gamer family members and then discussing the themes afterward. 

It’s available on mobile devices and Steam. I played it on my iPhone.

Aaron "Dobler" Goldstein

Aaron Goldstein is a Product Manager by day, ludicrous speed content consumer by night. He’s a LA Film School Alumni and TV Academy / Producers Guild of America member. Aaron is a proud parent and dad joke enthusiast.

Latest from Aaron "Dobler" Goldstein