The Roaring ’20s Is Full of Magic in “The Blind Griffin”
The 1920s hold a special place in American history–Prohibition led to speakeasies, the Harlem Renaissance was in full swing, women were moving to cities in pursuit of the flapper lifestyle. But as the youngest daughter in a large Chinese family, you’re not supposed to be a part of that–you’re supposed to be getting married.
Named for the speakeasy that the visual novel revolves around, The Blind Griffin is the story of a Chinese-American girl who runs away and finds herself working as a bartender at a speakeasy disguised as a candy shop. If that wasn’t enough, it turns out the speakeasy serves up more than alcohol–magic (and, let’s be real, romance) is on the menu. Choose among three (single, romantically available) mentors, unlock your magical talents, and pass the Grand Council’s exam to become a magician…or risk having your new memories wiped away and your knowledge of magic permanently buried.
The Blind Griffin‘s biggest flaw is that it is extremely rushed, though that’s not entirely surprising given that it was developed for NaNoRenO. With that said, The Blind Griffin does get points for a sympathetic depiction of a trans character and the prominent inclusion of two women of color (yourself and one other). Well-researched (though perhaps not historically accurate, unless magical speakeasies in San Francisco were actually a thing) and boasting 10 endings, The Blind Griffin goes down smoothly and leaves you reaching for more. Also, major points for defining a lot of the ’20s slang.