With most of the documents released by the NSA being an exercise in fitting as few letters as possible between strings of black bars, it's no wonder that a whole slew of [Redacted]-oriented games have been cropping up. The newest comes in the form of a surprisingly engrossing, interactive app composed entirely of text.
What does it do?
Takes you on an adventure as you become the character Vi, who's attempting correspondence with a sister that works at the fictional Department of Communications. Given the nature of her position, many of her letters end up censored by the time you get your hands on them, so it's up to you to try to decode the mysteries hidden within. Tap blacked out words to fill in what you think the missing piece might be, and if you're right, the black bar goes away and things (hopefully) to start to get a little more clear.
Why do we like it?
Although the app—presumably—takes its inspiration from certain real-life events that start with a "P" and end with "RISM," it's still a welcome breath of fresh air amidst an otherwise tiresome app ocean of photo filters, to-do lists, and alarm clocks—so. many. alarm clocks. The game is incredibly simple, and there is nary a bell nor a whistle to be found in the UI. Rather, it's entirely about the app's content, which is wonderfully written (at least as far as apps go) and does a fantastic job of pulling you in too a not entirely unrealistic tale.
Currently only available on iOS, Blackbar's developers are thankfully considering expanding to a web version as well as Android.
Blackbar, Download this app for: iOS, $3
The Best: Highly creative
The Worst: iOS-only