Black Glove Gameplay Details
What’s the player’s moment-to-moment experience like in The Black Glove? Let’s take a look!
We’re assuming you’ve already watched the Kickstarter trailer below and are somewhat familiar with the premise already, but to quickly refresh your memory…
You’ve arrived at The Equinox, a surreal 1920s theatre that appears to be unstuck from conventional reality. There are three resident creators: the artist Marisol, the filmmaker Avery Arnault, and the musical act Many Embers. Their work is in terrible shape when you arrive and it’s adversely affecting the health of the place in a variety of bizarre, metaphysical ways. You’ve been charged with altering aspects of the creators’ past to improve their work in the present and get the theatre back on its feet.
You’ve overheard a brief conversation in front of the display of a wall-crawling skeleton made of gum. After receiving word from The Critic about how the work was “Too arts-and-craftsy… Like something one makes at summer camp…”, The Creator admitted that she “struggled to find the right medium.”
By exploring the environment fully, you can discover narrative elements that give background on Marisol and the key influences in her life. You can also interact with or listen in on a series of group conversations from The Crowd about their lives, artistic preferences, and thoughts on the work.
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But don’t forget: You have an incredibly powerful tool at your disposal, The Black Glove…
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO WITH THE BLACK GLOVE?
Not only can The Black Glove be used to alter aspects of each creators’ past, but you can also utilize it as a metaphysical investigator and discover what’s hidden beneath the surface of The Equinox.
By peering through The Black Glove, you’ll be able to view hidden messages, footsteps leading to important information, and entrances to secret rooms. Each time you find a story clue, you’ll gain an arcade token allowing you to attempt a gameplay Feat.
What’s more, you’ll also be able to use The Black Glove to discern the motivations behind the theatre’s inhabitants and vanquish the denizens of The Maze of the Space Minotaur when they bleed into The Equinox’s reality.
You may even choose to ignore the creators’ storylines for a while to investigate interactive clues in the environment about The Equinox, its mysterious hosts Hazel and Cribbage, and the surreal disturbances affecting the theatre.
The choice is up to YOU.
TAKING A DIFFERENT PATH
Say the scene within The Art Gallery has played out fully and you’re ready to move on. You may either leave the gallery or descend the stairs to the adjoining Arcade Alcove. In the latter, you see a small lounge area with a side table, a cabinet holding books, letters, and photographs, and a locked desk full of untold secrets. But, the vintage coin-op nearby beckons you to play it.
As mentioned before, there are certain games of skill and chance that allow us to interact with “fourth-dimensional space” (aka time) in The Equinox — like The Maze of the Space Minotaur, an idiosyncratic ode to 80s arcade favorites. By accomplishing skillful Feats in the game, you’re able to summon The Black Glove and change to past.
Both Feats and the machine’s gameplay mechanics have been described in great detail here, but we’ll touch on some of the most relevant details below.
You amble up to The Maze of the Space Minotaur and start to play. Let’s assume that since it’s early into your time in The Equinox, the Feat required is relatively easy and straightforward in order to let you get familiar with this game-within-a-game. For example, “Escape the Maze.” For this Feat, you’ll find you have plenty of energy to power your blaster and teleportation pack, but that traps haven’t been enabled yet so we can spotlight that item more fully later… and so you don’t blow yourself up.
The Space Minotaur taunts you mercilessly as you navigate through one end of the space labyrinth to the other. You may choose to either avoid being seen or heard by packs of plodding Marduks, a teleporting Nebula, the swooping hunter The Void, and the mad machine intelligence sub-boss, Pinback or fight them.
Once the Feat is achieved, you raise your hand and see The Black Glove has been fully powered.
You walk to The Equinox Mirror nearby. An image of Marisol’s face looks down from above and icons corresponding to aspects of her past appear obscured by mists inside. Reaching out The Black Glove, you see the icons come into focus when viewed through the weird hole in your hand.
Near the top of the mirror, there are three icons that represent Marisol’s Medium, Message, and Muse. There are three additional sets of icons below each.
For the artist Marisol, these are:
- MEDIUM – Painting/Sculpture, Multimedia, and Photography
- MESSAGE – The Internal, Connectedness, and Mortality
- MUSE – Science, Sub/Pop Culture, and Folklore
When you first arrive, the icons for Painting/Sculpture, The Internal, and Science are already highlighted. Based on clues uncovered elsewhere, you decide to use your one allotted alteration to adjust Marisol’s Muse from Science to Sub/Pop Culture.
You hear the hum of The Black Glove at work, the screen flashes, and… everything changes.
In the Arcade Alcove, you only notice seemingly minor differences at first. The photos and books in the cabinet are new. The locked desk is now open. You consider delving into them to lean more about the characters, The Equinox, and whatever other secrets they might contain, but you hear music wafting down the stairs and decide to investigate what’s different in the art gallery.
As you ascend, you hear a J-Pop score like the theme to an anime TV show. Sub-titled lyrics appear on the bottom of the screen about a protagonist boldly wrestling with fate. Their translation seems slightly off-kilter, as if fan-made by someone still learning both languages.
At the tops of the stairs, a figure in a surgical smock and scrubs waves you forward. It’s the Artist Marisol, who explains that her recent foray into Japanese pop culture has deeply influenced her work.
The Art Gallery is now a kaiju autopsy scene. The room is littered with displays of giant monster body parts, all glowing like scorpions under black light. There are nearly a dozen in all and each offer optional text or multi-media narrative about the creature shown, either about its origins, its particular eccentricities, its affect on the land, or how it was stopped. They’re written as if by an artist obsessed with The Internal and cover topics ranging from the power of the mind and identity issues to self-doubt and body horror. That’s to say, they all provide further insight into Marisol’s thoughts, background, and influences.
Needless to say, there will be many clues to uncover to find out what should be developed further.
There will likely be several changes needed before you find a combination that satisfies The Creator, The Critic, and The Crowd. But each step along the way will provide new immersive environments to explore, compelling narrative to investigate, and fun Feats to try to achieve.
That’s a brief look at the moment-to-moment experience dealing with The Artist Marisol. Hopefully, that gives you a better idea of what it’s like to explore the game’s immersive, story-rich environments. You can imagine how a single playthrough of The Black Glove may take hours to complete and still leave dozens of such scenes to explore.
And we haven’t even started to touch on the myriad, surreal moments with The Equinox itself and what experience in your encounters with The Filmmaker (Avery Arnault) or The Musical Act (Many Embers)…
Thanks for taking the time to read more about The Black Glove. If you still have questions, send us a message and let us know!
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