Fans of dystopian stories in the vein of 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 will want to take note of a new arrival in Google Play. Blackbar is a word puzzle that has you decipher letters sent to you by a friend after they've been filtered through the insidious Department of Communication. Things start to go wrong for your friend, but you'll only be able to figure out what's happening if you fill in the blanks and make it to the next page.

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The game is entirely black text on a white background – no pictures or anything. Each page will have one or more black bars censoring a word. Just tap in the box and use clues from the remaining text fill it in with the correct word. You learn quickly what kind of talk the Department of Communication doesn't like, which helps to paint a picture of a truly depressing world. Negative emotions, foul language, and anything even remotely controversial are all blacked out. You really have to get into the mind of the government censor to solve the puzzles. It's like a very paranoid version of sci-fi madlibs.

4 IgUwC1yffSg71ROOuRcUgpzJzgnb7Jz09Xtvqso-CqFNYzp82oHQejPTt_4gtZ7VhXE=h900 _875PT_5PneZzocuzRHGgrZ2UWq2BJw1sxEturIcex7k7vEBuHx35oB7D6KY95lzwpE=h900

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The story in Blackbar only gets more interesting as it unfolds – the letters become more urgent and the conspiracies more sinister. This is not a typical game, but it's something you have to experience. It can be had for $2.99 in Google Play. Just be careful not to ██████!

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play.

  • runderekrun

    This looks great but unfortunately, because I've been burned too many times, I have to wait for more reviews.

    • Qliphah

      Yeah, this one could really use an IAP to unlock the whole game, I could see trying the first chapter or 5% of the pages to see if it's worth buying.

    • Christopher Lee

      This isn't a new game-- it's been released on iOS for some time.


      Given the game mechanics at play, it's likely pretty similar and you can go by the reviews of content.

      • runderekrun

        Well I meant more about stability. I've bought too many games that just force close after installing to just drop money without reviews nowadays.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          15 minutes to refund, but yeah... The developer seemed very responsive to me though, and so was the author.

  • br_hermon

    Ok.... so who else copied that last line of text and pasted it into notepad to see what it said? :)

    • ppero196

      What did it said? I'm on mobile.

      • Matt McKee

        It just said "Just be careful not to ██████", the black text is actually just a set of black box characters.

    • Yuku Sugianto

      Just paste it to the browser's address bar ;)

  • Bryan Pizzuti

    You sure this isn't an NSA honeypot? :)

  • Franco Rossel

    Not avaible for Nexus 7 (2012) :(

    • lljktechnogeek

      It shows as available for me on a 2012 Nexus 7, so apparently that's been fixed.

  • Quad

    Not available in any of my device's countries :(

  • Jdban

    Uhoh, I'm trying to █████ the ██████

  • George Millhouse

    3 bucks for that??