A downloadable game for Windows and macOS

Download NowName your own price

If you want to kill God, you have to cross all the little hells She created.

The forest cavern is one of those hells, and I've got to admit… it's a good one. Elegant! Turns out all it takes to screw us over is to shut off the lights.

It's embarrassing, honestly. I mean, we've survived on goddamn lava planets. A forest should've been no problem. At first, I was thinking that when we got back to our friends, I'd avoid mentioning this fiasco entirely. But… soon enough, I realized… we were never going to see our friends again.


Escape from a Lightless World

HEARtREAD is an audio game. Its goal is to provide a unique experience to players at all levels of visual ability. To this end, it is played on a blank screen.

Estimated play time: 30 minutes.

Note about controls: In order to turn your character, hold the left arrow key or right arrow key (rather than tapping). The game uses a slow turn speed.



Sabrina Boyd: Story | Design | Testing | Music | Acting

Julie Boyd: Music | Acting

Michelle Surka: Acting

Matt Surka: Story | Design | Writing | Programming | Sound Design

Erica Lahaie (@aurahack): Cover Art | Branding

Additional testing by Tim O'Connor and Daniel Horowitz.


2016 Figgie Award: Digital – Accessibility and Inclusion
(Boston Festival of Indie Games)

Interview with Little Metal Television (@ 1:57)

Discussion thread on AudioGames.net

Let's Play by PG13 Plays (@ 1:54:00)

If you liked this game, you might also enjoy Bulwark in the City of Flesh, an audio game, video game, and radio drama.


Download NowName your own price

Click download now to get access to the following files:

HEARtREAD for Mac 90 MB
HEARtREAD for Windows 120 MB


Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.

is mouse or controller required for this game or can it be played with keyboard alonei also wanted to know the same for bullwork in the city of flesh.

are your other games fully blind accessible?

Hello! Thanks for your questions. Yes, HEARtREAD can be played with keyboard alone. Bulwark in the City of Flesh requires a keyboard and mouse.

My other games are mostly little experiments and game-jam entries, and they are not blind accessible.


Really interesting game! :)


super nice! thanks for making it <3 


Thanks for playing! :)

i cant seem to be able to progress, i kept being told i need to go back so i dont get lost


Hey, sorry to hear about this. Whenever you need to turn, hold down the left or right arrow key for several seconds while also holding the left ctrl key. Listen to the pace of the heartbeat (or, later, the pitch of the navigation spell) to understand when you’re facing your target. Then, press and hold the up arrow key to walk forward. You can listen again as you walk and readjust your angle if you need to.

Sometimes players think that one button press turns them 90 degrees and that the movement occurs on a grid, but that’s not the case. The game uses a slow turn speed.

Let me know if this helps. If it doesn’t, I can post a quick demo for you.

Deleted post

Oh i LOVE IT!!! The atmosphere only adds to the whole of the audio game. The way it portrayed the audio as essential and played on sounds coming in form different sides (for headphones) and the volume of the sounds all coming together to help me understand where objects were spatially in relation to me. I was able to imagine the environment from all the sounds. I became invested very quickly, which made me wanting more when it ended.

The ONLY thing I have to critique about is the actually story behind it the game. I felt like I was plopped into the middle of a great book, but I didn't have any context as to what happened before or what is going to happen next.

Hey there, thanks for commenting! We're really happy to hear you liked the game, and we appreciate your feedback on the story.

This may only be a small consolation, but most of the stories I write are connected, and the characters in this game are especially dear to me. Although I don't have a direct sequel or prequel to offer at the moment, The Story of the World (a radio drama) and cemetery (a short story) both hint at an overarching context.

There's also a hidden scene in HEARtREAD, which I won't talk about on here, but you can email me if you're curious.

Thanks! Feel free to hit us up again if you have more thoughts!


Hey! This was a really fun and atmospheric game~!! (:

I love it and that song was really good! Is there a place where I can download and listen to it?


Thank you! We're so glad you enjoyed it! :)

We hadn't produced the song to stand on its own, but that's something we could do! We'll work on it and let you know once it's up!

Hello! We've produced the song and posted it online. You can get it on Bandcamp or SoundCloud.

Bandcamp should let you download it for free. (No need to tip---just grab it!) Let us know if it gives you any trouble, and thanks again for playing!