The Blackwell Legacy is a point and click mystery game, first released in 2006 and forming the first of the Blackwell series, five games in total and completed as of April 2014. In short, I now want to play the rest of them.
The Blackwell Legacy comes in at 3 hours to complete, and whilst satisfying definitely leaves you wanting more, wanting to find an excuse to spend more time with these interesting and fun characters. Although it is the first game in a series somehow I didn’t expect it to feel as much like it as it did, leaving me with a sensation after a TV episode that whilst one arch was concluded I needed more, on par with episodic games. The voice acting is fantastic (I fell in love with Joey instantly) and very quickly ensured my immersion in the story despite my initial impression of: Wow, this looks old. Whilst, say, Sword & Sworcery and To The Moon have a simplified, pixellated style, they feel that way – stylised. Within their own graphic style, they are quite beautiful. Whilst I know exposure to those and such games definitely contributed to my coming around to buying this one, the instant I loaded it and got a wonderful eyeful of that low resolution, I knew this would be a different experience. It didn’t take me long to love it, however, once I got past the ‘well this is different’. The character’s facial animations are very well done and compliment the great voice acting. So forgive me. As my friend likes to say to me: ‘You get all the pretty games.’
You play as Roseangela, or Rosa, a young freelance writer in New York City working for a small newspaper. After the death of her aunt you shortly discover The Blackwell Legacy – a ghost named Joey, who has passed down through the family of mediums for reasons undisclosed, and will now aid Rosa in helping ghosts move on. This is a role she cannot avoid, as you soon realise as you hear the tales of her aunt and grandmother who tried to.
With the background mystery in place – and with lots of questions about it remaining unanswered (cue the word series), the plot of the game starts with Rosa’s investigation of a girl’s recent suicide for the newspaper. The game continues from there. Following the suicide investigation, you shortly meet Joey, and afterwards a ghost girl in the park who also committed suicide. And you can bet your butt there’s a link. It’s a version of ‘use what on what’ that I found reasonably satisfying and logical – yes, there’s a classic point and click sense of ‘going around the long way’ enough times, but it works better than others of the point and click genre, for sure. None of the steps were ridiculously ‘out there’ and it all made sense in the end, in the way that you would think ‘ah, I should have seen that’ rather than ‘I would never have guessed that’ on the more frustrating ones. One issue I had was not realising right click was ‘look’ (as opposed to left click being ‘interact’), which was rather useful to know. (Call me stupid.) Anyway.
I managed to get the ‘bad’ ending by being too slow at the very end, but in all honesty I’d prefer to think of it as the ‘fun’ ending – the ‘good’ ending looked a little too corny for my taste. Either way, it wraps up a very tasty instalment and leaves me hungry for more of two characters that I’ve grown to love.