October is the time of horror for all types of media, and video games have been excelling in the field. Quite a lot of people play horror titles as a tradition for the Halloween season, whether it’s fighting through a horde of monsters in Castlevania, enduring the zombie outbreak in Resident Evil, braving through the depths of insanity in Amessia, or just bracing yourself in Five Nights At Freddy’s. However, sometimes an October game doesn’t have to be a horror title, for tales involving the paranormal can be a witty adventure. Take, for instance, the story of how Rosangela Blackwell met her phantom friend, and her fate.
Rosa Blackwell, a freelance writer/book reviewer for The Village Eye, is someone who has seen better days. After twenty years of being institutionalized her Aunt Lauren Blackwell, the only relative she knew, passes away in a coma. After scattering her ashes Rosa learns the news that not only did her aunt had a case of unexplained dementia as well as her grandmother did but the mental illness may also be hereditary. Making the cases more bizarre they continued to mention a common name during the dementia. To put some aggravation atop of her troubles a young man, filling in for the usual doorman, stops her from entering the apartment building she resides in since he never saw her before, since she’s not much of a social butterfly.
Adding more to her frustration, she is called by Bob, the editor of The Village Eye, so she can cover a recent suicide for an article, to her dismay on the sudden need for “versatility.” And to add insult to injury, she has been getting a headache throughout the day, only getting worse as the day goes on. She eventually pulls through, completing tasks like a good little writer with her sole reward being one final throb of pain from her headache, causing her to collapse from seeing what she thought was a hallucination from the stress she has been experiencing. When she awakens it turns out it wasn’t a hallucination as she thought. She finally sees the face that her aunt and grandmother addressed to when they were alive, a ghost by the name of Joey Mallone.
The Blackwell Legacy is the first chapter of a point & click adventure miniseries. Like all games of the genre before it, the gameplay consists of choosing dialogue, clicking on objects, and solving puzzles. Unlike most other titles, most of the puzzles in this game are more straightforward. A unique feature in the game is the note pad. With it, Rosa can combine keywords to form new ones to provide clues for the current investigation, akin to the logic function in the DS game Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth.
The graphics of the game applies the classic pixel art of adventure games and keep the look alive in vibrant colors and detailed design. Some animations can be a bit jaggy, but this is kind of expected in some pixel adventure games, which adds to the charm. Locations are based on different area, most notable being the Queensboro Bridge, in modern New York with a number of rooms depicting a character’s personal life. Character designs are well detailed, and their dialogue portrait’s boxes are spectacularly comprehensive and expressive.
The music is simple, but it adds to the atmosphere of the game. The tracks are subtle and match the scene though it will need to be turned down from the default setting so it doesn’t blur out the voice audio. The voice acting can be a bit cheesy in certain scenes, but the dialogue is interesting and most of it keep the traditional humor the genre is known for. The star who shines bright in acting and dialogue is Joey, voiced by Abe Goldfarb.
Joey does a grand job of portraying himself as a wise-cracking gangster as he does expressing himself, especially when he describes what it was like to be stuck along with his previous medium in a room for over twenty years only to see her pass away. Rosa Blackwell is the runner-up for best performance and dialogue in the game. Her character as a moody, anti-social personality is displayed quite effectively as can strangely be relatable for some people.
+ Colorful, detailed pixel art retains the charm of the genre.
+ Dialogue is written with the same with you can expect to find in other adventure games.
+ The main stars are funny and lovable.
– The notebook keywords can be resorted to the try everything with everything tactic.
The Blackwell Legacy, PC review,
The Blackwell Legacy is a worthwhile game to play but it’s best played along with the rest of the episodes in the miniseries. While it is possible to buy this title standalone it is recommended to get The Blackwell Bundle to play the next three episodes after Legacy. While enjoying the next scare remember that there’s nothing wrong with a ghost story or four, especially during the haunting hour.
Title: The Blackwell Legacy
Developer: Wadjet Eye Games
Genre: Point & Click Adventure Mystery
Resolution: PC’s Best Performance
Release Date: 2006-12-23
Spent Time: 3 Hours
Average Grade Internationally: 79.20%
PEGI/ESRB Rating: PEGI 7/Teen (Not Official Ratings: No entries for this title)
Price: $4.99 (Standalone)/$14.99 (The Blackwell Bundle)
The Gaming Ground
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