The Blackwell Legacy - Review

The Blackwell Legacy
Rating: N/A - Rating Not Applicable

I never play a game twice or read a book again. But this is an exception brought about by the final chapter of Blackwell series. I have grown found of these characters and I guess this is a way of reliving them through the arc of the story. One of the many fun things you get in playing them in a shotgun fashion – one after the other – is that you get the inside jokes and the subtle hooks as to where the story might go next. I highly recommend it.

Video games are made up of standard components - graphics, animation, story, music, voice acting, game mechanics. Assuming the mechanics are down pat, most of us have a preference to one or another of the various components - good story, excellent graphics. Recently I have played two games that are noticeably strong in one or the other elements. The Undergarden has basically no story but incredible graphics and The Blackwell Legacy - which stands out by its excellent voice acting. I realized how spellbinding the old radio stories were.

The tale begins with a women tossing her aunt's ashes off a bridge into the East River. Upon returning to her apartment she is greeted by a dapper but sardonic ghost who informs her that she is, as her aunt was, a spirit medium and with the passing of her aunt she has now inherited him - and a mission. The mission is to assist unhappy ghosts that are wandering the city to move on to the beyond. The dialog between Joey Mallone (the ghost) and Rosa is as amusing as one may expect from a experienced ghost-talker with a Bogart attitude and an unwilling and vexed New Yorker. And so we are introduced to unusual characters and an unusual plot.

There are only two ghosts to save here – the unfortunate college student and the crazy Deacon with some damnation issues, compared to later stories where there are multiple ghosts in each episode. By the end of the game, Rosa/Roseangela accepts her hereditary role as a Bestower and the new “man” in her life, Joey.

The graphics - are intentionally pixellated giving the game a retro look, a wise and cost saving choice made by this indie company, as it also eliminates the distracting plastic puppet look with bad lip-sync you get with full character animation. The variety and voice acting carries you beyond the graphics. And when the characters are not talking - the background jazz music is exceptional. The setting is New York City and the designers accurately used locations - the Brooklyn bridge, the Village and Minetta's tavern, Central Park, bringing joy to anyone who's lived in Manhattan.

In going back to my earlier reviews – I nailed it – the Wadjet guys are clever, and the carrying force of the game is the relationship, the excellent voice acting – an actor for each character who is carried though when they re-appear in a later episode, and the unusual story. For my benefit I have added a little bit of the story – no spoilers – because I now can put the ghosts in the correct episodes and settle arguments with my husband such as to which episode did the diner in the boundless void appear.

The Blackwell Mystery Game Series develops over four games plus the final one:
    Blackwell Legacy,
    Blackwell Unbound,
    Blackwell Convergence,
    Blackwell Deception,
    Blackwell Epiphany.

Fun Factor: Unusual absorbing story well told
Female Factor: Rosa holds her own against a ghost
Player Friendly: No technical problems

Reviewed by: Editor - May/14

  • The Blackwell Legacy
  • Author: Dave Gilbert
  • © Wadjet Eye Games
  • Platform(s): Windows 7, Vista, XP
  • Game Site: $4.99
  • To order: Download Steam $4.99
  • To order: Download - All five game episodes
  • To order: Download - Four game bundle Steam $19.99