Rosangela, a local newspaper editor, gets caught up in a supernatural mystery - can you help her?
- Thoroughly engaging storyline with supernatural themes such as death, suicide and the afterlife
- Help Rosangela investigate the mysteries only she as a medium can solve
- Fine parallels with similar series like Buffy and Supernatural
- Impressive voice acting from protagonists
- Easy to master controls and menu systems
- Collect clues and question people using multiple choice scenarios
- Combine multiple clues to form new ones
- Adventure is quite short, offering just under three hours of gameplay
- Voice acting for peripheral characters is poor
- Poorly textured graphics
The Blackwell Legacy is a free puzzle adventure game for PC, developed by WadjetEye Games, in which you must help Rosa Blackwell, a newly discovered medium, to cure the supernatural ills of her fellow New York City citizens. The game is available here as a demo version only. The full version is available on the developer's site.
A Supernatural Vocation
In terms of narrative content, the game bears a striking similarity to popular TV shows like Buffy or Supernatural, in that a character is caught up in something seemingly out of their control when they once led a perfectly normal life. In this case our protagonist, Rosangela, a local newspaper editor, gets caught up in a series of supernatural mysteries and must use her new found powers to solve cases. While it sounds conventional, the game proves itself well above the expectations of ordinary adventure games. If you're a fan of the genre, this will definitely impress.
Core Gameplay and Features
The Blackwell Legacy progresses like a regular adventure game. The player controls Rosangela, guiding her through multiple unique environments in search of clues. Controls are limited to mostly point and clicking, using your mouse to guide Rosangela. The user interface is rather straight forward, containing just your inventory, your current items and some notes. Hovering over an item in a room allows you to interact with it by picking it up or closely examining it. Any important items worthy of further study will be placed in your inventory. These can then be used to progress the plot.
Any clues you have collected will remain in your notes or your inventory until you find a use for them. If you're really stuck, the game even lets you combine clues together to spontaneously generate new ones. This feature adds a great deal of creativity to gameplay, allowing players to experiment with different combinations based on their own knowledge about the case.
When you interact with another person, a dialogue box will pop up displaying the choices available to you - a standard trope of adventure-type storytelling. In addition, the game is fully (and surprisingly well) voice acted for Rosangela and her ghostly sidekick, adding some authenticity to their encounters.
Part of what makes gameplay so compelling is its narrative focus. Themes like death, the afterlife and suicide are all prevalent in our lives at one point or another, and for many there is much to relate to here
Part of what makes gameplay so compelling is its narrative focus. Themes like death, the afterlife and suicide are all prevalent in our lives at one point or another, and for many there is much to relate to here. The people you will deal with vary from security guards to hospital patients to disinterested teens, all with something interesting to offer.
Aside from its fine pacing, its engaging content, its gripping dialogue and its depth of character development, the narrative appeared to end all too soon. Without any online help, this first iteration of the Blackwell Legacy can be completed in approximately three hours. The game also does not offer any opportunities for replays given its linear, non-branching plotlines.
Graphics, Visuals and Sound
Graphically, the game sets itself up like a film. Scenes take place at various locations and from multiple viewpoints. Color schemes are great and the dialogue boxes are a nice touch. The game falls slightly with its graphical detail and sharpness, though it's apparent that this was intentional, and not any form of negligence on the part of the developers. It is similarly apparent that environments were rendered at a higher graphical output, and then simplified, which in itself is a kind of artistic style. As mentioned, the voice acting for Rosangela was quite well done. Sadly, this is not the case for the other more peripheral characters, with background noise evident in a lot of recordings. Other than these occasional disruptions to the realism of encounters, the game does well. Because of its status as a point and click adventure, impressive animations are not a requirement.
If you're a fan of point and click adventure games, The Blackwell Legacy promises to deliver fast-paced, engaging narratives with strong dialogue and some great voice acting from their protagonist. The game's supernatural themes also give it an edge over other adventure games, dealing with relatable themes like death, depression, suicide and existential angst. Controls use a simple point and click mechanism for both movement through environments and interacting with objects. The user interface is set up so that everything you need is right where you need it, either in your notes or in your inventory. The game even lets you combine two clues to produce a new one if you're stuck - quite a nifty feature. Graphically, the game is fairly minimalist, which is to be expected, but I would have liked to have seen some better texturing. The voice acting for other characters also wasn't the best. For dedicated adventure fans, the experience will also be over rather quickly, offering just under three hours of gameplay for most players. All in all, though, it's a great adventure game and the first in a series, so there's plenty more to discover about Rosangela and her supernatural sidekick. Well worth downloading.