The Blackwell Legacy

The Blackwell Legacy
The Blackwell Legacy Cover
Platforms Windows
Genre Dead Like Me adventure
Score 7  Clock score of 7

I played a lot of point and click adventures growing up, from the Monkey Island series to King’s Quest, but I figured the genre for dead over the last decade. What a pleasant surprise to find that it’s alive, well, and kicking in the indie community. Ben There, Dan That and Time Gentleman, Please! have been covered here before, and now I’ve discovered the delightful Blackwell series.

The Blackwell Legacy is the first game in an ongoing series of point and click adventures from Wadjet Eye Games. Set in modern day New York City, the game already sets itself apart from most of the fantasy elements Lucasarts and Sierra raised the genre in, except for one thing: the main character is accompanied by a ghost.

Recently featured in our Indie Impression column, The Blackwell Legacy was well received by all participants, and knowing it was a relatively short game, I had no qualms in playing on. Here are my thoughts on The Blackwell Legacy.

What I like about The Blackwell Legacy is that it would rather tell a decent story in a few hours than get caught in many of the trappings of the point and click adventure genre. There’s no mass of verbs to select from, no right click pop-up menu, and just the barest of inventories. For most of the game, you won’t have to worry about finding just the right combination of objects to put together, and pixel hunting is a thing of the past. The game does require some questionable leaps late in the game, but due to the small set of possibilities, it’s not that annoying.

What can get kind of annoying is how there’s really only four areas in the game to explore and investigate, and you’ll be traveling between them a lot during the three hour adventure. I felt like I hit a brick wall about three times in an hour, and getting past each challenge required me to go to each and every location over and over and simply try everything. This is just how adventure game logic works sometimes, and The Blackwell Legacy still suffers from it.

As for the actual story, Legacy shines with a nicely sized, intriguing story about a young woman and a ghost that she “inherits” from her recently passed aunt. The game almost feels more like an episode than the complete tale, but knowing there are three more Blackwell games for me to play lessens the blow a bit, I really do want to play on and see where things go from here.

Blackwell Legacy Rosa Doctor

Rosa is a believable heroine who is well characterized and well voiced. I have never played a point and click adventure before that was able to convey pretty heavy topics such as mental illness to the player so well. When Rosa absolutely refuses to perform an action due to her super anxiety of crowds, I totally understood it.

Her ghostly counterpart, Joey Mallone, isn’t voiced as well as I expected, I don’t feel like the actor lines up right with the character, but he still manages to do a decent job in the situation he’s in. And while he follows you around for most of the game, he never becomes annoying, and actually helps point out things you may have missed upon leaving an area. It’s a nice little nudge in the right direction in a natural way.

The Blackwell Legacy doesn’t mange to transcend the point and click adventure, but it does separate itself from the pack with a focus on characters and story, and not pixel hunting or item management. I’m looking forward to playing the rest of the series, which is more than I can say about a lot of games these days.

Overall: 7