The Blackwell Legacy Review
The adventure game genre is one that you have to approach knowing that you like it. It's not exactly like the platformer, FPS, or action-adventure genres where you may not necessarily play those types of games but every so often a God of War or a Mario game will come along that you really get into. If you've never liked an adventure game before, it's almost a guarantee that you will never get into the genre. The Blackwell Legacy is an adventure that fans of the genre will certainly have fun with. Hell, I'd even wager that The Blackwell Legacy, while not perfect, is really good.
You play as Rosangela Blackwell, or Rose as she's referred to by most of the other characters. Rosa's a hard-working freelance writer whose aunt just passed away. While a nice person at heart, she has a very dry personality at times, and she seems to have a hard time interacting with others. Rosa discovers that her family has passed down a ghost named Joey Mallone. Seriously, what happened to the good old days when your family would just leave you cash?
Joey explains to Rosa that it is her duty to help lost souls come to terms with the fact that they're deceased. She's a gateway of sorts, and together with Joey, she must guide them to the afterlife. This isn't your typical supernatural tale, though. Thanks to Joey's wise-cracking personality and whimsical line delivery, The Blackwell Legacy is a lot more lighthearted than you'd expect. This is a game about a bunch of dead people, after all, but it manages to be more fun than dark.
Of course, The Blackwell Legacy is serious when it needs to be. You'll find plenty of eerie subject matter based on the afterlife and even the occult. Additionally, Joey doesn't take guff from anyone, so you can expect him to enter badass mode when necessary. Once Rosa gets used to the fact that her family left her a ghost and an ability that's going to make her life more difficult, she learns how to work together with the quirky see-through sidekick.
The Blackwell Legacy is a point-and-click adventure game through and through. You interact with characters and objects of interest by clicking on them. Throughout your adventure you must collect clues to solve the mystery behind a young college girl's suicide. Rosa carries along a notepad, so she automatically jots down any important names or keywords. While trying to figure out connections between certain people or objects, you can combine two terms and see what Rosa and Joey have to say about them. This often gives you a clue as to what you have to do next.
Some clues are more vague than others, and if you don't play many adventure games, you're in store for a bit of occasional frustration. It can be tough figuring out what to do next, and this was one of the major issues I had while playing The Blackwell Legacy. The game is just so story-driven that when the plot comes to a sudden halt, it can take away from the overall experience. It's not that the game is bad because of this. The problem is that the writing is really good, and any small pause in the narrative can be a hindrance.
While the actual adventure game mechanics in The Blackwell Legacy are good, it's the writing and voice acting that really shine here. Truth be told, the voice acting can be a bit monotonous at times, but it's still surprisingly charming. The writing is incredibly clever, and the character variety is refreshing. It's fun hearing what most characters have to say, and watching different characters react differently to Rosa's nervous personality as she tries to get to the bottom of the college student's suicide is entertaining ... especially when she gives that wacky crooked smile.
Visually, The Blackwell Legacy has a nice pixelated look. It's a bit lo-res to be quite honest, but there's a nice retro aesthetic that's easy to appreciate. Either way, this isn't the kind of game you play because of the graphics. You play it because of its strong storyline delivery and interesting plot elements and characters.
It took me three hours to get through The Blackwell Legacy. That's not very long, but considering the game costs $5 on Steam, it's not a bad value by any means. If you're a fan of adventure games, you're likely to enjoy The Blackwell Legacy. I don't play adventure games all that often, but I had plenty of fun playing this title. The characters are interesting, the dialogue is smart, and the story is pretty engrossing. Despite a few bumps along the way, The Blackwell Legacy is a good ride worth taking for fans of the genre.