Review by Lathany

Reviewed: 11/12/12

Helping ghosts on their way - an enjoyable point-and-click mystery game where the main fault is the short length

The Blackwell Legacy opens with Rosangela saying goodbye to her aunt Lauren who has died some days earlier. It turns out that this death has triggered a new phase in Rosangela’s life and the rest of the game is about the change and its consequences. The Blackwell Legacy is the first of the Blackwell series by Wadjet Eye games and this series is currently four games long.

Gameplay and puzzles
The Blackwell Legacy is a point-and-click game set in the present day with a “noir” feel. You play the protagonist, struggling writer Rosangela Blackwell, as she comes to terms with her aunt’s death and the resulting Blackwell “legacy” which is a connection with ghosts (I won’t say more). The controls are intuitive and similar to other games in the genre. What makes The Blackwell Legacy different - and better - than many other games in this genre is that the puzzles all have good solutions, by which I mean they fit, seem reasonable and you are not expected to combine endless random objects together.

The Blackwell Legacy is set in the present day, but often refers to the past and, due to the character of Ghost Joey, has something of a “noir” atmosphere. All the action takes place in a few locations around New York. I thought that the characters from The Blackwell Legacy were excellent. The protagonist Rosangela is a struggling writer, a loner and yet sympathetic and generally interesting to play and - I felt - easy to empathise with. Joey is also interesting, sarcastic and experienced in the work of helping ghosts and yet reluctant to say much about the past and its effects on the Blackwell family. The wider cast range from the smart and openly unsympathetic room-mate Kelly to the friendly neighbour and dog-owner Nishanthi Sharma. Each of them seems realistic and well-placed for the game.

Legacy is about Rosangela Blackwell discovering - and coming to terms with - the family legacy and her first ghost cases. It’s a nice story, self-contained and with plenty of sequel hooks. In particular, it has some interesting foreboding in terms of what happened to the previous legacy holder. One big complaint - it is too short.

The graphics and sound are pretty standard for the point-and-click genre. You can tell what the scenery and items are, but it’s cartoon rather than realistic quality. The close-up portraits work well expressing different feelings and moods. In addition, I liked the background music (particularly the music in Rosangela’s home) and it fit the different scenes well.

One word of warning - this game does not adjust well for monitor size and I had to rescale my screen resolution (which is not difficult). However, my monitor is unusual, so I suspect this is not generally a problem.

Play Time/Replayability
The game took me something in the region of 5-10 hours the first time around. When I played it for a second time, it took less than three hours. You could probably complete it over a long evening or a weekend. The game has a list of possible achievements and not all of them are necessary for game completion. These make it slightly replayable, although the main plot remains the same.

Final Recommendation
The Blackwell Legacy is a great game which starts a good series. I recommend it and its successors.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

Product Release: The Blackwell Legacy (US, 01/13/12)

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