Blackwell Unbound

Moby ID: 30161
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Description official descriptions

Blackwell Unbound is the third game in the series and a prequel to the previous two games. It goes back in time to the early seventies, to one of the ancestors of Rosangela Blackwell from the The Blackwell Legacy: chain smoker Lauren Blackwell. All members of the family have been visited by Joey, a ghost, who urges them to help him solve cases of lost and disturbed ghosts.

The narrative starts in medias res while Lauren is investigating some cases. She reads the newspaper every morning for the mention of strange occurrences and then heads out with Joey to check if there are ghosts involved. On that particular evening, there have been three false alarms and two more locations to visit. These involve strange music by a saxophone player and an old lady at a construction site.

Using the AGS engine, this adventure game has a classic point-and-click interface with the two mouse buttons for examining or using objects. You can strike up conversations and change the outcome based on your responses. Lauren carries around an inventory and a notebook where she jots down clues. You can combine clues to link events, and then use these new observations in conversations. The inventory is scarcely used. Important items include a dictaphone and a camera.

Gameplay is largely based around the storytelling and dialogues, rather than complicated puzzles. All characters have full voice-acting, there is a complete soundtrack, and a director's cut mode with an audio track where Dave Gilbert interferes regularly while playing to explain the design choices of the game. While playing, Lauren can make four bonus photographs that unlock hidden items such as extra music tracks, concept art and more.

New to this game, players can switch between Joey and Lauren at any time. Joey is immaterial and can pass through walls, as long as he stays near Lauren. During conversations, the character portraits are no longer shown.

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Credits (Windows version)

41 People (20 developers, 21 thanks) · View all

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 79% (based on 10 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.2 out of 5 (based on 25 ratings with 1 reviews)

Good for an afternoon or an evening

The Good
I like point and click adventures and I recently got this game when the bundle was on sale on Steam.

It's a point and click that harks back to the games I played years ago. It's fully voiced with well written dialogue, has decent music and effects and easy to master controls that are the same as the first game in the series. The artwork is very much of the 'LucasArts Pixel' type which in some games can look pretentious but here it fits right in.

The story consists of two cases which the Lauren and Joey have to solve - then there's a third case in which they find and resolve the connection between the first two. The cases can be solved in either order which is a nice touch.

The puzzles in this game are straightforward, by which I mean they are logical and realistic - no weird stuff like 'giving the pineapple to the wombat in exchange for a key'.

The Bad
I didn't dislike anything in the game, I really enjoyed playing it, however I did have a few minor issues.

I did have to resort to using a walkthrough (just the once honest and I hated doing it). I knew what to do, where to do it and why and it turned out I was using an inventory item in the wrong way. Not a big problem but perhaps the game is not as intuitive as the developers thought.

There are places where Joey, the ghost, explores on his own, this is common to this gamer and the previous game in the series I have played so far and typically occurs where there is a locked door. I expected Joey and Lauren to talk about the information Joey uncovered or that it would at least appear in the list of clues but it did not. As a result I spent time replaying some sections trying in case I'd missed some kind of trigger.

There were also some points where the game expects the player to have remembered information picked up in earlier dialogue that never makes it to Lauren's notebook. Again not a big problem but I don't remember that happening in the previous game so I was not prepared.

The Bottom Line
This is a good, not too difficult, little adventure game. It looks, sounds and plays like an old school game and just 'feels right'. I enjoyed it.

I completed the game in just under four hours and that included the usual coffee and comfort breaks, so if you 're familiar with games like this and don't get stuck there's probably three to three and a half hours gentle gameplay in all - more if you go for all the Steam achievements and unlocks.

Windows · by piltdown_man (238590) · 2020

Trivia

Development

The content of this game was initially a part of Blackwell Convergence, as a flashback, but cut eventually. When it grew too big and it would take too long to develop, Dave Gilbert returned to the cut part and decided to expand it and turn it into a full game, prior to the release of Convergence.

Joseph Mitchell

Joseph Mitchell as a reporter for The New Yorker was not chosen at random. He was an actual reporter and wrote about unusual people. After the initial articles, he didn't publish anything significant for more than 30 years, but was kept on the payroll and came to the office every day. More info in the related links section.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Sciere.

iPhone, iPad added by Kabushi.

Additional contributors: Patrick Bregger.

Game added September 14, 2007. Last modified May 15, 2024.