Oct 11, 2010

Blackwell Unbound Review

Blackwell Unbound is the second game in the Blackwell series by Wadjet Eye Games and thus a sequel of sorts to the excellent Blackwell Legacy indie point-and-click adventure game. Then again it also happens to be an enlightening prequel to the Blackwell Legacy, taking place in a brilliantly stylized version of New York during the early 70s. This time around you wont be helping the shy Rosangela and her ghostly guide Joey solve supernatural problems, but will instead be guiding her rather outspoken and definitely more confident aunt, Lauren Blackwell, and her ghostly guide Joey solve two, obviously ghost-related, cases.

The game is thus slightly longer that Legacy and feels even more so, as the inclusion of a couple new mechanics, make for a far more taxing experience. Not that the game is difficult, mind but the ability to switch between Joey and Lauren, a few newly integrated simple inventory puzzles and looking up names and places in a directory do help mix things up. After all, making sure that a deceased jazz musician, a half-crazed ghost and an incredibly sad villain find their respective ways, shouldn't be that easy.

Great gameplay aside, Blackwell Unbound also sports the signature excellent writing quality of the series, amazing music, spot-on voice acting, interesting characters and some truly beautiful pixel-art graphics, for that authentic classic adventure feel. The only thing sadly missing are those character portraits the Blackwell games seem to do very well. A shame really, but the developer commentary and a few more extras will definitely make this up for you.

Oh, and New York and its multitude of people and cultures do get another love letter in the form of this brilliantly written and quite touching interactive story, that never fails to be funny when the situation allows.

Verdict: An excellent game and a truly rare chance to adventure in a ghost-infested version of New York in the 70s. Get the Blackwell Unbound here.

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  1. Having just finished Beneath A Steel Sky, I was looking for my next adventure game fix. This Blackwell trilogy might just fit the bill. The first one is only five dollaridoos!

  2. And you will really enjoy it Marc. I'm quite certain for that.

  3. I was tempted to try it, but since it costed roughly the same as Monkey Island Special Edition twopack on Steam, well, I went for the reimagined classic instead.

  4. I can see the logic behind that Barts, but can't help and suggest you give the Blackwell Legacy game a go. It sells for 5$.

  5. hi.. i want to ask.. how to solve the case of Isaac Brown?? please help me
    thx :)

  6. Oh, but I truly don't remember. Have a look here. It should help http://gamesolutions.efzeven.nl/blackwell-unbound-walkthrough-wadjet-eye-games2007/

  7. Laura Monteiro9/23/11, 6:53 PM

    'Unbound' was definitely my least favorite Blackwell game. Convergence and Legacy I enjoyed fully, but Unbound fell so short. I suppose it's because it wasn't made as a game, but rather compiled from extra bits of Convergence that were cut out.
    The lack of character portraits was a major, major minus. With no images or facial expressions, I seemed unable to connect to Rosa's predecessor.
    The game was also very short in my opinion, but with character portraits and more meat it would have been a classic.

    It seems Wadjet is much better at doing Rosa.

  8. Well dear Laura it is short, there's no denying this, but I really liked it. A lot actually, though you do have a point... Blackwell games do seem to get better with each passing release.