Blackwell: Deception

When it comes to point and click games, there’s not a better example than Blackwell Deception.

By Daavpuke, Posted 12 Oct 2011

When there is more than enough of quality first-person shooter, role-playing or massively multiplayer games out there with eye catching visuals, a point-and-click 2D game must bring something bizarre to grab the attention of the adventure game fans. In that case, Wadjet Eye has kept their heritage of making remarkable adventures titles with Blackwell Deception. In an expressively affecting tale, the game takes you to an astonishing journey where detective mysteries are cracked for the lost souls that need to be freed.

Following the previous releases, Blackwell Legacy, Blackwell Unbound, and Blackwell Convergence, spirit medium Rosangela Blackwell and her spirit partner Joey Mallone are about to discover the filth of the street psychic business, typically roofed with false promises of love, riches and happiness. If you are unfamiliar with this series, the very first chapter of the game, which is a tutorial on luxury yacht on the Hudson River, will get you used to it at ease. Rosa can interact with any material objects or person and use phone and Internet. Joey, on the other hand, is intangible, which means he can see and go through objects and also occasionally interact by blowing winds.

Blackwell, Deception, Review
Rosa talking to Joey at during a mission on luxury yacht on the Hudson River

The story starts with a phone call from Rosa’s ex-colleague who used to be a reporter and had a favor to ask. But the favor leads from completing a report to discovering many unsolved deaths. One objective leads to another and each branch has its own way of solving. In some cases you might have to assemble diverse parts of a pack fallen apart in different places, and in some cases you’ll have to use the newly introduced MyPhone for research and calling to resolve gathered notes and clues. Some tips to be noted about the MyPhone is a key feature for solving puzzles and finding new clues using the Note Collector App. Don’t rejoice just yet; some of the puzzles can take hours to figure out.

Unlike many puzzle games, Blackwell Deception makes you think harder. And even when you aren’t playing the game, you are still thinking about the clues you’ve gathered from different places. Since all the clues are scattered in many different locations, it can really sweat your brains out if you can’t find the link of one to another. If you aren’t a Blackwell veteran, you might find the story a little bit off the edge at the beginning, but the game has all its elements exceptionally well thought-out and starts to get better in each chapter. It might be a point of frustration when you can’t seem to find your way out of a puzzle or scenario, but if you poured proper sense and logic to the clues, I assure you that every bit of the game is exciting. Each atmosphere and the people in it give significant amount of clues. You will have to gather them by interacting with proper dialogues, using notes and, not to mention using Joey’s expertise of seeing and going through objects. Joey can also speak to the lost spirits and bring together more clues or punch lines.

Wadjet Eye has the tendency of using intellectual dialogues in their games and they did the same with Blackwell Deception. Each character goes flawlessly with their dialogue and voice-over. Even with a 2D visual style, the character designs are ideal and rightly fitted with the parts of the story. The background music, which is mostly Jazz tunes, also goes well with the detective type surroundings.

Blackwell, Deception, Review
Joey helping out Rosa gathering clues at her ex-colleague apartment.

Talking about surroundings, some of the maps could’ve been improved with both design and elements in it, though this could make the game even more complex. The game offers only one default difficulty mode and having more difficulty modes with enhanced map could’ve given this game the extra edge it needs. During the game, you can only interact with objects functional for cracking cases but it couldn’t hurt to pour more objects to make things even harder. The game also lacks in replayability. Once you complete a puzzle, you will never need anything from the previous scenario or need not to follow-up with previous characters for any reason. It could’ve been a good addition if you could follow up with the characters helped you gather information or solve puzzles, so it’s hard to deny that the game is sometime too straightforward even being dynamic. Perhaps I enjoyed the game a little too much to be demanding for more.

Then again, we aren’t talking about any MMO or RPG that needs to have tons of activities in it. For a point and click game, there can’t be any better example than Blackwell Deception. The game not only lets you play it, it takes you inside the story and makes you get along with it. So if you are an adventure game fan, I highly recommend you to play it. With plenty of well thought puzzles and cases to crack, the game is worth spending on.

Sarwar Ron, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Wadjet Eye Games
Developer(s): Wadjet Eye Games
Genres: Point And Click
Themes: Adventure
Release Date: 2011-10-12

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