When 3 NYU students kill themselves, nobody thinks that a sinister force is at work. Nobody but fledgling medium Rosa Blackwell & her new spirit guide Joey Mallone.
User reviews: Very Positive (472 reviews)
Release Date: Jan 13, 2012

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Packages that include this game

Buy The Blackwell Bundle

Includes 4 items: Blackwell Convergence, Blackwell Deception, Blackwell Unbound, The Blackwell Legacy

Buy Blackwell Epiphany

 

Recommended By Curators

"Deeply affecting, supernatural Joseph Mitchell-esque exposes, inspiring and bittersweet. (first game posted as a stand-in for the entire series)"
Read the full review here.

About This Game

When Rosa Blackwell's only relative dies after twenty years in a coma, she thinks the worst is over.  This all changes when Joey Mallone, a sardonic ghost from the 1930s, blows into her life and tells her that she is a medium.  Whether they like it or not, it is up to them to cure the supernatural ills of New York in this critically-acclaimed series of point-and-click adventure games.
When three NYU students kill themselves one after the other, nobody thinks that a sinister force is at work.  Nobody but fledgling medium Rosa Blackwell and her new spirit guide Joey Mallone.  It's trial by fire as they set these troubled spirits to rest.

System Requirements

    • OS:Windows ME or higher
    • Processor:Pentium or higher
    • Memory:64 MB RAM
    • Graphics:640x400, 32-bit colour: 700 Mhz system minimum
    • DirectX®:5.0
    • Hard Drive:200 MB HD space
    • Sound:All DirectX-compatible sound cards
Helpful customer reviews
25 of 25 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 8, 2014
It really says something about a franchise when the weakest game in the series is still so enjoyable.

Let me be blunt: The Blackwell Legacy is rife with Early Installment Weirdness syndrome. It's short, full of long info dumps and has frustrating puzzles. To top it off it sometimes fails to give the player any sort of direction or goal, leading to the "try everything" method of gameplay progression so common in old adventure games. Ahh, the nostalgia.

Infuriating progression aside, the story is solid and entertaining. Nothing groundbreaking, but it does a good job of introducing characters and plot threads that get expanded upon over the next four games. There's a healthy amount of snark too, which helps balance out the otherwise grim nature of the story.

If you can forgive a lot for the sake of a good story, then Legacy is for you. If you can't, then you might want to consider picking this one up when it's on sale or in a bundle. Alternatively, you can try watching a playthrough and skipping to Convergence, which is where the series really picks up.

(Also worth noting are the two commentary tracks that come with the game; the original track from 2006, and one from five years later after the release of Convergence. Both are interesting to listen to if you're interested in game design... or if you really just ♥♥♥♥ing hate dog leashes.)
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18 of 19 people (95%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 29, 2014
In order to complete the whole bunch of great WadjetEye games, I started with the Blackwell Series. Like every adventure these are nice little stories to examine. Besides the resolution is bad, the graphics are well painted. It seems Blackwell is a remake series from LucasArts which made great adventures in the past.
The first part Blackwell Legacy is kind of introduction of Rosa Blackwell. Just a small story around her died aunt and arrival to New York. Amazing is the outcome she is a medium talking to a ghost called Joey. All the humor and fun comes up argueing with your house- ghost Joey. There are little riddles and quick time actions to solve. But if you work precisely it won't be hard.The game is quite short but a good introduction in the following adventures ...

PS: A little bit annoying was to play the game in commentary mode to get a special achievement.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
22.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 21
Beautiful. Even after playing it 3 times in a row (gameplay, classic commentary, then both commentary for final achievement) I'm still fascinated by this game.
Blackwell Legacy is the first game of the Blackwell series, first game (for a long time, if I remember well from the commentary) of Dave Gilbert. It's a supernatural mystery-detective story (Ghosts!) and gameplay-wise it's a mix of visual novel (Quite a lot of talking, big amounts of info, cutscenes) and point-and-click adventure games. These genres mix really well the solid story - there is always something to pay attention for, or something to do.

This will be a little unconventionally long part of a review compared to my other review - I want to "meet you" the developer, because I feel the game's most admirable part is the devoted work and attention to small details from Dave.
Maybe as you noticed that on Steam quite a few reviews mention that Legacy is a little weaker compared to other games of the series - it's the first one.
The greatest thing could happen to this game is Dave's commentary. While it could seem like he made mistakes in development, but "it's understandable, people tend to miss up things at first try, he'll do better for the next time".
But there are the commentaries.
Seriously, listen to both commentaries, but only AFTER playing the game. This guy gives incredible amounts of info, background stories about characters, voice actors, artists, dog leashes ( ;) ) and things like that. Dave knew that some parts of the game aren't perfect, he knew the problematic spots, and was worrying about making certain decisions. If you listen to the commentaries you'll know that he planned the concept, the voices, the pictures really throughfully, did his best to program certain parts (Leash), be accurate with locations (Washington Sq. Garden) and at the same time, he told us why Nishanti doesn't have an accent, why the lights were flickering at the hospital only at certain times, and so on, and so on. Not to mention the reflection in the 5-year-anniversary commentary, in which he proves he learned a lot from his past mistakes and from user backfeed.
About the game: Gorgeous pixelgraphics, if you love the style, you need this game. I'm not sure if I've seen a world as detailed and well-executed (in terms of graphics) amongst other pixelgraphic games.
The voice-acting and music is perfect. Great voice-actors make the deep and well-written characters come alive and help Rose's and Joey's inspection, and besides some ... problematic (?) points of the story the game is pretty straightforward, you can't really get lost for like, forever :)

As a conclusion: The game's base price is 5$/€. That's absolutely correct price for it, on sales the game is a must-have if you've been eyeing it. I would say the gameplay is 2-5 hours (Sorry, I'm bad at guesses) if you look at everything and listen to every conversation. Replay value consits of one extra gameplay with commentaries active - can be about 2 hours with tons of intresting info about the game. I enjoyed the commentary more than in other games the new game+ option :)
I most definitely recommend this game - it's a gorgeous-looking, well executed - thought little short - adventure game with deep story that paves the way for the following chapters of the Blackwell-saga.
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
5.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 30, 2014
Short Verdict: The Blackwell Legacy is the first installment in my favorite point-and-click adventure series in this century. The Blackwell series definitely has a special place in my heart. TBL tells the story of Rosangela Blackwell, who "inherits" Joey, a spirit stuck with the Blackwell family, and they both go about solving mysteries and investigating cases related to ghosts who have problems moving on to the afterlife. While it's probably the least interesting game in the series, it's really fun and brings you back to old-school adventure games, while still bringing fresh elements to the table. If you're into classic point-and-click games, you most definitely have to try it! I had played it a few years ago and it was still fun to replay it now.

Pros:
  • Despite having ghosts and all, characters are very realistic, well-developed, deep, interesting, funny, and loveable
  • The story is interesting and solving the mysteries is really fun
  • Most puzzles are kept to a sober level of difficulty, but there's no handholding, either
  • The dialogues and the voice acting are really outstanding, I can't stress it enough
  • Has a very interesting mechanic in which you combine clues instead of items to solve puzzles, and that works really well with the investigation theme
  • Beautiful retro graphics
  • BGM is also very, very nice

Cons:
  • My main complaint is about the audio. Sometimes, the music is too loud and you can't hear the characters' voices really well. These, in turn, are set to different volumes, and the quality of the recording is not always good. The end result is weird sometimes.
  • The low resolution annoys me a bit (you can set it to 1280x960, though, but that option is hard to find)
  • TBL has some small flaws expected from unexperienced devs, but I didn't even notice most of them until the dev brought them up in commentary mode.

Bought on: PC and Android Bundle 11 by Humble Bundle for an average of US$ 0.55 (roughly R$ 1,46). It's also totally worth its full price, which isn't high at all!
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10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
7.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 15, 2014
I'm having difficulties allowing myself to give this a negative review, as I definitely love the story so far, but the first game is definitely not that encouraging.

The first game leaves a lot to be desired, having numerous questions unanswered and apart from some insanely frustrating and nonsensical puzzles that could possibly even leave you stumped for hours, it's fairly short. It definitely relies on having a sequel rather than standing on it's own very well. It hardly feels like little more than a quick prologue to the games that follow it. It's good that the games are being sold in a bundle.

Even with how short it is, I definitely love the characters, story, and the humor. But the puzzles in the first game are so horrendous that I have to give it a thumbs down. I'm just going to list out the three I couldn't have figured out without aimlessly screwing around forever. At least the following game has you use some logic, rather than being a festival of trial and error.

SPOILERS BELOW

1. Talking to your neighbor
I ask you, how is this so hard? Firstly, it's insane you have to go through this in the first place. Secondly, she's your frigging neighbor. Wave at her, say hi, anything. I know you're not a social butterfly, but it doesn't take much to catch a person's attention if they happen to know your face anyway. Also you are being blocked out of your own home. Either way, the last thing I'd think to do is circle around a lamp post to get her dog's leash caught, just so it would bark at me and catch her attention. Also why does she cut the leash to get her dog loose?


2. Steal the damned notebook
Ok, stealing from the dead, nice. How does 'metal face' over there keep us from taking it when she isn't even looking at us the entire time? Oh, and I can pretend to use her phone so you can talk to Joey? That's a clever and sensible solution, I give props for that. Now why the hell can Joey not think of a way to distract her on his own? I have to tell him to do the one thing that he can physically do, which I can only know about if I exhaust all his dialogue options at the apartment before hand. I guess spending years hanging over a comatose madwoman can turn you into a really forgetful schmuck.


3. Take the dog for a walk
What? Just politely ask to take the dog for a walk. Why does everything involving your neighbor have to be a federal ♥♥♥♥ing issue? So not only do we have to drug her dog to make it have to pee, in order to actually get the drug we have to think to randomly revisit someone after just having spoken to them and exhausted their dialogue options. As far as I know that's the only way to get the pills from them.


END OF SPOILERS

All I can say is that The Blackwell Legacy is a very rough start to what seems to be an otherwise good series. Unbound is pretty good and I'm certainly hopeful for the rest of the series as I continue to play through it. I would recommend playing the first as it's necessary to play the beginning of any series you're getting into, but you'll probably want to just look up the answers to some of the more crazy puzzles for this one.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 22
It's more of an interactive novel than an adventure game. You can count the amount of puzzles on one hand and most of them are just poorly designed. Most of the dialogue doesn't actually have an influence on the outcome of the story (the very last does though), but you still have to click on one of the 'choices' to progress it. The story isn't bad, but it isn't great either. The 'coincidences' that are used to minimize the amount of locations are obvious and feel a bit cheap. The voice acting is good with the exception of Joey. The art style follows classic 90s adventures and is really well done. Just the overall 'game' is far too short and just doesn't have enough gameplay in it. It's an okay story to follow for 50 cent, but as an adventure game I won't recommend it at all.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 2, 2014
A neat point and click adventure with a good sense of place. A bit frustrating to solve the puzzles (even if you have made a correct deduction, you can't do anything with that deduction unless it's been "recorded" in your notebook - this stopped me up a few times in the beginning). The game really wants you to solve the puzzles in a step -by -step manner, and if you get ahead of it or go out of order, you're forced to retrace your steps simply to get the correct piece of "evidence" in your notebook. There is really very little free will; your choices are steps that lead you towards an ending, and do not have a bering on the plot other than to speed you along or slow you down. That said, it was entertaining and a great use of $2.50. I'm excited to check out the other entries in this series.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
6.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 22, 2014
I was pleasantly surprised by this game. The graphics reminded me of an old Sierra game of when the adventure games were a highlight to PC gaming. The graphics definitely hit that era's style perfectly. The story on the other hand was what got me the most. The story was perfect, a main character and the ghost that becomes a friend and helps us out on her adventures. I won't spoil anything, so that's the least I can give away without spoiling it. Great logical puzzles, and great writing. Give this one a try.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 25, 2014
I grew up on adventure games. From as early as King's Quest, all the way through Sierra and LucasArts heydays, right through to today with Broken Age and (arguably) the Telltale Walking Dead, I've enjoyed the adventure game genre more than any other.

Which is why I'm confident to say that the Blackwell games are some of my favourite adventure games. It features a great cast of well-defined characters - including a great female lead. The puzzles are clever, sometimes challenging, but rarely impossible. The series also showcases some of the best voice acting in an adventure game - or video games at all. One would assume the worst from an indie game, but developer Wadjet Eye games brings out their A game for the voice talent.

And it all starts here, with Legacy, all culminating to the fifth and final chapter, Blackwell Ephiphany. You would be doing yoruself a disservice by being a fan of adventure games and not playing these. Even better, each game includes some fun achievements, as well as commentary by the funny and humble Dave Gilbert. He shares some great antecdotes on developement and admits to his faults and mistakes throughout the series.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 25, 2014
Love this game so much. Great story, excellent voice acting, and a lovely cast of characters. Short but really sweet to play. If you love adventure games this is a necessary addition to your library. :)
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 19, 2014
Great story, but a rough start. If you can get past the incredibly annoying NYC-isms, and the unlikable main character, you'll find yourself enjoying the story. The main character becomes relatable after the first chapter, but her unwillingness to take action in the beginning was quite annoying. Still, it leads to a great little story, and some very neat puzzzles. Its worth hacking your way through to get to them. 9/10ths of the game is excellent, its only the beginning where one must trudge through all the groundwork. I'd say its definitely worth playing, and I'm looking forward to the followup games.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 31, 2014
There's just something charming about this first foray into the Blackwell universe. It's not a terribly long game, nor are the puzzles that difficult, but it has loads of heart. The Blackwell Legacy's most enduring achievement, however, might be in it's restraint--the way it gives you just enough to leave you yearning to know more about the its mysteries, and it's flawed, compelling protagonists. Buckle up, bright eyes. You're in for a haunted ride.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 19, 2014
I can't help but recommend this to everyone, even to those who don't usually play point-and-click games. The plot, characters and the voice acting is amazing. I've played this game through twice, and I could do it over and over again. I played the game through with commentary on the second time, and the commentary was actually very interesting. Because of it, I'm having pain trying to find a book the commentary mentioned. I have to have it.

I could easily relate to the main character, as she was as antisocial and awkward as I would have been in many of the situations in the game. She can be a bit annoying to social people in the first game, but I promise she gets better in the following games. I'm currently playing through the fourth game of this series and the changing art style is refreshing.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 14
Me ha gustado bastante, aunque es demasiado corto, pero tiene ese aire a clásico que me encanta
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
22.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 16
Very well done traditional-style adventure game. Well worth your time if you're a fan of those. The game opens at its weakest. The sequence with the teenager preventing you from getting into your own building strains credibility... in a story heavily involving ghosts. However, taken as a whole, even that sequence is used well. The story is solid. Once you finish, you might be surprised that the game isn't longer. But it's not fair to call it short. Assuming you've avoided using a walkthrough, you're likely to find the puzzles more challenging than you might expect. But they're well constructed -- even the hard ones. That's worth a bit of praise in and of itself. I'm looking forward to seeing how the rest of the series plays out!
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
5.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 20, 2014
Pretty simple game, reminds me of The Riddle Of Master Lu.
Point and click, puzzle kind of game.
Connect the clues and move on in the story.
Nice dialogue, script and music.
Finished it in a few hours. Got trouble with the "Pills" puzzle.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2014
its ok
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 28, 2014
I'm not an avid fan of point-and-click adventure games by any means, but for some reason, the Blackwell series really hooked me. I can't quite put my finger on as to why; after all, the story is by no means terribly original and the mechanics are par for the course. However, the game is undeniably fun in its own way (and for such "small" seeming games, the fact that they are all fully voiced is pretty amazing), and I found myself blitzing through the first three games of the 5-part series. Can't wait to play the final two.

This is the first game of a fantastic series (and the mechanics and graphics do improve noticeably as the series goes on). Highly recommended for a rainy weekend.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 9, 2014
Very short, very linear, might as well have been an animated movie. The only puzzle in this game is figuring out how to work the notebook. Also the resolution is very bad, there is a config exe to set the game to windowed mode at least.

It was ok
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2014
The Blackwell Legacy is a point-and-click (P&C) adventure game which replicates the vibe of the classic era of adventure games from the ‘90s thanks to its visual style and mechanics, along with an interesting concept to kickstart the story. However, on its own, it fails to be impressive enough due to being no more than a introductory chapter of the saga, as well as a mere “demo” showcasing the developer’s skills in using the AGS engine back when this game was released.

Undoubtedly, the strongest aspect of this game is its story. You follow Rosa Blackwell, the protagonist whose only relative eventually dies after years in coma, thus changing her life forever the moment a ghost from the 1930s, Joey Mallone, suddenly shows up in her life. This is where Rosa discovers that Joey was bounded to her family legacy (the title is now self-explanatory) for decades and that his job is to help ghosts or spirits (maybe souls?) who got stuck in some sort of a limbo on Earth after their death to move on to the afterlife. As a result, Joey becomes Rosa’s spirit guide much like her relative and ultimately start working together to solve a recent murder case involving three students, all suspected to have their spirits stuck in a limbo. At this point, the concept sounds similar to Ghost Whisperer, but it is indeed very captivating only as long as you do not set your expectations too high since it will definitely not blow you straight away. Absolutely not in this particular game.

Playing Blackwell Legacy is a lot more about the story and narrative rather than solving the puzzles. Mechanically, there is absolutely nothing new to expect from this game. You talk to people, select dialogue branches and use items from the inventory (no item combinations though) to solve puzzles. That is all there is to it. There is a notepad feature that allows the player to combine clues which can help in solving the cases. This is a pretty nifty, yet simplistic, way to progress the story and perhaps about the only “new-ish” mechanic. While the game boils down to a “been there, done that” from a technical point of view, the mechanics are nonetheless competent. The only possible issue might be its compatibility with the Steam overlay because if you activate it, the game jumps into hyper-drive -- at least in my case.

The puzzles are relatively easy as long as you click every possible spot/dialogue, however some do suffer from the illogical/arbitrary syndrome which plagued other similar games in this genre, possibly to bluntly raise the difficulty in some cases. For instance, the infamous first puzzle of the game in the first few minutes is a dreadful puzzle design, something which even the developer apologised in his commentary version of the game years later. Surprisingly enough, for this type of P&C game, there is a lot more dialogue-based puzzles than the typical item-based ones seen in other games which may or may not suit the player depending on their personal tastes.

The voice acting is hit-and-miss in some places, with Rosa and Joey perhaps having the better voice actors. Considering the scope of the project though, the overall voice acting is generally acceptable. On a plus side, the background music is pretty good and does set the perfect atmosphere in certain scenes.

Conclusively, Blackwell Legacy is just a slightly above-the-average P&C adventure game thanks to its concept making it to stand out than other similar games, although on its own it is unimpressive due to the simple fact that it was the developer’s second commercial game, leaving a lot of room for improvements. Not only that the game is just an introductory chapter, it is also a relatively short game which should be completed in no more than two or three hours. Investing solely in the story will not disappoint because it is pretty interesting, with Rosa and Joey having an exciting chemistry, but again, it will not blow you away. Maybe because it does not have enough time to flesh out some things. Once more, on its own, I cannot recommend this game because it is essentially like paying the full price of a book and only getting the first chapter.

The final verdict is to buy the whole saga and play each game one after another instead, particularly the first three, because that is when this game (and the series) actually shines, making it one of the more memorable adventure series of its genre in recent years.
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