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 (417 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

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Buy Blackwell Epiphany

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$5.99
 

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
15 of 15 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
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
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 8
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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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 28
Such a well done point-and-click adventure for so little money. I just feel it should be more popular. It's a nice start to a series I'm eager to know more about.
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15 of 24 people (63%) found this review helpful
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 30
One of the finest puzzle game.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 19
Rosa Blackwell's life isn't going so well. She's become an antisocial shut-in, her work as an amateur book reviewer for a local paper is beginning to suffer, and her only relative has just passed away after succumbing to what might possibly be hereditary madness. And as if that wasn't enough, she's begun to see and hear a smart talking ghost who has revealed himself to be something of a family heirloom.

This is The Blackwell Legacy, the first of five chapters chronicling the events of Rosa and her new life partner, Joey, who have quickly become shackled together and must now make the most of their predicament. Perhaps not an entirely original premise, but that fact seems to be entirely lost on Blackwell, which disregards any accusations of being cliched in order to tell an expertly penned and even more impressively acted narrative that quite frankly transcends the game it's attached to. Characters are written and voiced with a deeply personal feel, easily engrossing you in their lives and making you care about their outcomes despite the game lasting little more than a few hours. The plot is slow to unfold, but as the first game in the Blackwell series it acts almost more like a prologue, spending most of the time introducing you to the characters that you'll be seeing for the next four games, and in that regards is entirely successful.

It's a tad disappointing then that the actual adventure game elements so often fall into the same issues that have plagued the genre since its inception. Most annoying is how often you are left without any direction or indication of where you are supposed to go, what you need to say, or who you should be interacting with. This left me consistently walking in circles as I tried every option I could, only to realize I'd missed something a ways back that seemed entirely unrelated. It's tedious and confusing, and really got in the way of the best part of Blackwell, which is its story.

Even so, it's worth pushing through the convoluted puzzle logic in order to experience the surprisingly excellent narrative, which not only delivers a highly intriguing story in its own right but sets up so much potential for what is to come of the series. I wasn't sure quite what I was getting into when I decided to checkout The Blackwell Legacy, but am certainly glad I did and am eager to see where it might go next!
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 23
(For reference, the correct play order is Legacy - Unbound - Convergence - Deception - Epiphany. The series pretty much plays like 5 chapters of a single game, so this review is the same for each.)

You play Rosa Blackwell, who much to her annoyance has inherited the family spirit guide- Joey Mallone, a 1930's gangster type who absolutely insists she spends her evenings resolving supernatural oddities by calming the ghosts causing them and helping them move on to the next world. Of course, only Rosa can see and talk to these ghosts, so traipsing around New York apparently talking to herself is the order of the day.

Right off the bat, Blackwell is sure to evoke nostalgia in those of us who played adventure games back in the day. Remove the voice acting and you could convince me these were hidden Amiga gems that were recently unearthed. The pixel art changes in style between each game but is always crisp, clear, and remarkably detailed- some animations are a little choppy but that's kinda nostalgic too.

The games are easily comparable to the Phoenix Wright titles, and I'd say anyone who enjoyed those will have a good time here. The focus is much more on the story than the puzzles, which usually involve gathering information from the right places and using it to help the ghosts realise their time in the mortal world is over. It rarely falls into the adventure game traps of obtuse puzzles that make no real sense, and the times it does are almost entirely in the first game- in-game commentary from the developer notes that he's well aware of these early stumbles and actively avoided them later.

Probably the point that will discourage those who watched the trailer is the voice acting, which early on is admittedly amateur and clearly done on home hardware rather than in a studio. Please, PLEASE do not let that turn you off the series. If it's a dealbreaker you can turn voice acting off completely in each game, and after the first two games it gets markedly better. I was unsure on Abe Goldfarb's performance as Joey to begin with, but by the end of the series I couldn't imagine anyone else in the role. Just.... Just weather the storm and it'll pay off later, trust me.

All told you're looking at 15-20 hours for the five games (though that depends a lot on how good you are with solving the mysteries) and achievement hunters will play through each one twice, though the second time through is a lot quicker. I became very attached to Rosa and Joey in my time with them and I'll miss them now their adventure is over.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 15
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: November 2
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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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 24
DO NOT get this game if you expect a big mind-expanding game with rewarding puzzles. The game can be 100% completed in one afternoon, it's 90% dialog with very few interactions, there are only four locations, and the puzzles, while ingenious on paper, feel really contrived in practice.

Absolutely DO get this game if it's on sale and you feel like getting into a well-delivered story with cool mysteries and believable characters. Rosangela is a very endearing protagonist, the plot is enjoyable and there are quite a few humorous moments.

I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed this game. All 2 hours of it, that is. ): Good thing I got the rest of the saga.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 3
The Blackwell Legacy is the first game in the Blackwell adventure series. This is a point and click adventure game, with an emphasis on detective work.

In The Blackwell Legacy, you mainly control Rosa Blackwell, a newspaper writer asked to do a story on a recent suicide at the local college. Throughout the course of the first day, you learn that Rosa has a family legacy in the form of a ghost named Joey. In the course of the adventure, you control Rosa and Joey as you try to solve the mystery of the college suicide. At certain points, you can switch to controlling Joey when you need some ghostly assistance.

While Blackwell Legacy controls like a typical point and click, much progress is made through your interviews and questioning of individuals connected to the case. You have a notebook in addition to your inventory which is used to track clues. Clues can be combined in the notebook if there is a connection, and you can bring up your notebook to question individuals further. As new information is found about clues, it is added to the notebook.

The retro graphics are well done, although I am not a huge fan of the style. It doesn't take away too much from my enjoyment of the game. I would prefer well done retro graphics than bad modern artwork.

The voice actors could use some improvement. Joey is serviceable, but Rosa's actor sounds like she is completely disinterested the entire time. Hopefully she improves in later games in the series.

The Blackwell Legacy is an enjoyable, short detective adventure game. Expect the game to only last a few hours. There are the beginnings of a great adventure series here. The notebook feature in particular was fun to use when questioning witnesses. I could also see Joey as a controllable character being used in interesting ways in future games. I recommend this game, not only because it is enjoyable in itself, but also because I expect this to be the first in a great series.

Grade: B
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 7
I just beat it and I can say it's a wonderful opening chapter for Blackwell -games. Being a long-time fan of point&click games - I'm sure that this is one of the most successful -series of the genre.
Only thing that bugges me is the price. While the quality of the game is top-notch it's is all over just too quick. The game can be completed in couple of hours and I have heard the same thing about the sequels. So, if your adventure hunger isn't overwhelming I recommend to wait a bundle, small price tag on it. Then it is an offer no adventure fan can refuse !!
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 27
Totally worth money and time.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 6
Blackwell Legacy & Unbound

Background: Love Point & clicks. Stumbled across this as a reddit recommend during the summer sale. Played shortly after Perfidious Petrol Station (similar style game) so was in the mood for retro gaming.

Reviewing both the first and second game as they are very similar and i played them back to back.

Impressions: Anyone whose played the first two Blackwell games will point to their lo-fi charm.. Blackwell captures the days of SCUMM/Lucasarts perfectly... all too perfectly with it's qwerks, dead-ends, glitches and clunky interface. But as ever it's the story and characters that need to stand-out and within 5minutes I was hooked on the plot and invested in the characters.

The Good:
* Superb story in a world that feels lived in.
* Original gameplay ideas that are fun to explore.
* Great characters and cases that make logical sense.
* The Notepad mechanic is genius.
* Recaptures the days of Monkey Island.
* Achievements make replay more fun.
* Commentary is fun and enlightening.

The Bad:
* Voice acting can be a little off (part of the charm).
* Can get deadended because you missed clicking one thing.
* Save/Load interface is awkward.
* Can't ALT+TAB on Win 7 without locking up and CTRL+DEL.
* Some visuals are stretched by widescreen monitors.
* Some lines unvoiced or used in error (very few).
* Commentary is spoliery don't listen on first play-through.
* Short length but value when bought as a pack.
* Bonus features has audio swearing not in the main game.

Recommended for: Old school P n' C fans who value plot and characters over glitz. Ideal for nostalgia hounds and teens who like the supernatural.

Conclusion.
7/10. It won't blow you away but it's a solid set of games and deserves to be played.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 28
Solid & amusing story, but there are better adventure games out there. Controls/puzzles being less than intuitive leads to too much backtracking. I loathed the need to use the notebook to combine clues-- this is something the Phoenix Wright games incorporated flawlessly into play, but Blackwell Legacy fails to execute well. All in all, I give it a solid "meh" out of 10. Worth the $1.24 I paid for entertainment value-- hopefully the rest of the series improves on the first installment.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
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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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 2
For clarification! I don't recommend this game because of how annoying Rosa is and how dead the voice actor sounds (she's replaced for the later games), not because of the actual game per se. The overall game's story is pretty depressing and has religious tones so if you aren't into that don't bother with the game series at all because these tones increase with each new game. But, if you're okay with these things and are able to stomach Rosa then YES do get the game because being the first in the series is rather important for understanding the other 3 games.

Expect a very short game-- as with all the others in the series and some confusing action; Overall a satisfying introductory story.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 25
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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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 19
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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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 22
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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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
This is the first game of the series. Well, I have to start off by saying I suck at Point-and-click games. I had to look up 2 or 3 things to keep progressing, else I was stuck.

Now, I run with 144 fps and that's probably why I encoutered a few bugs, about 10 minutes before the end of the game, I turned it down to 60 fps and I didin't have a single bug from there on. Bugs such as dialogues skipping and people opening doors from a screen away.

About the story... Well it's very good, that's the most solid part of the game! The story, the ambiance, the music, the characters... All very good. I liked the voice acting too! Sadly, it dosen't have many settings to adjust the graphics and the game seems to have quite a low resolution.

My biggest deception is the backtracking and achievements. I think they achievements were kinda badly thought about and forced me to always save and consider them while playing... Took some of the fun away.

Would I recommend this? Of course! Even if you don't really like Point-and-clicks, the story is good, it's fun and cheap! Go ahead and grab it if you want. Be sure to consider the bundle first... Because after you are done with one of these games, you will want to play through the entire thing.
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