The year is 1973. The sound of a lone, ethereal saxophone drifts over the Roosevelt Island promenade, while a series of accidents plague a midtown construction site. The citizens of Manhattan take no notice of these events, let alone think they are connected.
User reviews: Very Positive (229 reviews) - 95% of the 229 user reviews for this game are positive.
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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About This Game

The year is 1973. The sound of a lone, ethereal saxophone drifts over the Roosevelt Island promenade, while a series of accidents plague a midtown construction site. The citizens of Manhattan take no notice of these events, let alone think they are connected.
Embittered medium Lauren Blackwell and her spirit guide Joey Mallone are the only ones who believe that there is anything strange going on, and they are the only ones who can stop an enigmatic killer from striking again...

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
22 of 25 people (88%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 17, 2015
Blackwell Unbound is the second installment of Blackwell series, and it is a prequel to the first game. Here, we take the chance of experiencing the previous generation of the Legacy, with Lauren Blackwell. I have to say that the previous game left me with such great expectations, I rushed to play this one and first, was quite confused not the find Rosa. The city, the time, even Joey's attitude was different. Then I realized that finding Lauren instead, was a welcoming surprise in the end.

In this game we play as Lauren Blackwell, Rosa's witty and daring aunt back in 1970s. She is a chain smoker, a lady with an attitude and she has the guts that Rosa lacked in the previous game. She takes the day as it comes, and doesn't rest until a case is closed. Alongside Joey - the famous legacy himself - they investigate many potential cases and guide restless spirits to their after lives. In this specific period of their partnership however, they shall meet a strange old lady and end up witnessing a darker shade of what being a medium actually means.

This game is a bit grim in tone compared to the Blackwell Legacy. Dialogues carry sharp, two sided meanings, heavy with bittersweet feelings and a burdening suspense. The nature of the cases, and their resulting situation reveals a darker, shadier side to the medium business. Since we already know how Lauren's story will end eventually, seeing her venturing further down into her story is somehow heartbreaking.

Lauren is a strong character, as I briefly described before. She is so driven and so courageous, she ends up being downright suicidal sometimes. Her relationship with Joey is completely different whence compared to Rosa's relationship. We experience the advantage that Lauren and Joey already knew each other for a long time. So there is no awkwardness in their relationship. There is no "Oh no, ghosts are real?" period. I wondered if there would even be a little romance between them! I personally think this was a great opportunity to discover further background and in-depth personality to Joey and Lauren Blackwell.

The gameplay is nearly the same as before, yet the loveliest addition to the game is that Joey has become a playable character now. You are welcome to send him through walls or use his perception to check on the environment to catch a small nuance that may help you to progress in the case. I have to add that the voice acting was remarkably improved compared to the first game also. Alongside the commentary feature which we are already familiar with, you can enjoy some backdrop jokes, concept arts and various unused recordings when you finish the game.

All in all, I liked this one and now I feel more attracted to the Blackwell series altogether, witnessing Lauren and Joey in their time. Whence you look up on a family tree and compare the generations, it is not possible not to connect yourself better with given history. I cannot wait to play the third part and see what Rosa has been up to!

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13 of 13 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 19, 2015
Classic
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13 of 13 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 22, 2015
Perhaps The Blackwell Unbound’s biggest contribution to the series, is giving it a far larger scope and nuance than what was only hinted at in the first game.Long before Rosa Blackwell ever met Joey Mallone (or had even been born for that matter), Unbound follows her aunt, Lauren, Joey’s previous “hostage” and an experienced medium at the point we find her. Unbound isn’t so much about her adventures with Joey though, as it is a foreshadowing of what we already know happens to her.

In many ways she’s the spitting image of her niece, though certainly more confident and assertive than the depressed Rosa we met in Legacy, yet tied by the common thread of having largely given up on the world. Lauren has devoted herself to helping lingering ghosts move on to the afterlife, but otherwise is unsure for what purpose she’s living for. Or at least that’s what she tells herself, but when caught up in an investigation she becomes a wholly different person.

Lauren is persistent and dedicated to doing whatever is necessary to finish a case, no matter if it means pressing people for information they’d rather forget, or putting her life on the line to catch a killer. Maybe it’s because she feels she has no other purpose that she’s able to so readily move forward, unafraid of how dangerous it could become. By abandoning her worry she’s able to fully embody her role as a medium, as if she too was a ghost and nothing could harm her. She’s a refreshingly capable heroine in a landscape of unstable sex objects, who manages to be tough without losing her humanity. There’s the feeling she’s still scared underneath her fearless exterior, and allows herself to become vulnerable at times to avoid a complete breakdown, but she’s always in control of any situation she puts herself in whether interrogating a witness or firing back when Joey gets brash.

It’s in the final moments of Unbound though that are the most affecting. We’ve already been told what eventually happens to Lauren in Legacy, but it’s seeing it and hearing Joey’s ignorant condolences that made me almost angry at what his presence has done and continues to do to the Blackwells. It casts Lauren and Rosa’s relationship with him in a different light and made me question his every word, now unsure if I could trust him the way I was, wondering if he had a more nefarious purpose for being there all along. Much of Unbound feels inessential, like another episode in a show you enjoy but could afford to miss, but its implications on the larger whole of the Blackwell saga is perhaps the most significant bit of exposition in the series thus far. Suddenly things have become a hell of a lot more complicated.

You can read more of my writing on Kritiqal.
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14 of 16 people (88%) found this review helpful
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
Short Verdict: Blackwell Unbound is the second installment in my favorite point-and-click adventure series in this century. The Blackwell series definitely has a special place in my heart. BU tells the story of Lauren Blackwell, a medium, and Joey, a spirit stuck with the Blackwell family, and they both go about solving mysteries in the 70's, if I'm not mistaken, and investigating cases related to ghosts who have problems moving on to the afterlife. It's definitely better than The Blackwell Legacy, but the sequels are even better. 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. Don't forget to play The Blackwell Legacy first! While you could play BU as a standalone game, you'll miss a little bit if you haven't played TBL.

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
  • The 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. And this game has no problems with different volumes like its prequel.
  • 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
  • This time you get to control both Lauren and Joey, adding a lot to the puzzles
  • Beautiful retro graphics
  • BGM is awesome, way better than the already good tunes from TBL

Cons:
  • Sometimes the audio played doesn't match the text written
  • The low resolution annoys me a bit (you can set it to 1280x960, though, but that option is hard to find)
  • While the game itself is a lot more polished than its prequel, they didn't take the time to properly proofread the dialogues, especially the ones with a character named C.

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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15 of 19 people (79%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 13, 2014
“BOO! Oh, look. I scared it to death. Wait. No. Hold on. It was already like that.”

Blackwell Unbound represents the second of five parts in the Blackwell series. On its own it is a prequel dealing with the past of the first game. Compared with its predecessor it has a better balance between gameplay and storytelling.

Other strong points are the mature characters and their witty dialogues. In addition the puzzles are more logical and the voice acting remains top notch. While the main story is not as strong as in Blackwell Legacy, the underlying storyline profits from this flashback.

Fun fact: The storyline of Blackwell Unbound was originally a part of Blackwell Convergence, but due to budget issues it was decided to release the game content as a stand-alone.
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My rating system consists of six categories in descending order of importance:

- Atmosphere
- Characters
- Details
- Puzzles
- Story
- Controls

Based on the performance each category will receive one of the following grading:

- S-Rank: excellent
- A-Rank: very good
- B-Rank: solid
- C-Rank: satisfactory
- D-Rank: inferior

If the S-Rank is awarded, a quote from the game or personal comment will be added as a token of my respect (in brackets).
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Atmosphere: A-Rank

Characters: A-Rank

Details: A-Rank

Puzzles: A-Rank

Story: C-Rank (A-Rank for the underlying storyline)

Controls: B-Rank
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To conquer all achievements of The Blackwell Unbound, you will most likely spend around 4 hours. A detailed achievement guide can be found on the link below (thanks to nek♥|sorrow (。◕‿‿◕。)).

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=115254920

Achievement difficulty: 2 of 10

Common:
- Singleplayer [+1]

Special:
- Trying to Cut Down [+1]
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Blackwell Epiphany (PC) – Adventure game + Point & Click
(Fantasy) – 2014
http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561197968514473/recommended/236930/
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Blackwell Deception (PC) – Adventure game + Point & Click
(Fantasy) – 2013
http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561197968514473/recommended/80360/
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Blackwell Convergence (PC) – Adventure game + Point & Click
(Fantasy) – 2009
http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561197968514473/recommended/80350/
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Blackwell Unbound (PC) – Adventure game + Point & Click
(Fantasy) – 2007
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The Blackwell Legacy (PC) – Adventure game + Point & Click
(Fantasy) – 2006
http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561197968514473/recommended/80330/
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