Hey, Rosa, here's a Protip: If you don't want me to click on the plants, stop filling your apartment with plants.
With a backlog of approximately 40,000 games in my "to play" pile, I don't tend to surf the internet looking for new stuff to play. So it was a happy accident that I discovered The Blackwell Legacy
on a pixel art site.
I missed the era when point-and-click adventures were popular (in truth I'm old enough to have played them, but my family FAILED by not even having a computer until I was in high school), so this whole genre is kind of a mystery to me (I mean, you click stuff and like, stuff happens? But there's no fightey-fightey? How do I level up if there's no fightey-fightey? WHAT DO YOU MEAN I DON'T LEVEL UP?). But, as one of those perpetually guilty gamers who feels like some of my time would be better spent reading books, it seems like the genre could be a good match for me-- it's a kind of a game. It's kind of a book. It's like a 'gook'.
The Blackwell Legacy
is about a young woman named Rosangela who becomes a psychic medium, like her aunt and grandmother before her (hence 'legacy'). She begins investigating murders with the help of her spirit guide Joey, who looks a lot like an undead Dick Tracey. I know there's a show called "Medium", and it would be great if I could make some witty comment here about the game that fans of the show would get, but unfortunately my TV exists SOLELY as a videogame display tool, so I don't know anything about the show other than the fact that it allegedly stars Patricia Arquette.
With it's NYC setting and moody soundtrack, BL reminds me a bit of Parasite Eve-- which probably means I've lost all objectivity about the game. Well, I'm going to write about it anyway, so there!
Psychic stuff in general is very hit or miss with me, but from what I've played so far I appreciate the noir-lite feeling I get from the world of BL. There's definitely some noir-detective story feel to it, but unlike most stories that are referred to as "noir", the game at no point made me want to shoot myself. In keeping with what I've read about other games of this nature, a large part of the game involves clicking on an object, and getting a snide comment from Rosa about how you've picked the wrong object; clicking on the stove elicits an indignant "Cook? Why bother when every Chinese place in the city delivers?" Of course this means that I spent most of the demo clicking on images of doors and potted plants while shouting "Do something with this object, you STUPID BITCH!", but I think that's just how we gamers show affection sometimes.
What really impresses me about this game is it's production: The hand-drawn graphics are clear and intricate, and as someone weaned on polygonal character models, I'm really beginning to appreciate the beauty of sprites. The music in the opening sequence reminded me of a tune from Parasite Eve-- always a compliment-- and while the voice acting isn't perfect to my ears, it's perfectly respectable for a game from a smaller developer. Rosa is kind of a whiner, but if my life was one-tenth as fucked up as hers I think I'd be an insufferable basket case, so I kind of have to give her the benefit of the doubt.
Wadjet Eye Games
seems to specialize in old fashioned point-and-click games with modern aesthetics, and if the information on their website is any indication, they seem to have a genuine interest in breaking new ground in the realm of interactive fiction. I can't vouch for the overall quality of their games-- while I was impressed with what I played, the fact is I have yet to play more than a demo-- but if their approach to making games is anything like what I think it is, they are a developer worth supporting. Another one of their games, Shivah
, is a about an inner city Rabbi that boasts among it's features 'a unique way of fighting', and rabbinical conversation methods.
I must know: How does a Rabbi fight exactly? Does the 'unique way of fighting' actually utilize the rabbinical conversation methods? Does he use passages from the Talmud as projectile weapons? I really don't see how anyone could resist downloading the demo to find out.