You know, for my next adventure game, I want to play a master thief with a SKELETON KEY. People can just TRY to trip me up by locking stuff!
The puzzles are mostly intuitive, by which I mean that even the ones I was temporarily stuck on seemed obvious in retrospect. The NPC conversations can be a tad frustrating, because it's not entirely clear when the same question will yield a new response based on new information, so it's easy to talk to people several times to hear their reaction to your newest clue, only to find out that no one has anything new to share, but that's a minor annoyance at most.
The character portraits are unusually expressive, and most of the environments look great. If you're expecting something that looks at home on the PS3 you will be disappointed, but this is a game where the graphics are perfectly suited to conveying the story, without necessarily pushing any technological boundaries while doing so. Music:
Great ambient music and electronica; Composer Peter Gresser hits the mark. My only complaint about the music is that I wish there were more of it.
This game is pretty short. It only took me about five hours to complete TBL
, and due to some embarrassing brain failures I actually was stuck on a few puzzles for a while, so seasoned adventure gamers might actually complete it even faster. Given the care that obviously went into every aspect of this game it's hard to complain, but the fact remains that I wanted more when the credits started to roll. In fact, the way that the game was broken up into "Days" made me think that there were going to be several, a la Parasite Eve
, so I was unpleasantly surprised when the game did end. I understand that this is the first installment in an episodic series, but that didn't stop me from wanting more from the episode.
Of course, that kind of criticism is really a backhanded compliment-- you don't want a game to be longer unless you're really getting into it, and at $14.99 on Wadjet Eye's
store, it isn't overpriced despite the short playtime. Lastly, there's a commentary track available upon replay, and it's one of those robust ones where the creator actually talks to you instead of saying "Yeah, I remember working on this level!" a bunch of times, so that adds replay value for me. I'm not sure how many other people find commentary tracks as endlessly fascinating as I do, but at the very least it's an additional feature.
Finishing the game also unlocks something humorous, which I won't spoil. You'll thank me later.
What it All Boils Down To:
There would be some sort of extremely pithy final paragraph here about how TBL
is great and you should all play it, except I'm currently too busy ravenously devouring the sequel, Blackwell Unbound
, to worry about it. I'm sure I'll be able to get some juicy info out of Joey this time.