Blackwell Unbound Review

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danyboy
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Blackwell Unbound Review

Postby danyboy » Fri Nov 30, 2007 9:09 pm

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The stories:

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…

Introduction:

At the beginning of the game, Lauren and Joey have already checked out a number of possible investigations, and there are only a couple of things left to check. The subjects left might not seem very appealing at first, but after only a few minutes of playing you will jump right in the middle of some very interesting investigations.

I was pleased to see that the game was very humorous and dark. The game takes place before the Legacy game, and you play the role of Lauren, the aunt of Rosa, a character from Legacy. Lauren also has the same spirit guide as Rosa did, an old-fashioned macho ghost named Joey. In Unbound you have two cases to solve. One is about a stand-alone spirit saxophonist, and you will soon learn that he isn’t a big talker. The second is about a crazy ghost woman who is living in the middle of a construction site. Both cases have their own stories, but you soon realize that a twisted connection between these two cases might be possible. Both stories are interesting, and they both make you want to learn more about all the characters involved and their motivations.

Here are a couple of interesting facts about the game:

-After installing, the cd version of the game is playable without the cd.

-You have the choice of installing the tutorial or not. Even if you don’t install it, you are able to use it during the gameplay.

-You can switch and play as Joey or as Lauren to perform different tasks.

-You need to take some pictures during the game. Take all the pictures you can as this will permit you to access some free bonus material at the end of the game.

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Gameplay:

There aren’t any action sequences in Blackwell Unbound. It is a third person point and click adventure game. The inventory is easy to use; you left click to pick up and right click to see or to use. There is another feature in the game - the notebook - where you can combine different subjects to make new ones. During the game you are able to use two characters, Lauren and Joey. They both have different purposes.

Puzzles:

The puzzles are dialogue oriented. I know Dave will hate me for saying this but other kind of puzzles might be very interesting to have.

Graphics:

O.K. I know that adventure game graphics have evolved a great deal in the past year, so why does Blackwell Unbound have such old-fashioned graphics? From what I have read, Wadjet is a small developer without an extensive budget. Those of you who are running away from this kind of game should know that you will miss an excellent game if you do. It’s true that there aren’t too many locations, but the developer made the effort to make everything else in the game as enjoyable as he could.

Music and sounds:

The music was surprising. I can even say that it’s high quality. There are a lot of different sound tracks - some are very jazzy. Every piece of music fits the ambiance of each part of the game. I even got the soundtrack of the game, and I’m listening to it from time to time. The character voices are well chosen - they fit each character perfectly. Guys, I can tell you that Lauren’s voice is very sexy. *wink*

Dialogue:

There isn’t that much dialogue in the game, but since there isn’t any way to predict what will be important or not, I suggest you to go through all the dialogues. Information you need to progress in the game is easy to get in this way, and a dialogue can be repeated if you want to do so. Conversations with everyone, including those between Joey and Lauren, can give you important clues. I don't think there are any dialogue choices that would change the outcome of the game, but I wish next time we could get the possibility to choose different ways to answer the characters.

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Bugs and/or patches:

I didn’t encounter any bugs during the gameplay.

Computer specifications:
Pentium or higher processor
32 Mb RAM
Windows 95 OSR2, 98, ME, 2000 or XP, with DirectX 5 or above
Supports all DirectX-compatible sound and video cards


My computer specifications:

Windows XP
RAM: 1024 MB
Sound: Onboard Sound Controller
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 6200 TurboCache
CPU: Intel Pentium 4, 3.00 GHz Processor
Disk Space : 16.63 GB
DirectX 9.0c

Closing statement:

The game was very different than other games that I usually play, but it was very surprising and interesting. Graphics aren’t high quality, but remember this is a modest production, and if you can put the graphics aside, you will see the story makes the game worth it. The only sad thing I can say about the game is that it was too short. I could have played a couple of hours more. I still have Legacy, and I plan on playing it soon.

At the end of the game don’t forget to check the credits; after that you will get an access code that will allow you to get some interesting extras, such as concept art, bloopers from the recording sessions, additional music tracks, etc…

Official website:

Blackwell Unbound

Daniel (aka danyboy)

A big thank you to my editors, Draclvr, Hawkavonpuka, Angelfire, Ghostlady and LadyK.
Last edited by danyboy on Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Sophie
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Postby Sophie » Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:28 pm

Thank you DB for another great review. I think this game would be
a must for my list. Will be interested to see how our fellow " spirits "
find it. :)
In the end, it doesn't matter how many breaths you take, but how many moments took your breath away...Anonymous
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danyboy
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Postby danyboy » Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:34 pm

Thanks Sophie!

CU

danyboy :)

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