Blackwell Deception is basically a detective game with a twist. Its got ghosts.
Rosangela Blackwell, is the living host to Joey. She can see and interact with ghosts, so its not your average detectives game. Rosa is an ex-writer, you get a small review of her past as she meets ghosts of those she once worked with. She is not really a people person, and often says the wrong thing to people, upsetting them, or making them angry. She now runs a company offering “Spiritual services”.
Joey, is a very 80’s based character. He often says out dated terms and cliches. He also can’t touch anything, but can inspect things to an extent that Rosa can’t, he can go through locked doors, and its handy sometimes that other people can’t see or hear him. Although, other ghosts can fully interact with him. Him and Rosa can’t really interact when other people are around, in case suspicion is raised. He also has a hidden past, which even Rosa doesn’t know.
The graphics are extremely pixelated in foreground game play, but in dialogue when a pop up head of the person talking appears the graphics are well done, and the expression changes are wonderful and colorful. Its a dark game in general and there is sometimes little light and it has a lot of neutral colours.
I was very skeptical when I started to play this game, thinking it was gonna be a long, drawn out, boring game, but found when I started that it was a challenge! It took me hours to figure out all the controls and how to use the characters to their best of abilities.
Blackwell Deception jumps right into it, with no option of a tutorial, we are given nothing of a background to the game, just the summary of the first case file.
So as I’m going along getting used to the controls, which are slow and mouse based. Click, Click, Click. I can’t for the life of me figure out what to do next, I’ve tried everything, and clicking randomly does nothing. I’ve hear all the dialogue, and nothing. I just can’t figure it out!
And then, I discover, they have special moves! Which vary from level to level.
Joey has two set special uses, his can blow on things, and his tie helps spirits move on, dragging Rosangela into the void between life and death, all very morbid I must say.
Rosangela has a phone, with all her e-mails, and a search engine, and also her notes, in which you can cross reference all your clues. Its rather useful if you can figure out what to input into it.
You can also get hints from dialogue with the other character’s. Rosa would ask Joey what he thinks they should do next, and vice versa.
The game play consists of a lot of slow moving around, and gathering information from people, and returning to places with more information. Its slow paced, but does keep things interesting, with puzzles, and word associations, that are difficult to comprehend at first, but get easier the more you do. Its sometimes hard to figure out your next steps, and the plot is sometimes hard to follow.
Its a good game, but its an intellectual challenge, and I became frustrated at the lack of hints, its cleverly made to make you think hard about different things, and make connections to the spirits you help to move on and the hidden pasts they hide from you. You get an insight to each new spirits past, and their relationships through out their lives.
I liked the storyline, and I kept trying to guess ahead, only to be shocked with what unfolds.
The game is now available from the Wadjet Eye Games website