All good stories must come to an end, and Wadjet Eye Games' hit point and click adventure game series "Blackwell" bids farewell with its fifth and final volume "Blackwell Epiphany." With retro pixel graphics and gameplay akin to the point and click adventures of the 90s, “Blackwell Epiphany” and the rest of the “Blackwell” series followed the adventures of Rosa Blackwell (and her aunt Lauren in one game) as she investigates several murders with the help of a jazz era ghost named Joey Mallone.
While the premise of an ordinary person taking on murder cases to help spirits achieve peace and final rest has been done before, the writing and voice work in addition to the puzzles have made these games from Wadjet Eye Games an endearing point and click adventure series. “Blackwell Epiphany” starts off with Rosa and Joey doing yet some more investigative work. But things quickly escalate as their bond and lives are threatened to be torn apart metaphorically and literally.
One gameplay aspect that makes Wadjet Eye Games' “Blackwell Epiphany” and its predecessors unique among point and click adventure games is how the player controls both Rosa and Joey. As a living human, Rosa is the one fellow living people talk to and she can interact with objects. She ends up doing most of the heavy lifting since the ghost Joey's physical strength is limited to a quick puff of wind and he's really picky about what he'll blow on. But as a ghost, Joey can phase through walls to gather clues on the other side, mess about with electronics, and interact with other ghosts. Joey's range is limited as he has to be always Stand by Rosa. Players will have to wrap their heads getting used to the dual mechanics as they tackle the various puzzles and plot that Wadjet Eye Games produced with this game.
Without spoiling too much about “Blackwell Epiphany,” it actually feels like a good end for the series. The world around the “Blackwell” series has been built throughout the games and “Blackwell Epiphany” has most of it ready to crash down in the climax. Will Rosa be able to keep sane and how will she and Joey fare when things get truly taxing?
Wadjet Eye Games is selling “Blackwell Epiphany” from their website as well as on Steam and GOG for $14.99 Anyone who prefers to do their point and click adventure gaming can wait until June when it comes out for iPhone and iPad.