This is it, the fifth and final installment in the Blackwell series. It’s been well over two years since the fourth game in the Blackwell series was released; I think a refresher is needed for loyal fans and newcomers alike. In a very brief summary of the series you play as Rosangela Blackwell, who has a family history of being a medium of sorts; in short you help lost souls pass over into the next world with the help of your own spirit guide.
This “gift” has been seen as a curse because it has caused both your aunt and grandmother to literally go insane. It’s also a bit of a nuisance because you can never be free of your spirit guide, Joey Mallone. In the fourth game, the narrative started to allude to something nefarious going on amongst a group of people that know about people like Rosangela; this final chapter in the story will shed some light on all of the loose ends that fans have theorized about since the first game’s release in 2006.
Blackwell Epiphany felt like more of the same, but with higher stakes because you’re chasing some unknown force that is doing evil things to spirits. To keep things interesting, Epiphany had more surprises, more mysteries to solve and more ghosts to save. Throughout the narrative you are given hints and clues as to who may be this evil force but there are several twists and turns throughout that distract you from the truth and what ultimately happens.
The climax and revelations may not be shocking but they certainly are entertaining; complete with the usual witty banter. Having played each game in the series, I must admit that by the time I got to the end I was a little sad to finish the story. I half expected to see a breadcrumb at the end of the credits for the next game but it never came; there was a very definite “The End.”
In terms of gameplay there are a few new mechanics introduced, like calling Rosa and/or Joey to join when you’re playing as the other character and you’re separated. Fast travel to locations is the same but looks different from previous versions, and I didn’t particularly care for the circles aesthetically.
The interface between some items may vary however slightly, as in previous games, but the way you play is still the same. If I had to complain, I will admit that I didn’t enjoy the pixel art as much as I have in the previous games, it just didn’t seem as detailed. Also, Rosa’s apartment just felt like it was just there to hold nostalgia because through the course of the narrative there was no reason to return to her apartment, not even to talk to Joey.
Ever present still are Wadjet Eye Games’ geek pop culture references; like in Blackwell Deception the villain, Gavin, briefly channeling The Emperor and Luke Skywalker from Return of the Jedi. In keeping with the trend, keep a look out for Rosa pulling a Rose Tyler absorbing the Time Vortex in Doctor who.
Bottom Line: Blackwell Epiphany is a point and click mystery adventure game. The series has always has good music and a decent storyline and if you’ve enjoyed the previous versions of this game then you won’t be disappointed with this installment. This game does great fan service and ties up nearly everything into a nice neat little bow.
This review was based on a digital PC copy of Blackwell Epiphany provided by Wadjet Eye Games.