Blackwell Unbound (iOS) Review

By Chris Leebody 05.08.2014 2

Review for Blackwell Unbound on iOS

It would have been easy after The Blackwell Legacy for Wadjet Eye Games to take the easy approach of making a second episode that just plays out in a linear narrative and has the player return to Rosa to just solve a few more hauntings. Thankfully it is clear the developer had a clear plan for the story, and in this second chapter, Unbound, it gives players control of an intriguing character mentioned in the first game - namely Rosa's aunt, Lauren Blackwell. With this return to the past, a totally different dynamic is shown between the relationship of Lauren and Joey to that of Rosa and Joey, as well as some of the intricacies of the point of the Blackwell mediums being expanded upon.

The first thing that is immediately present in this story is the totally different relationship that Lauren and Joey have. There is a sense right off the bat that Lauren is far more comfortable with Joey than Rosa and it has the effect of giving more enjoyable interactions between the two characters. Lauren is a lot more likeable as a character.

That likeability may also have something to do with the fact that she actually has a much better voice actor who is able to bring a lot more personality out of her than Rosa's monotone voice and also due to the nature of the story - she has more knowledge of the point of being a medium and is more sympathetic to the various ghosts players encounter during the episode.

As has been mentioned, Joey is back for players to enjoy, and thanks to the aforementioned relationship, he is a more enjoyable and developed character. Indeed there is even a feeling that he actually cares about Lauren a lot more than Rosa in Legacy. Additionally, players can actually control Joey this time around thanks to a clever mechanic that allows switching between Lauren and Joey to solve different puzzles. It is very smartly done with occasions in which the player has to utilise both Joey and Lauren to solve the puzzles together considering Joey cannot touch physical objects.

Screenshot for Blackwell Unbound on iOS

It has to be said that the murders that Lauren and Joey solve are more interesting than Legacy's tale of the suicides of university girls. Unbound manages to really tap into that engrossing New York jazz feeling with one of the cases being the mysterious murder of a saxophonist and the soundtrack that runs alongside it really transports gamers back to 1973.

The other murder, about a woman who never left her apartment, is slightly more mundane, but is interesting for the puzzle mechanics it employs, including having to track down her son through the phone book and convincing him you were her neighbour by picking the right dialogue according to the clues in the handy notebook that accompanies Lauren and Joey throughout.

The two individual murders in this chapter are tied together by a newly introduced figure known as 'The Countess' who is involved in these murders, and her introduction begins to set out the story of the Blackwell series more broadly, with the realisation that there is a lot more going on than has been shown in the first two chapters, and that the next chapter is really going to be ramped up another notch.

Screenshot for Blackwell Unbound on iOS

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Blackwell Unbound is a good continuation of the story set out in Legacy and sets events up nicely for the next chapter. The murder cases are engaging and Lauren and Joey's relationship is enjoyable to watch. The puzzles in the game are not head scratching in terms of difficulty, but provide enough challenge to make them satisfying.

Also known as

Blackwell 2: Unbound

Developer

Wadjet Eye Games

Publisher

Wadjet Eye Games

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

...and this is why I was interested in a second opinion, because personally I felt this was the weakest of the games. I especially didn't like the start, which just kind of drops you right in the middle of something that isn't properly explained, trying to progress using a technique that isn't explained (the Joey-Lauren switch).

Good still, but not as good as the first episode, and since 3, 4, and 5 get so much better, I reckon 2 is the weakest of the bunch.

But I see where your point of view comes from, so it made really interesting reading!

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

Yeah I guess it just comes down to personal opinion. I liked the cases more in this one which was main reason. But I liked Lauren better too.

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
Gabriel PVJ Jones, hinchjoie, ringlord71

There are 3 members online at the moment.