The Blackwell Epiphany Will Be The Last In The Series

By John Walker on February 13th, 2014 at 2:00 pm.

Wadjet Eye Games, the studio I would credit with being the forerunners of the current adventure resurgence, has announced the final Blackwell game. The Blackwell Epiphany will be the final outing for Rosa Blackwell and Joey Mallone, the intrepid alive-n-dead pair who have been guiding lost souls to the afterlife since 2006′s The Blackwell Legacy. This time out, the soul they’re trying to save is Joey’s own.

Here’s the first brief trailer for this last (sniff) game in the series:

You can pick up the first four games in one go on Steam for £11.25 at the moment. Or get them directly from creator Dave Gilbert via his web store, for $5 each. They’re definitely worth a play, despite some odd hissy audio recording issues in the early episodes.

This last edition should be out in April. I am sad that it will be over.

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37 Comments »

  1. burth says:

    Yeah, I’m thrilled for this! I only played the first four games at the end of last year, but I had a great time. They really got better with each installment (well, maybe the art style peaked in the third one). Basically this is like a well-made procedural TV show (‘Ghost of the week’ investigations) with an underlying mystery arc, and if this one manages to tie everything together it could be a perfect finish.

    If you’re curious and have never played any of these games, I recommend starting at the beginning to get the most out of the character backgrounds etc., but keep in mind that the games do improve quite a bit in terms of story, puzzles, humor, length… everything, really.

    • Fomorian1988 says:

      Playing Deception I really missed the animated character portraits. I imagine they took a lot of work to make, so I understand if they decided to drop them to make creating easier, but still.

      • Melliflue says:

        From the screenshot it looks like they have them. I hope they do. They added a nice touch of personality to the characters for me.

        I’m sad to see the series end but I understand not wanting to draw a series out when they’ve told the story they wanted to tell. I look forward to future stories :)

      • kalirion says:

        I didn’t mind the portraits, but really didn’t care for Rosa’s sprite in Deception – she seemed like an anorexic caricature compared to the previous games. Everything else was good though, can’t wait for the grand finale!

      • Hahaha says:

        IIRC that is the reason he gave in one of the commentaries (was to much work)

  2. Fomorian1988 says:

    All things come to an end, sadly. One of my favorite ongoing game series is ending. Let us hope for a fantastic farewell.

  3. s732 says:

    I think I remember Dave Gilbert saying somewhere that he had five ideas he wanted to cover with the blackwell series. I’m really looking forward to this final game but I’m glad they won’t endlessly milk it, I’m excited to see what he has in store for us next!

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    Anthile says:

    Some of the best indie games there are and still very much underrated. Buy and play it now.

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    Bluerps says:

    The first four games were my favorite point&click adventures of the last ten years. It’s sad that the series ends.

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    LegendaryTeeth says:

    Sad it’s ending, but happy it is going out on it’s own terms, before it becomes stale.

    Definitely looking forward to this, and whatever they do next.

  7. shadow9d9 says:

    What in the world? Adventure games have been flourishing for years. The mainstream hasn’t been covering them, but that doesn’t mean they magically didn’t exist. Wadget eye hasn’t done anything to change the scene whatsoever. Go to adventuregamer.com and look up the many good games each year. Hell, there have been about 10x as many great adventure games PER YEAR as there have been rpgs…

    Stop pushing this bogus narrative that the adventure genre has been dead. Outside of FPSs, it is probably the most healthy genre for the PC.

    • Fomorian1988 says:

      And how many of those are actually good? Yes, there are plenty of point’n'click adventures. But the vast majority of them are at best mediocre.

      Also, John never wrote that the genre is dead.

      • shadow9d9 says:

        Quite a LOT of them are good. Go look at the reviews.

        What is it a resurgence of? The only resurgence is the coverage that mainstream sites have decided to give, mostly because some bigger names and licenses are being thrown around.

    • jfrisby says:

      I think Wadjet Eye’s done a lot, by bringing a bunch of AGS developers under a virtual roof and creating a fairly consistent brand, with strong use of the mechanics – everyone gets more attention. This is miracle-working for the genre.

      • shadow9d9 says:

        It is certainly admirable, but indie adventure games have been coming out for a while. A handful of games in a pool of tons of games is nice, but it is not much in the scheme of things.

        What is occuring is a narrative in which mainstream sites are covering adventure games for the first time in a while because of high profile kickstarter games and some bigger named mainstream “adventure” games from Telltale.

        Meanwhile, on rpgwatch’s website, in the vote for 2013′s best RPG is Bioshock Infinite, because there hasn’t been a single notable rpg in all of the year. The RPG has been dead for years and is actually due a resurgence with some kickstarter backed projects and Might and Magic X. Meanwhile, the adventure genre has been FLOURISHING for years under the radar. No one has seemed to care. Now that we have a 3 hour pretty adventure game from someone with a big name, that is so easy that even non adventure gamers can breeze through it, “the whole genre is coming back!” narrative is being pushed.

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          Unknown says:

          What on earth are you talking about? Wadjet Eye has been one of the biggest names in the adventure game resurgence, and RPS has been covering them for years.

          • shadow9d9 says:

            1. There is no resurgence, since the genre has been active and thriving nonstop since the 90s.

            2. Wadgjet eye is simply one small budget developer in this genre. They have supported a few other indie projects, but are still just one minor presence out of tons.

    • Grey Ganado says:

      But most of them are free to play and we both know how much everyone hates free to play.

      • shadow9d9 says:

        I don’t know where you came up with that idea, but clearly you don’t play adventure games and haven’t read reviews/followed anything on adventuregamers.com, for example. There might be some casual portals with pseudo adventures, but the genre is thriving with pay for games.

    • Deano2099 says:

      John said they were the ‘forerunners of the current resurgence’. There is currently a resurgence in mainstream point and click gaming, because of Kickstarter. The first Wadjet Eye title was 2006, which was indeed, your ‘years’ ago. The point is that point and clicks started to flourish again around then, and that’s reaching an apex right now.

      As someone who does play a lot of these games, I definitely agree that 2001-2005 was pretty much a dead period for truly great commercial adventures. The post-Grim Fandango/Longest Journey, pre-Blackwell period. If you know any different do tell me what to play. ‘Cause as far as I can tell, Syberia was the adventure game highlight of that time period. Which does not reflect well on the rest.

    • tnzk says:

      Lol, it sounds like you discovered adventure games and adventuregamers.com six months ago and thus must know everything to know about the genre. Welcome to the club.

      I’ve been an ardent fan of adventuregamers.com for a very long time, but they too have noticed a resurgence in the quality of titles in recent years — they’ve outright said it at times, and it’s written all over their narrative anyway.

      Furthermore, we adventure fans can forgive certain INCREDIBLE flaws that are downright disgusting in terms of modern game design. A good example is Agustin Cordes’ 2006 horror game Scratches. In terms of old school adventure logic, it’s pretty darn incredible (even if a little tedious by even the genre’s own standard). In the context of good modern game design, it’s appalling, which is why it got less-than-stellar reviews in many mainstream gaming websites. Only recently have adventure titles shed the excess weight they’ve been accumulating over the years; even if it means ditching sophisticated puzzle design for choose-your-own adventure a la Telltale.

      I was there when a White Bird Studios production such as Sinking Island and Nikopol: Secrets of the Immortals was a tent pole release. A Jonathan Boakes game was my most anticipated title in 2008 above all other games. I played through interesting-but-terrible titles such as Next Life. In many ways, that age was impressionable on me, and they’ll always have a place in my heart.

      But my Lord is there a renaissance happening in the adventure genre. And a bloody exciting one at that.

    • Risingson says:

      Ignoring the rest of the comments, yes, I agree with John: Dave Gilbert and Telltale are responsible for the resurgence of adventure games. “The Shivah” first and “Sam & Max Culture Shock” were, well, a shock reminding me that adventures were about design, writing and puzzles, forgetting about the many many many many flaws that Syberia and previously The Longest Journey brought to the genre.

      • shadow9d9 says:

        Telltale only hurts the adventure genre(that I argue they aren’t even a part of anymore. They are more like trivial player interaction in a video game movie.

        The dumbing down/removal of puzzles from a genre who gameplay IS the puzzles is a terrible trend.

        Broken Age is terrible for the genre imo as well, it places priority on pretty graphics and voiceovers over actual game.

  8. DaveGilbert says:

    Developer chiming in to say that I’ve never seen a more appropriately chosen screenshot. Well done! :)

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      Anthile says:

      Any plans for what comes after Blackwell?

      • DaveGilbert says:

        Some! We are working with some other developers on other projects (other publishing gigs like we had with Gemini Rue and Primordia), and I have a pet project of my own that’s been in my head for, well, years. I never thought I had the clout to make it, but perhaps now is the time!

  9. FFabian says:

    *gasp* the last? …. NOOOOOOOOOoooooo *sob* Best adventure game series of the last 15 years.

  10. MadTinkerer says:

    “This time out, the soul they’re trying to save is Joey’s own.”

    And the title of the game is called “The Blackwell Epiphany”!?! Gee, thanks for spoiling the ending right there in the title, Wadjet Eye.

  11. cpy says:

    I hate adventure games and i hate adventure point and click style crap. Except i own every blackwell game there is. Enough said.

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  13. DrManhatten says:

    Although it is sad to see that this is the last one in the series. It is better to end up on a high note then keep on churning out more and more like so many other adventures currently do by splitting them up in episodes. I rather have a complete finished story game

  14. lordfrikk says:

    Blackwell Legacy is my favorite installment because of the atmosphere. Right from the start when you hear those melancholic, delicious jazzy tunes, combined with the character and mainly the pitch perfect VA of the protagonist with her dark, silky smooth voice… that was an experience.

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  16. tnzk says:

    Woohoo! This is one of my favourite adventure series of all time! Of all time!!!!

  17. Shiloh says:

    Wadjet is hieroglyphics for “the papyrus-coloured one”. I do like a hieroglyphic.

  18. lautalocos says:

    is this from the same people that made the shiva?
    i loved that game and the writing, and if this is anything like it, then i have to buy the whole series.

  19. sophof says:

    Not only great games (with great music!), but also pretty much the only games I play with my girlfriend. Really sad it is going to be the last one, but then again, at least we got 5 of them.