Blackwell Unbound Preview

Dave Gilbert needs no introduction – he has made some of the most enjoyable AGS games, in which he emphasised on captivating plots and profound characterisation. Lately, he has started work as a full-time game developer, and has already released two independent adventure titles – a mature rabbi mystery entitled “The Shivah” (Deluxe version), and the first installment of a modern ghost story called “The Blackwell Legacy”. Both of the titles have thus far had vast success and impressive critical acclaim. Now Dave is working on a game which is loosely connected to “The Blackwell Legacy”, although not a direct sequel.

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In “Blackwell Unbound” you play ‘aunt Lauren’, who is occasionally referred to in Legacy, and her ghost friend, Joey in their quest to relieve lost souls in the big city. And here comes the first significant difference with Dave’s previous game – you can control both characters freely, and there will be puzzles in which they will need to co-operate with each other. Dave believes the role of Joey should be more central in this game, and certain areas will be accessible only to him. Mr. Gilbert also promises that the game will be very non-linear, which will certainly add to its replay value. He will continue to concentrate on puzzles involving logical connections, rather than obscure and now obsolete inventory based obstacles. “Blackwell Unbound” is likely to be not only an enjoyable title, but an innovative one.

The graphics for the game this time are being made by Erin Robinson (known as ‘The Ivy’ on the AGS boards, creator of the splendid game “Spooks”), and hence are slightly different in style to those of Legacy. Although Dave claims that it is more simplistic, from what I’ve seen they are as pretty – but of course, it’s a matter of artistic taste. Possibly due to time restraints, there will be no character portraits this time.

This time, a musician named Thomas Regin is working on the game’s soundtrack. From what I’ve heard, it is incredibly atmospheric late-night jazz, which could have easily been composed by Angelo Badalamenti himself. Those who delight in the soft sax sounds of the “Twin Peaks – Fire Walk with Me” title theme will certainly find themselves on loved and familiar ground. The cast who will be voicing the game has already been announced, and judging from the few lines of dialogue I’ve heard, they are both talented actors and appropriate for the roles they shall give their voices to.

“Blackwell Unbound” will be released somewhere around the end of August, and Dave is someone who keeps his deadlines. The game will be available for download for as little as ten dollars, and for twice as much you’ll be able to buy the jewel case edition along with the soundtrack CD. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope Dave will once again weave an enchanting story before us.

Check out Dave’s Website:http://www.wadjeteyegames.com/

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