So, Blackwell Legacy. Well, it's the first game in the series, and the installment that introduces the characters, setting, mood, play-style and backstory of the series, while simultaneously being a brilliant short adventure by itself. The story focuses on slightly-neurotic medium Rosangela Blackwell and the ghostly Joey Mallone, who seem intent on solving the supernatural problems of New York City, in a plot that might not be groundbreaking, but is definitely brilliantly written and paced.
Both playable characters (Rosangels and Joey, that is) and everyone else you'll meet while playing through the game are believable, interesting and properly fleshed out. No stereotypes are to be found in Blackwell's version of NYC. Interestingly and against contemporary fears, the city is not vilified; far from it. This is really close to the Jane Jacobs version of urbanity with a bit of Woody Allen thrown in and it frankly makes for an excellent setting. Oh, and that Woody Allen atmosphere never really goes away, despite Blackwell Legacy not being a particularly humorous adventure. Then again, its rare, cynical jokes do work.
Great writing aside, Blackwell Legacy also sports beautiful pixel-art graphics, excellent voice actors, a lovely soundtrack and some truly impressive production values. I'd actually go as far as saying its on par with most classic-era adventures you'd care to mention and even manages to subtly innovate.
You will, to your shock, never face a single inventory-based puzzle (well, you will face one, but it's not of the standard use banana on car variety), but instead talk and think your way around, mostly by using your notebook via a thought-combining mechanic that reminded me of Discworld Noir. The puzzles themselves are generally original and, though challenging, far from difficult, thus making the game a great yet accessible adventure.
Verdict: The Blackwell Legacy is a brilliant AGS adventure any lover of classic point-and-clickers simply has to play. And then got on to grab the rest of the series.Related @ Gnome's Lair: