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What's more important to you in a game--slick special effects, or a compelling story line? If you're more interested in a good story than fancy animation, then give The Blackwell Legacy ($15, free demo) a try.
Rosangela Blackwell is a bright young journalist who lives in New York, and she's got some issues. After her aunt's mysterious death in a mental institution, Rosa discovers that both her aunt and her grandmother were mediums in touch with the spirit world--and both went insane as a result. Unluckily for Rosa, she's inherited the family spirit guide. Assisted by tough-talking (but deceased) Joey Mallone, her mission is to assist wayward spirits and investigate supernatural crimes, and you get to come along for the ride.
The folks at Wadjet Eye Games clearly put a lot of thought into the narrative, and they recruited talented voice actors to bring the characters to life. However, the graphics are blocky and the game plays out in a small box on screen. More important, the interface is less than intuitive and there's no Help file (at least in the demo). For example, a dossier concerning Rosa's aunt is delivered. Click on the package, however, and it disappears. It took me a while to figure out that I had to mouse to the top of the window to get to the inventory, and then right-click the item to open it. At one point Rosa says that there are photos within the dossier, but I never did figure out how to access them.
The Blackwell Legacy demo is a stand-alone executable file that gives you a good idea of what the game involves, but it is more of an advertisement than a game. If you enjoy a good mystery, though, this demo may well convince you to shell out $15 for the download.
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