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Blackwood Crossing Review

August 10th, 2017 by

Blackwood 001You play as a young woman on a train.  This isn’t an adaptation of the recent Emily Blunt film, Girl on a Train which follows a drunk woman, on a train.  Your character is not drunk, nor Emily blunt, nor a bit of a head case. Well maybe she is.  Either she’s dreaming or hallucinating .

Dreaming is your method process the experiences of your daily life.  Through images, emotions ideas and sensations they occur during the REM stage of your nightly routine.  Bad dreams are the brains method of dealing with traumatic or uncomfortable experiences as well as underlying fears.  Eating before bed, drugs, and being subjected to Celebrity Big Brother by the wife are also causes.

Wet dreams is a different subject.

In this story, the main character suggests that she has had too much cheese. It was never made clear what type of cheese she may have had.  I personally  would have found that helpful knowing which dairy products to avoid either before bed or the length of time I could consumer said fromage before going to beddy-byes.

Your character awakes on a train and begins searching for her very needy brother.  What soon becomes clear is that they are both orphans, but not necessarily like the annoying ginger child of Annie, nor the poor hungry one from Oliver.  They are also nothing like the orphaned children from Escape from Which Mountain, which turns out, are actually aliens with the grandpa from the Dukes of Hazard (spoiler for a film made in 1975, sorry)

Blackwood 003

But there are film references littered around the various levels of the carriage in illustrated in the form of famous movie posters.  The game maintains a dream-like quality throughout with clear references to Alice in Wonderland.  Well, there’s a rabbit anyway.

The aim of this story driven FPS is to solve a series of puzzles.  Mostly these revolve around the mundane and annoying clicking of characters in the right order to progress to the next section.  So in effect there is a bit of chatting then a bit of puzzling.

The puzzle elements in themselves are not terribly hard but actually selecting objects was very hit and miss.  Any other time I would have found this frustrating.  However, the experience is so absorbing that you soon slow down and delight in its atmosphere.  Especially as you can only walk, slowly.  The game is about three hours, but I could have done it in a third of that if there has been a RUN button.

Blackwood 002

In the end, this was a delightful melancholic slow burn of a game.  The gameplay itself was actually quite limited but was counterbalanced by the grown up subject matter, the fantastic character art and the touching voice acting.

Midlife Gamer Rating: 8/10     Format:  PlayStation 4 / Xbox one / PC       Release Date: Out Now

Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided with a review copy of  Blackwood Crossing for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of  one week. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.


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