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Author Topic: More games like Blackwell  (Read 13865 times)

Offline LilyLaura18

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More games like Blackwell
« on: May 01, 2014, 12:35:18 PM »
Hi, fellow Blackwell fans!

Even though I beta-tested Blackwell Epiphany for a couple of months before its release, I still couldn't get enough Blackwell, so I replayed all the other games the past few nights.

I'm really, really gonna miss Rosa, Joey and the whole experience.

Has anyone played anything similar to Blackwell in terms of style (pixel art, character portraits) and/or theme (detective-mystery, ghosts)?

I'd like to discover similar games and developers.

Laura

Offline Lyrisath

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Re: More games like Blackwell
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2014, 01:12:45 PM »
Do you own a DS, or could you get hold of one? Oh, and apparently it's also been ported to iOS, if that's any more accessible to you? Don't know how good the port is, though.

If you have either of those, the game Ghost Trick; Phantom Detective might be worth a shot. The premise is that you're a freshly-dead ghost who can't remember a thing - not who you were, not why you were killed, not why you're in a junkyard, and not why there's a girl being held at gunpoint right over your body.

Neither the girl nor the man with the gun can see or hear you, but with the help of a mysterious voice, you soon find that you have the power of "ghost tricks" - you can move from item to item, possessing them, and often manipulate them, like strumming a guitar, opening a cupboard, or flipping a switch. And most mysterious of all, given a fresh corpse, you can even travel to the past, four minutes before they died, to alter the events leading up to their death and even save their lives, creating a new present to return to.

But the voice warns you: by the light of dawn, your soul will cease to exist. So begins a night of investigation into the mystery that is you, and all the interconnected mysteries, as you save lives and unravel the truth before the break of dawn.

It's a very unique game, mysterious and full of twists. Despite the night setting and the abundance of death, it's not gritty, in fact it's very bright and quirky, with stylised character portraits, a smoothly animated side-on view of the world, and a sense of humour. And it has one of my favourite game soundtracks ever.

It's not a point-'n'-click in the traditional sense, but I'd recommend it in a heartbeat to anyone looking for a likeable ghost-based detective story.

Here's a trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WI_saCub0W8
And another trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwH4ZRyN2B0
« Last Edit: May 01, 2014, 01:19:31 PM by Lyrisath »

Offline LilyLaura18

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Re: More games like Blackwell
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2014, 02:21:26 PM »
It sounds great! Unfortunately, I don't use Apple or have a Nintendo DS. I'll try scouting around for an Android or PC version. Thanks!


Offline Lyrisath

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Re: More games like Blackwell
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2014, 04:12:51 PM »
I don't believe it's been released on any other platform, so any Android or PC version you could find would be illegal, and worse, not supporting our odds of getting this kind of thing localised in the future. :( The original model of DS is about a decade old now, though; you could probably find one for pretty cheap.

Also, I remembered that there's even an online demo (basically the beginning of the game): http://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-DS/Ghost-Trick-Phantom-Detective-270880.html

Offline SonataFanatica

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Re: More games like Blackwell
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2014, 01:20:38 AM »
One of Dave's biggest influences he mentioned, is the old "Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers" which you can get on GOG.com. (Dave even said during the live stream for Epiphany: "Blackwell is basically me trying to make 'Gabriel Knight'.") It's a game about an author solving a case which involves voodoo murders. So it does have the mystery, the puzzle solving, the investigations and death - however there are no ghosts in that game.

If you want another absolutely gorgeous adventure game with character portraits and you're ready to venture into the victorian age, try "The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Serrated Scalpel". Even today, it remains one of the most beautiful adventure games of all time. You'll love the atmosphere!

If a witty and charismatic (and a bit clumsy) female protagonist is what you're searching for, the "Laura Bow" games should be perfect for you. The first game is called "The Colonel's Bequest" and the second one is "The Dagger of Amon Ra". Again: all the mystery, all the investigation, and a very immersive atmosphere.

Another suggestion, which goes in a similar direction, would be "The Longest Journey". I was often reminded of this game when playing "Blackwell".

Offline Lyrisath

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Re: More games like Blackwell
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2014, 09:26:31 AM »
Can also vouch for The Longest Journey, it's a charming story. It's oldish, but not pixelly (backgrounds look rendered and the characters are fairly low-poly 3D models) but the locales are still very beautiful and exotic, and I liked the voice acting, especially the main character. It was absolutely my go-to game a while back for something relaxing and heartwarmingly fantastical when online games were tiring me out.

No ghosts or detective work (thematically, I mean; investigating stuff in general is more or less a point-and-click thing), though, and no character portraits, so it didn't spring to mind, but if you just felt like playing a likeable fantasy point-and-click, this is definitely worth a look.

Even if there is one really obscure, video-game-logic puzzle with a rubber ducky early on that absolutely no one will blame you for looking up the solution to.

Offline googoogjoob

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Re: More games like Blackwell
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2014, 10:06:16 PM »
The Ben Jordan: Paranormal Investigator games are all worth playing. They tend more towards adventure game-y inventory puzzles than Blackwell-type information puzzles, but they, like the Blackwell games, deal with, well, investigating the paranormal, detective-style.

The Ben Jordan series is pretty decently long too (eight games), and concluded pretty satisfyingly, and coincidentally made by Francisco Gonzalez (alias Sam Durkin). Also: they are all free.

Offline Lyrisath

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Re: More games like Blackwell
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2014, 08:28:23 PM »
I thought of another thing that fits, but it's a book series, not a video game.

If you're not averse to reading a story instead of playing it, try picking up Morgue Drawer Four. The premise is that Pascha, a small-time car thief in Germany, gets pushed off a bridge, then ends up haunting Martin, the mild-mannered coroner who does his autopsy. Said coroner is the only person who can hear him, and said car thief is determined to use this one remaining link to the world of the living to investigate his death and find out who killed him - even if his constant prodding and crude banter drives Martin up the wall (which it absolutely does).

It has two sequels so far (Morgue Drawer Next Door and Morgue Drawer For Rent), and by the looks of it, another that has yet to be translated from German. It wasn't the actual mystery-solving plots that I liked the most, but the interactions between Pascha and Martin. Pascha's more of a jerk than Joey, and gives poor Martin some serious headaches, which I found funny in a mischievous kind of way.

Definitely pushes some relevant buttons here: a snarky ghost who can only communicate with a socially awkward living person, and together they attempt detective work to solve a mystery.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2014, 09:59:29 AM by Lyrisath »

Offline JanG

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Re: More games like Blackwell
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2014, 02:01:06 PM »
I know Dave was enjoying "Ghost Trick" when we were on vacation :)

But to pimp our own games, have you tried Shivah? No ghosts, but a detective, and pixel art! (And a cameo from someone you might recognise!)

Offline DaveGilbert

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Re: More games like Blackwell
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2014, 02:48:24 PM »
I REALLY dug "Ghost Trick" when I played it. It deals with dark things like death, but doesn't take itself seriously at all. When the chief detective enters the scene and he does THIS...



...you know it's safe to just kick back and enjoy it. Ridiculous as it can get sometimes, the story is really great. It seemed there was a new twist every other level and it all made sense. It really made me want to keep playing to see how it was all resolved.

Offline pezhead53

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Re: More games like Blackwell
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2014, 07:03:44 PM »
One other quite similar game is Trace Memory (Another Code: Two Memories to those outside the US). It was a much higher puzzle to dialogue ratio, but you do play as a female protagonist with a male ghost for a sidekick/partner, and the main draws of the story are learning what happened to the girl's missing family and who the ghost was when alive and how he died.

Offline Lyrisath

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Re: More games like Blackwell
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2014, 10:04:59 AM »
One other quite similar game is Trace Memory (Another Code: Two Memories to those outside the US). It was a much higher puzzle to dialogue ratio, but you do play as a female protagonist with a male ghost for a sidekick/partner, and the main draws of the story are learning what happened to the girl's missing family and who the ghost was when alive and how he died.
Oh, good point. Yeah, Trace Memory was nice, if short. It's a more lonely kind of game, in kind of a serene way rather than a creepy way, or at least I thought so. It's got an atmosphere of solitude and mystery that's a bit like Myst. And some fairly novel puzzles that make interesting use of the DS's features.