Parents' Guide to

Blackwood Crossing

By David Wolinsky, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Story with clumsy controls explores loss, letting go.

Blackwood Crossing Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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Our review:
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While this empathy-based title is well intentioned, it's held back by lots of clumsily implemented game mechanics. Clearly intended to make concessions for people new or less experienced with video games, what emerges instead is a confusing approach to puzzle-solving -- which is saying a lot, since the puzzles are fairly minimal here. You're asked to navigate around a train or other environments such as a cave and tree house, and frequently you know exactly where to go and what you have to do. But the game is fussy and very particular about how you can do that: You must focus your crosshairs on the exact area of an object you must pick up or else it won't register as being grab-able; sometimes you won't even be able to do that if characters don't prompt you to go and fetch, say, a pair of scissors. The game's drifting and muddy controls make this more frustrating, which is decidedly out of step with a game meant to touch on and explore more ethereal subject matter.

None of that should discount too heavily how refreshingly different this game is. Although it certainly has its problems, it deserves a nod and some appreciation for attempting to take on weightier stuff from some fairly different perspectives. It would be difficult to name many other games that touch on what it means to be alone and left alone as a child -- especially when it isn't necessarily anyone's fault. All in all, it's worth checking this game out, but definitely do so with open eyes and some patience for some of its more awkward mechanical aspects.

Game Details

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