The Blackwell Epiphany

Game review by
Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
The Blackwell Epiphany Game Poster Image
Thought-provoking final chapter of ghostly retro adventure.

A lot or a little?

Parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational value

Kids can learn thinking and reasoning skills, such as puzzle solving, collecting data, and applying information acquired through observation and investigation in this point-and-click adventure. They'll put two and two together to solve the many challenges presented as they help souls cross to the other side. The Blackwell Epiphany makes up for its intentionally dated presentation with a compelling story that players will want to see through to the end.

Positive messages

The story contains thought-provoking messages about death and the afterlife. The two main characters, Joey and Rosangela, work to help people. The rest of the characters are more morally ambiguous.

Positive role models & representations

The two protagonists, Rosangela and Joey, use their unique powers to try to help others. Rosangela isn't afraid to put her own well-being and sanity on the line for the greater good.

Ease of play

The game is easy to control; the challenge comes from having to pay close attention to the dialogue and carefully observe the scenery for clues about how to move the plot forward.

Violence

There are several violent deaths in the game, including a suicide by gun. Domestic violence is discussed but not seen. Some blood.

Sex

One of the characters is a former prostitute, and prostitution is discussed but not shown. A reference to a "circle jerk" is made, but they're not talking about the act itself. 

Language

"Damn," "hell," "crap."

Drinking, drugs & smoking

Characters are frequently depicted smoking and drinking. References to heroin, Valium, beer, and various liquors are made, and game locations include a drug den and a bar.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Blackwell Epiphany is the fifth and final game in the Blackwell series of retro style point-and-click adventure games. Its protagonist, Rosangela, can see ghosts, and helps their spirits move on to the afterlife. The story is gritty and mature, with frequent references to violence and death (several of the characters are ghosts), drug use, drinking, smoking, prostitution, and mild profanity -- though none of it is gratuitous.

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What's it about?

THE BLACKWELL EPIPHANY is about Rosangela Blackwell, a woman with the unique ability to see ghosts, and her "spirit guide," a ghost named Joey Mallone. Together, the pair use their special abilities to help peoples' spirits move on to the afterlife after they've died. In this final installment of the series, a malevolent force is destroying spirits' souls before they can move on, and Rosa and Joey must investigate why this is happening and try to stop it. Players can switch between Rosa and Joey at any time in order to take advantage of each character's unique puzzle-solving abilities.

Is it any good?

The Blackwell Epiphany is an emotional and satisfying finale to the Blackwell series, bolstered by a mature and thought-provoking story, fantastic music, and top-notch dialogue. The graphics and gameplay are throwbacks to vintage adventure games of the 80s and early 90s, and incorporate some of the quirkier aspects of the genre (like having to search each screen carefully for clickable objects). However, it's exceptionally well-crafted and never leads players too far down the road to frustration. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the presence of ghosts and spirits in the game. What are your thoughts on the supernatural?

  • Compare the character of Rosangela to popular superheroes or game protagonists. Does she fit the mold?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love mysterious puzzlers

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