Payola: Wadjet Eye Gave Me Some Free Games

| ian

Where is that dang old sax player?
Insert Credit first covered Wadjet Eye Games back in September of 2007. It’s worth noting that we did not so much cover them as I talked about how I really liked The Shivah. As a result, I was put in contact with Dave Gilbert (to answer Brandon’s question, no, he is not related to Ron). Dave set me up with free copies of the other two Wadjet Eye games, Blackwell Legacy and Blackwell Unbound. Now I’m telling you about them, because they’re really excellent.

In brief: each game follows a member of the Blackwell family and their Ghost Buddy Joey. The Blackwells are a family of mediums, and with Joey’s help they investigate the lives and deaths of confused spirits, giving them closure of some kind which allows them to move on. The thing about the games that most impresses me is the way Gilbert has you play a story. In most adventure games, you’re working on the story, and you have to take a break to figure out how to use a frozen cat to open a steel door. The puzzles in Wadjet Eye games are always deeply ingrained in the story, and a realistic investigation method. Who do you need to talk to, and what should you ask them. While there is still an inventory, it’s almost vestigial, with a notebook of clues and leads replacing the majority of the random items the normal adventure game protagonist would carry in his bottomless pockets. The only real failing is that, aside from an easter egg in Blackwell Unbound, there are no badass Rabbis.

Recently, The Blackwell Legacy was distributed on Big Fish Games, a large casual game portal. The game managed to hang onto a top ten spot in the puzzle category for a few weeks despite the fact that Big Fish drops a game every day, and Blackwell did not have the industry standard 60 minute trial. Following that, they were picked up for distribution by Playfirst, and are currently working on an adventure game specifically for the casual crowd. Not willing to leave distribution entirely, Wadet Eye has picked up distribution for a new adventure game by Lively Ivy, the studio of Erin Robinson, sprite and background artist on Blackwell Unbound and creator of Spooks and Nanobots. I’m pretty sure she’s Canadian.

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