- Played June 2021
- 3-4 hours
- 2-3 players
- What People Say
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The ERA team had a fantastic time playing both Part I and Part II of Blackbrim 1876. One of the highlights for the team was the excellent component quality. Since the game takes place in 1876, the components did not disappoint in conveying the feelings of the grim Victorian era. The game is very paper-based, fitting the time period, but the paper clues and letters are provided in stationary-themed briefcases and even include wax-like plastic seals befitting the time period. There were photos and paintings reproduced with great quality, and the texture of the various papers (newspapers, letters, etc) was authentic with impressive fonts. We appreciated how there were two copies of the newspaper article so that way the team wasn’t crowding over each other. When it came time to checking our solutions, the only way to do this was on the website. The website was great and easy to use and engage with, however, we would love to see a solution-based component used with stationary to help maintain the immersive feel and highlight the great components.
We enjoyed the storyline provided with both Part I and II. After finishing Part I, we had to play Part II right away to find out what happened next in the story! The puzzles were connected to the storyline and continuous with the theme. The authentic images helped to drive the puzzle solving process forward while maintaining the narrative. We found at times though that when we found the solution to a puzzle, it was a little anti-climatic, because there was no further narrative, dialogue, or character development telling us what was happening now that we were one step closer to the solution. The bulk of the storyline was at the start and the end of the game experience. We would love to see this great storyline develop for the player with each puzzle being solved.
The puzzles in this game experience were very enjoyable. We noticed a big difference in the puzzle quality with Part I and Part II (in particular, the latter half of Part II). We found that the puzzles in Part I and the first half of Part II were enjoyable and challenging yet solvable, whereas in the latter half of Part II they were still enjoyable but the challenge difficulty increased dramatically. Overall, in both parts, the puzzles were visual puzzles, lots of word puzzles and some deduction and logic puzzles. Some outside research was needed, but we found this process a lot of fun to do because it made sense to us what we needed to research and how to use that information. The puzzle experiences were unique enough and did not go too in-depth with their difficulty as to leave the team at a loss. The online hint and solution system was effective and helpful to use.
Overall, the ERA team had so much fun with both these experiences. We would recommend this for two to three players. We found each part took us from an hour and a half to two hours to complete. This would be a great experience for someone looking to dive into the in-home game genre and experience. The excellent component quality hooked us into the world of Blackbrim and the storyline left us wanting more. We would be eager to play a Part III if that is in the works!