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ID@Xbox Game Fest recap – Blackwood Crossing

We’ve officially wrapped up ID@Xbox Game Fest 2019 and we loved this year’s theme: Gaming for Everyone. As Xbox Ambassadors, it’s our mission to help make Xbox fun for everyone, and that’s just what ID@Xbox has set out to do.

The 31 games featured in this year’s Game Fest highlight diverse stories, voices, creators, and characters. Indie games like DandaraIn Between, and 1979 Revolution: Black Friday represent a future where gaming really is for everyone, and everyone has a game they can and like playing.

The Xbox Ambassadors Team and Playhosts streamed some of their favorite ID@Xbox games to celebrate diversity in gaming. Read on for our Blackwood Crossing recap!

Blackwood Crossing was developed by PaperSeven and published in 2017 in partnership with Vision Games Publishing. As a single-player narrative puzzler, it takes you on a journey exploring the relationship between a sister and brother. While riding on a train, the story reveals what has happened to the characters and the people around them. You play as Scarlett and you follow your brother Finn throughout the train while meeting different figures along the way. By the finale of the story, you find yourself coming to terms with where Scarlett and Finn end at.

From the start of the game, you’re introduced to yourself in a reflection through a window on the train. Your brother Finn calls for you and you begin to play games with him to find where he is. The story starts out normal and then shifts to a fantasy world where you interact with more characters and have powers like manipulating fire and life. As you talk to each character, you start to connect the dots on the main story. I was pleasantly surprised that although the puzzles weren’t straight forward, it was simple enough to understand without clearly stating what actions needed to be done. I was in it for the story and the simplicity of it kept the flow very natural and the game engaging.

Once you get ¾ of the way through the game, you can guess what happened, but it still holds your attention because it makes you want to know how things unfolded. The plot deals with difficult struggles and emotions that everyone eventually goes through in life, but you get to see it from the eyes of a teenage girl. With it being rated E for everyone and with its animation style, it’s nice that it doesn’t get too dark, but still pull on your heartstrings.

There is a haunting and mysterious feel to the game and characters, so it kept me intrigued. You start off not knowing who these people are, and then learn bit by bit how they connect with the two main characters. I was very satisfied with the ending because it wrapped up the story in its entirety. I wasn’t left wondering what happened and instead I understood what these characters have gone through and where they go from here.

I’d recommend the game to anyone who wants to watch the unfolding of an emotional story about family, separation, coping, and acceptance. The best part of the game is the story-telling. The game is short at about 2 hours from start to finish. Since the puzzles are simple, the story doesn’t get lost in gameplay and continues to flow at a constant rate. I appreciated that I didn’t get distracted from the main story. I was hooked to the narrative and am happy I got to stream it for everyone watching. This one is a definite must-play if you like story-driven games.

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