A Beautiful, Stylised, and Short Indie Story
I’ve had Blackwood Crossing on my list for months. Something about the cover art suggested to me that it would just be another artsy-fartsy 2D Indie puzzle game and I just couldn’t be bothered with a game like that.
Lately I’ve been working through my plat list from shortest game to longest game and this 2-hour plat was sat right at the front. When I finally sat down to play it and got past the main menu screen I was immediately pleased and relieved. It was obvious from the get-go that some real passion and love had gone into the game and it wouldn’t just be your typical low-quality indie title.
I don’t want to give away too much about this game’s touching, albeit somewhat vague, storyline, but I was pleasantly surprised by it. Typically indie developers will tell their storyline like they all went to a game development course where some hipster in a turtle-neck told them to tell their story as though the player already knows it.
Thus, they leave out the majority of the information in a lazy attempt to get the player to inject their own perspective of things into the gaps in the story. This way, the devs do less work and they get bonus points for leaving an air of mystery around the whole thing. I’ve always hated this about indie games, my view is that if a story is worth telling you’d tell it properly.
Of course, I’m not sheltered, I understand that this is often a successful approach and many indie developers follow this same train of thought, I’m just not a fan of it.
I can’t say that Blackwood Crossing avoided this trope entirely, they never directly say what happened but there’s a good plot-based reason for it, as opposed to just doing it for the sake of it. The story is set following an incredibly upsetting event for all characters involved and it makes sense that they’d want to avoid it or not talk about it directly. The effect is that you feel like the main character, Scarlet, is really struggling to break through the mental barriers she’s set up to avoid addressing the event.
Your goal throughout the game is to uncover what happened, helped Scarlett and Finn come to terms with what happened and ultimately find closure. A lot of trippy visuals are employed throughout the game, nothing too trippy, just things like a moving train carriage leading to a stationary greenhouse, or a tree-house sprouting in the middle of the train, that sort of thing.
You’re given some abilities, such as giving life to specific inanimate objects or absorbing fire and shadows, but they’re simply used as metaphors to advance the plot except from in a couple of cases where they are actually used to solve relatively simple puzzles.
The gameplay isn’t complex at all as the whole idea is for you to be able to focus on the storyline and it’s only a couple of hours long, however, there is a very novel and interesting concept introduced into the game via puzzles, here’s how that works;
You will need to speak to a few individuals spread about an area who will all speak one line when spoken to. If you pay attention, you’ll notice that some of these conversations seem to align, with one person making a remark or asking a question and another person responding to the first. Your goal is to pair these two lines of dialogue by speaking to each of the 2 matching people in the correct order.
Not only is this a fairly unique and fun kind of puzzle, but it helps to further the plot and give you more clues as to the events which transpired as well as why.
The only truly frustrating thing about this game is the speed at which you can move. It’s fine most of the time as you’re taking in your surroundings, looking for collectables or listening to dialogue, but when the game expects you to do a puzzle which has you going back and forth or has you exploring an area looking for items, it’s simply irritating to only be able to move at a snail’s pace. We’re talking slower than walking speed. Like, the character’s shoes are tied together and she’s trying to wade through honey.
Blackwood Crossing Trophy Walkthrough
On my first playthrough of the game, I missed 2 of the collectables right at the beginning and had to play through the entire game again to get the trophies tied to them. Because of this, I was looking for a decent text guide so I could make sure I wasn’t missing any others, and I couldn’t help but notice that there aren’t any good guides for this game and its collectables.
Due to this, I’m going to write up a guide here so that there’s a good one at least somewhere on the internet. I’ll list the trophies in the order you can get them, interspersed with collectable locations and keep it spoiler-free. Have fun!
Collectible Rabbit Plush 1/7: Once you gain control of Scarlet right at the start of the game, exit your cabin and head right. Down the train corridor. Enter the first Cabin on the right after yours and look at the table, there’s a small Rabbit plush; Grab it with !
Simon Says: Don’t Lose
Can You Beat this Nostalgic Game?
Simon Says: Good to Go
Complete your first Adventure
Shortly after the start of the game, you will find yourself playing “Simon Says” with Finn. You will follow him down the train corridor where he will go through a door and say “Simon Says, look up!”. Whenever he gives you an instruction you need to do it as fast as possible to avoid him repeating an instruction.
If he repeats an instruction you will need to restart the section. Here’s what he asks for in order:
- Simon Says: Look Up – Simply look to the ceiling.
- Simon Says: Look Down – Nice Shoes! Just look at your feet.
- Simon Says: Open the Window – Press to interact with the window’s handle by the door at the back. Try to stand near this as soon as you can.
- Simon Says: Pick up the Pen – Thief! After you open the window, turn to the left and look down at the small table between the two seats, press to pick up the pen.
- Open the door – DON’T DO IT! The crafty little bugger never said Simon Says! He’ll repeat this instruction a couple of times and then finally say “Simon Says”, then you may open the door with
If you do everything above correctly, you’ll get the two trophies.
Collectible Poster 1/9: Immediately after opening the door as part of the Simon Says game, turn around and look to the wall on your right, there’s a “Paper Whales” poster which we couldn’t inspect before. Press on this to inspect it.
Pull the Other One
Inspect this Emergency Feature
During your first conversation-pairing mini-game, at the back of the train car you’re in you will find an old lady and a teen with a paper bag on his head, in this area you will see a small red handle by a blue door on the opposite wall from the 2 people, it’s the only one on the train that you can interact with. Inspect with via it for this trophy.
Collectible Poster 2/9: Also in this section of the game, head to the part of the Train with Scarlet’s Grandparents in it and look for a black and white poster which has the orange title “Finn” and interact with it using .
Collectible Poster 3/9: From the last poster, head down further down the train into a larger seating area and look for another black and white poster with the title “GASP”, interact with it using .
Collectible Rabbit Plush 2/7: A little further on from here, once you’ve completed the conversation-pairing puzzle, you will find Finn looking pretty miffed and Scarlet will be on her phone. Head down this train car and check the cabins on the right, the second one you come to will have the Rabbit Plush on the seat, grab it with .
Collectible Poster 4/9: Immediately after picking up that last plush, head into the next train car and check the right wall once you come to the first seating area. You’ll see a poster parody of Forrest Gump with the title “Run Finn, Run”, inspect it with .
Collectible Rabbit Plush 3/7: Just after inspecting the Run Finn, Run poster, you will come across a lone cabin between two seating areas, check it for a rabbit plush on the seat to the left, grab it with .
Find Grandad’s refuge
You can’t really miss this trophy. Eventually in the game, Finn will climb up a tree and refuse you access without a password which you will need to figure out based on some items hidden around the area, it’s impossible to find all of these without finding “Grandad’s refuge”.
If you’re struggling with the password, here’s a hint:
Remove “ub” from each of the words and it should make more sense.
DO NOT CLIMB THE TREE YET. First, get this trophy:
Inspect this once-loved instrument
You Spin Me Right Round
Inspect this moment in space
Once you enter the tree-house don’t talk to Finn just yet. You can, but just to be safe and ensure you don’t miss anything, get these few trophies before even speaking with him. First, head up the ladder on your immediate right, this will take you to a dark upper area. There’s a colander on the ground covering a light source, creating stars on the walls, inspect this with for the trophy.
Inspect your purrrfect pet
Head back down the ladder and over to the back wall, which will be on your right when you come down the ladder. There’s a worn shelf with a poorly-crafted cat figure on top, inspect the cat with .
Inspect This Shared Success
Turn around after getting the cat and head into the opposite corner towards a conic barrel-like surface below the cork-board. It has a trophy on the top, inspect it with .
Acquire your Life Powers
Collectible Poster 5/9: Once you find yourself back on the train you will need to unlock a door. After you make your way through the aforementioned locked door you will enter into an area with another conversation-pairing minigame, on the left wall is a Silence of the Lambs poster parody titled “Hush”. Inspect it with .
Collectible Poster 6/9: After completing the previously mentioned conversation-pairing puzzle, head into the next car to find a poster on the wall which is a parody of “Home Alone” titled “Forgotten”.
Collectible Rabbit Plush 4/7: After the above poster move into the next car to see Finn fiddling with a fire extinguisher. Once he runs out of the room, follow him through the door and pick up the Rabbit Plush in the second cabin on your left.
Find this moment of teenage fancy
Continue on after grabbing the above Rabbit Plush into the third cabin where you’ll find a notepad on the table, grab it with for this trophy.
Collectible Poster 7/9: A little later on you will have solved a puzzle involving fire, immediately after resolving it you will see another poster on the left wall, inspect it with .
Acquire your Pyrokinesis Powers
This is unmissable, just continue on with the story and it will pop.
Set Finn’s emotions free
Redeem your mistakes
These two trophies are two sides of the same coin, so you will need to replay this section twice to get them both, here’s what you need to do:
There will be 4 burning piles in each corner of the treehouse. You need to go out onto the balcony to grab fire from the pit, then bring it inside and place the fire on one of the burning piles. Repeat this painstakingly slow process 4 times for the Catharsis trophy.
You may see a rabbit plush on the balcony, if you’re going to grab it ensure you do so once you have both trophies and are ready to move on so you don’t risk missing it by accident.
Once the trophy pops and you’re certain you got it, pause the game and quit to the main menu. Press continue to resume the game from before solving this puzzle. This time, do it in reverse, grab fire from the burning piles and place it in the bonfire one by one.
Collectible Rabbit Plush 5/7: Remember to grab that plush from the balcony once you have both trophies and before you talk to Finn which will progress the game.
Collectible Rabbit Plush 6/7: A little later on you’ll find yourself on a very small island, tasked with finding 4 items hidden around the area. Eventually you will see a statue, you can’t miss it – really. Turn right when facing the statue to find a small path and a gravestone with a rabbit plush on it, grab it with .
Inspecting the gravestone and the statue will also award you the following trophies:
Alas, Poor Isaac!
Uncover Isaac’s past secrets
Who’s the Daddy?
An ego waiting to be found
Continue on with the game, looking for the 4 items Finn wants you to bring him.
Find this fanciful hideout
You can’t miss this as it’s tied to one of the items you need to find, it’ll pop in time.
Look for Finn as quickly as you can
Shortly after the puzzle is complete, Finn will suggest a game of Hide and Seek, you’re then given dialogue options for the numbers you wish you count. Simply press throughout this entire sequence to secure the trophy.
Collectible Poster 8/9: Once you end up in the treehouse again, look at the back wall to find a poster titled “Rabbit Boy” which is a Donny Darko parody. Inspect it with .
A Moment Captured
Inspect the instant memory maker
Just to the right of the poster is a box with a Polaroid camera atop it, grab it with for this trophy.
Acquire your Umbrakinesis Powers
This is unmissable, you cannot progress without unlocking this trophy.
Inspect all the film posters in the game
Collectible Poster 9/9: The next time you’re on the train, you’ll see this poster on the left wall, inspect it with and you’ll get your trophy!
Not a Happy Bunny
Find these weathered toys
Collectible Rabbit Plush 7/7: In this area is a seating space with several of the characters all sat together. Near the back, you’ll see “Rabbit Boy”. Approach him and he will depart, leaving behind the final rabbit plush on his seat which will net you a trophy.
There’s a lot of gameplay between this trophy and the final one, but rest easy knowing you can just play freely without looking for collectibles or trophy triggers.
Collect your mask from Finn
I actually missed this one on my first run. I missed some collectibles so I made a new game not realising what I needed to do for this trophy. Were it not for this, I could have cut my second play-through short after my collectible trophies popped.
Once the credits are over you’ll be kicked to the main menu, make sure you “Continue” to see a final scene and acquire the last trophy and your brand new platinum!