The Black Widow video game is not coming from Marvel and it doesn’t feature Natasha Romanoff. In fact, it features a completely different woman, a real one and a convicted murderer named Luisa Collins who went down in history by being the last woman to suffer execution by death in the state of New South Wales. If the fact that this is a game about a real historical personality doesn’t give you the chills, let’s revisit the pages of history a bit and also take a look at this game by Flux studio.
Louisa Collins was born in 1847, in New South Wales, and she was an Australian prisoner. Dubbed “Borgia of Botany”, she was convicted of murdering her two husbands Charles Andrews (murdered at 52) and Michael Collins (murdered at 26). The turbulent marriages and the relationships Louisa had with these two men led to them both dying of the same symptoms, one year apart. It was later determined that Louisa used arsenic to poison both of her husbands. She was sentenced to death by hanging and executed on January 8th, 1889, at Darlinghurst gaol, becoming the last New South Wales woman to be executed by hanging in history.
Development and Story
The Black Widow video game was developed and published by Flux. The man credited for creating this concept is Richard Fox, who describes his creation as a game that gives the player’s an unflinching look into the trial, sentencing, and execution of Louisa Collins – The last woman to hang in the state of New South Wales. Mr. Fox had also this to say to potential players:
“With The Black Widow, I wanted to explore unlimited choice in character conversation over preset options for more imaginative role-playing, complex storytelling, and character development. As an experienced historical storyteller, I’m always looking for new ways to interact with characters from history. The Black Widow distills insights I’ve learned so far in an instantly recognizable format that dares players to evaluate the facts of the case on their own.”
The game is currently available on:
So, The Black Widow video game actually reenacts all the familiar details from the original court case, taken from historical records and actual letters, but it brings them to a present, real-time situation. The players need to go over and through all the conversations and info, and reassess the court case completely, giving their own verdict i.e. judgment. The players can even communicate with Louisa via the ‘spirit board’ which is a big part of the gameplay and an homage to the old Ouija board parlor game from 1890, one year after Louisa was actually executed.
Details like this and other factors make this game’s atmospheric presentation to excel. This game actually challenges players to reassess their own powers of deduction, observation, and prejudice. The officially available info on Louisa, which is on the web and in this game, presents her as the villain, with records of her being an adulteress, a drunk, liar, and a murderer. However, a case of making her the victim of inappropriate conduct, domestic violence, and misogyny can also be presented from the facts.
The key features and high points of The Black Widow experience are the following:
- Communicating with a convicted killer
- Researching an actual historic murder case trial
- Asking questions and choosing your own path via the ‘Spirit Board’
- Solving a true murder mystery
- Participating in a Victorian Era court case
- Incredibly good atmosphere and visuals