The Blackwell Deception is the fifth main game in the series and continues the story of the writer Rosangela Blackwell, following the events in The Blackwell Legacy (2006) and The Blackwell Convergence (2009). She is still accompanied by the family ghost Joey Mallone as they work together to solve the problems of troubled ghosts in order to make them pass to the afterlife.
The game starts when Rosangela receives word about a yacht that detaches itself every night to float round in the midst in the Hudson River. Solving that single event leads to a larger storyline that spans multiple cases. This entry also focuses on Joey's history for the first time and delves deeper into his past. Especially when they meet another human character that is able to see him. Players initiate conversations to get information stored as notes and solve puzzles by using or combining objects. Sometimes the only way to proceed is by deduction, by combining notes in a logical way to make assumptions that can be used during conversations to press characters.
As different freelance artists are used for the graphics for each title in the series, there are some differences in the visuals. The designer made a conscious choice to spend less money on the detail of the background art in exchange for a larger amount of locations for instance. Also new to this entry is the use of MyPhone, a smartphone that replaces the notebook and the desktop computer from the previous games. Rosangela is now able to check her e-mail on the road and do "Oogle" web searches right away.
Just like the previous two games players can switch between Rosangela and Joey at any time. Joey is able to pass through locked doors but cannot lift physical objects. He is often able to scout locations before Rosangela accesses them. Despite his lack of physical influence, he is however able to blow at very light objects to move them, a technique often used for puzzles.