A point and click adventure with old-school charm.
I have a real fondness for point & click adventures. They take me back in time to when gaming was much simpler, yet at the same time so much more frustrating. The simple action of finding items and combining them with other, seemingly random items in order to progress in the game is something that I feel has more or less died out. Sure, there are still a few developers out there making these type of games and to great success. But lets face it, entertaining as they may be, the TellTale games are all rather similar.
Then, out of no where, along came Whispered World from Daedalic. A point & click adventure with old school charm, set in a fantasy world with hand-painted backgrounds.
The hero of this tale is Sadwick. As a young clown traveling with his circus-like family, Sadwick is not a happy bunny. As if it were not bad enough that he has to perform menial tasks day in, day out and be shot from a cannon on a regular basis, he also now has an impending apocalypse and his involvement to worry about. So begins his adventure to save the world.
Sadwick is accompanied by his pet caterpillar-type thing, Spot. This strange little blobby creature not only provides the utterly depressed Sadwick with some much needed companionship, but also provides him with the occasional bit of sound advice and the use of his shape changing ability. This ability to change shape will provide the solution to more than one of the puzzles that can be found within.
The majority of the puzzles however, will rely on the tried and tested method of finding and picking up every object possible. This is no easy task mind you, the wonderful quality of the cartoon animation and the hand-painted backgrounds effectively hide many of these important objects.
The puzzles on offer range from the absolute genius to the unbelievable. Some puzzles may seem to have an obvious answer, one that makes sense and is totally plausible, yet the actual solution will turn out to be something that will stretch even the most active imagination.
The story itself is very involving and quite enjoyable. The cast of characters are well fleshed out and detailed, especially poor Sadwick. One cannot help but feel for him as he deals with everything that his life has thrown his way. The dialogue throughout the game is quite excellent and does not seem to have suffered any ill effect in it’s translation from German.
There is, sadly, a rather large flaw in this otherwise wonderful point & click adventure. From the very first moment that Sadwick speaks, I felt compelled to mute the volume. His voice is so whiny and annoying that it actually made me want to tear off my ears. The rest of the voice acting within the game is adequate, though still not amazing. But the voice of Sadwick can be likened to scraping finger nails on a blackboard. Maybe some people out there will not feel this way about his voice, but those that do should invest in some cotton wool for their ears and try to continue playing. Beyond that horrible, whingey voice is a rather beautiful game.
The Whispered World is so nearly the perfect example of a point & click adventure. It is gorgeous to look at, offers an interesting story with both witty and intelligent dialogue, and presents the player with some excellent puzzles. It is let down by terrible voice acting, especially in the case of the main character, and some of the puzzles just don’t seem to fit well with the rest. If you can overlook these shortcomings and you are in need of some point & click fun, then I can recommend this title. It will not disappoint.
The Whispered World is available from GamersGate