The Whispered World Review

   28/04/2010 at 09:10       Mike Grace       4 COMMENTS. - Score 4/5
 - The Whispered World, Adventure Games, Monkey Island, Sam and Max, Deep Silver

What ever happened to the point and click adventure genre?

There was a time in the late-eighties/mid-nineties when they ruled supreme. Monkey Island, Full Throttle, Sam 'n' Max, they were all top of the heap and story was everything. Sadly the rise of 3D all but killed them off commercially as gamers started looking for more sophistication, more action, more instant gratification. With the new-generation of attention deficit disorder suffering gamers, there was no time for subtle slow-burners, intelligently crafted experiences or adventures that required an investment from you the gamer.

The writing was soon on the wall and the genre, along with many other types of 2D game went out of fashion. They were seen as old hat and by-gone relics of the past. This also coincided with the introduction of japanese RPGs to western shores which showed a much greater emphasis on character development and action.

As a rose-tinted, nostalgic and reminiscing gamer, I often miss this genre so it was with great delight and anticipation that I installed "The Whispered World" by Deep Silver. I wasn't disappointed.

Uponn loading you are greeted by a delightful soundtrack and very well animated intro which sets the scene nicely. The plot revolves around a young clown called Sadwick who is plagued by bad dreams showing the end of the world and it is not long before he embarks on a quest to save it. The story won't win any prizes for originality but it is well told and full of unexpected turns.

Visually this game is a real looker with beautiful, hand drawn backgrounds and characters. It is certainly up there with "A Vampyre Story" which I enjoyed a lot.

A special mention must also go to the voice-over work. It's of a really high standard and certainly a cut above the norm. It is believable, delivered very professionally and really helps flesh out the characters.

A point and click adventure lives and dies by its puzzles and The Whispered World is no exception. They range from the simple and intuitive to the absolute mind-boggling and head-scratching, though none of them left me stumped for too long. They're also mostly logical and often the solution lies in interpreting the meaning behind what characters say and what is scribbled in notes.

All too often in these types of adventure games you spend an awful lot of time trying to work out which parts of the screen you can interact with. In The Whispered World this has been allieviated by the ability to press the space bar to reveal all the click points on the current screen. Some might say that this makes the game easier but in reality it leaves you to concentrate on solving the puzzles and enjoying the experience as opposed to getting frustrated and stuck on obscure puzzles.

The game is rated 12 which is is a shame because I think a lot of younger children would enjoy it. Perhaps it is one to play with mum and dad. System requirements are not too high so most PCs should be able to run it.

All in all The Whispered World is a very satisfying adventure game with tons of charm and it's evident that it's been lovingly crafted.

Point and click adventure games are enjoying something of a resurgence, mainly due to Tales of Monkey Island and Sam 'n' Max and while this doesn't quite reach those heights it is a very enjoyable adventure.

Best of all, it can be found online for under £20 which makes it a no brainer.

If you hanker for something different instead of the usual glut of first person shooters or time consuming roleplaying games then give this a try. You might just be glad you did.

Stars
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