It’s a surprise that adventure games are actually coming back to life, more specifically of the point-and-click type. I wonder why this sudden nostalgia has allowed the creation of remakes of Monkey Island as well as re-releasing games on the Steam store. It’s even more of a surprise that more 2D point-and-clicks are being made with such effort and professionalism. Ironically, the game I’m reviewing today was originally made as a free abandoned adventure game demo, but it has suddenly regained a team to rebuild the whole game. Even better, it is being commercially sold, suggesting that they truly do seem themselves as professionals. The question, however, is whether you should buy The Whispered World or not.
Before we do get into the game itself, it must be noted that there are some versions of the game that contain particular DRMs that interfere. There have been reports of the game slowing down to an absolute and brutal crawl, as well as movies being pixelated and jumbled messes. In this case, it is the not the developer, but the English publisher who sought to add these files in. Personally, I don’t see the purpose in the DRMs if they’re only going to cause grief for everyone. Yes, they’re meant to keep piracy down to a low, but it’s annoying when it feels like I’ve wasted money on a game that moves as if I’m playing it on a Windows 98 system all because of a Big Brother file.
The Whispered World tells the tale of grim clown Sadwick who is aware of the world’s destruction. He sees the apocalypse coming soon and fears that, instead of saving the world, he will bring about the annihilation of everything. In an attempt to face his fate, Sadwick embarks on a quest along with his pet caterpillar Spot and encounters a rather interesting cast of characters on the way.
The graphics are probably the first thing anyone will notice. Completely hand drawn and almost-cartoonish, The Whispered World breathes life from every inch of the world that you encounter. The animations especially are unique, including the cutscenes that explain the story throughout. Absolutely gorgeous, I feel the drawing style is reminiscent of a Miyazaki film.
Gameplay moves just like the typical point-and-click, but there are some gimmicks that make for interesting puzzles. Spot, for example, can be manipulated into different forms with special abilities and solve puzzles. The main problem, however, is this leads into a constant trial-and-error system that most may not appreciate. It takes the fun out of things when one is basically just constantly trying to combine items randomly in order to make something that would help the situations. But, this issue is very common in the point-and-click adventure games and is not really this game’s fault.
For $29.99, the game isn’t bad at all. It can last more than 6-12 hours, depending on how one is at solving these sorts of puzzles. The art is something that has to be seen, however. It is that gorgeous. I humbly give The Whispered World 8 caterpillars out of 10.