The Whispered World
I remember when this game first came out, and all of the buzz it received from my forum friends. I wanted it because I'd heard how amazing it is, and I got it for Christmas (boxed) two years ago. I of course never installed it! Recently, though, was a Daedalic bundle sale where I got an amazing eight
games by this company for $6!
Since I now had a digital copy, I installed it on my computer right away, where it only sat unplayed for about a month
Some technical stuff first. I had some problems getting it to display right at first -- The whole scene was moved 80% or so to the right! Because of the troubles I had with NiBiRu
, I knew what adjustments I needed to make, and was thereafter able to play the game with no troubles~! There is NO option for widescreen or windowed mode -- if you have a widescreen monitor, you'll have to deal with black bars on the sides, but for me it wasn't a deal breaker. Options we DO have are separate sliders for music, sound effects, and voices. Subtitles and Voices are the default, but can be turned off.
Having never read the description or any details about the game, I didn't know what to expect, and boy was I in for a surprise! Our story follows the tale of Sadwick the Sad Clown...
Wasn't exactly expecting that our hero would be described that way, but OK. What I REALLY wasn't expecting is that not only is his voice sad, it's positively morose
Seriously? THIS is the game that got so many rave reviews? I even thought about turning off the sound so that I wouldn't have to listen to his voice, but since I was enjoying the other voices, I decided against it.
First impressions, not so great!
The only reason I continued with the game is that I wanted to see what all the fuss was about! Happily, our hero does not stay so irritatingly mopey for long. Sadwick is sad because he wants more out of life than just being a clown. He wants to do something special, something meaningful
. With us as his guide (in a manner of speaking,) and his friend Spot at his side, Sadwick goes on adventure at last.
Speaking of which, let's talk about Spot for a bit. Spot is a "caterpillar," though not one like we'd ever have in this
Spot gains new abilities through the strangest of circumstances as we progress through the game; five in total. We start out with his basic caterpillar form, where he can fit in small spaces, and his heavy round form. Strange, I know. More come later on, but I won't add any spoilers here, just in case you don't want to know
Seeing as how I didn't open the boxed version, and there was no manual included with my digital copy... Well, I was stuck from the very opening scene! I clicked on things and nothing happened! I knew where spots were active because my cursor lit up in the middle, but... nothing!
I went to the walkthrough, I looked at the youtube walkthrough, and still couldn't figure it out! It didn't look like they were doing anything different than what I was doing, but still nothing!
Finally, I figured out what was going on! So that you don't have the same problem, I'll outline the basics here:
- Your cursor will turn gold in the middle when you've moved over an active area
- Holding down the space bar will show you all of the active areas on the screen
- When you click on something, HOLD DOWN the mouse button until your options bubble pops up. You can choose between an eye to look at things, a hand to pick things up or manipulate items, and a mouth. The mouth is not just to talk to people -- you can do other things, as well. ie. Taste things, blow up a balloon, etc.
- Right-click to access your inventory -- left-click on items in your inventory to pick them up. You can combine items in your inventory by picking up an item and dropping it on top of something else. You do NOT have to hold down the mouse button to get the options in the inventory -- simply pick something else, then move the mouse to the scene behind the bag. ALSO, there are scrolling arrows on the left side of the inventory bag (something I kept forgetting!)
- Access Spot's abilities at the top right of the screen. If you mouse-over the top right corner, part of the screen will "peel" down to show you your options.
- There is no skipping of dialogue or cutscenes, BUT you can speed up the dialogue by clicking on the scene.
I am not an experienced adventure game player, so these games still make me a little nervous. Still, I was able to get through about ten minutes (or more, if you count reading all the dialogue) before I had to resort to the walkthrough.
Here's the thing about adventure games: It's all about the story, exploring, and trying everything
, no matter how silly it seems. It's that last part that always gets me. I tend to be a very logical person, and there are a lot of things in this game that simply would NOT work in real life. Still, this is not meant to be real life -- it's Silencia, a completely different world! (or at least that's what I keep telling myself
) I know what I'm supposed to be doing, I have all of the elements needed in my possession, but I can't find the final piece/place... because what I'm assuming I need is not what is REALLY needed! Had that problem throughout the game... go figure.
The game did not have any mini-games like I'd expect until about two-thirds of the way through, then suddenly we have a bunch to go through. It's not really that there were no puzzles -- Everything I was doing up to that point was puzzling out my surroundings and how to progress.
I think I forgot to mention that Sadwick grew on me once he dropped his sad sack tone. Spot was a much-needed source of occasional cuteness, nonetheless. Though not scary or eerie, this is a dark story, and the combination of Spot and various characters' snarkiness made it much more enjoyable for me.
I mentioned that the dialogue can be sped up by clicking, but not that you have multiple options to choose from when talking to other characters. What you choose to say (in this game) will not affect the outcome. To truly immerse yourself in the world of Silencia, just choose every option in whatever order you wish. Only once does the order you say things in matter, and you can "fix" it if you mess up (as I did. haha)
I really liked the graphics, and though there is no way to speed Sadwick up (yes, we have to watch him walk across the screen to and fro~) I found that I didn't mind, as his gait was amusing.
I don't remember the music or sound effects for the most part.
Sadly, I was depending heavily on the walkthrough for the last third of the game, as I was afraid that I'd mess something up. I needn't have been. Sadwick (aka. the game) won't let us do anything that would get us killed or end the story prematurely. Because of this (and my family repeatedly telling me to turn down the sound so that they could hear the TV) I didn't enjoy the last of it as much as I would have if I could have relaxed and played it naturally.
The ending of the game smacked me broadside -- I never expected it, and that is a GOOD thing. I won't say anything further except that it has to be experienced.
To those who are less adventure-savvy like myself, examine everything, try every inventory combination, talk to everyone, try things that don't make any sense whatsoever... You never know! Above all else, enjoy yourself!
I ended up having fun with the game, and now that I'm feeling more confident with my adventure gaming, I'm ready to try another one. I know I'll definitely be checking out The Whispered World 2
when it comes out