Anthony's Film Review
The Whispered World
(Video Game, 2009)
Despite being a new game, The Whispered World delivers the same exciting fun of classic adventure games...
If you love computer adventure games like King's Quest, Monkey Island, Gabriel Knight, The Longest Journey, and Syberia, you will certainly enjoy The Whispered World. In fact, The Whispered World, developed by Daedalic Entertainment in Germany, feels exactly like those old adventure games from the 1980s to the early 2000s. It really appeals to gamers who love the adventure game genre the way it has always been, without expecting any major advancements in its basic gameplay. So if you want to play an adventure game that does great new things because you are bored with the adventure games of old, read no further. For everyone else, you can read on.
As you might expect, The Whispered World involves exploring different places, picking up items, combining items, using items to solve puzzles, talking to characters, and following a story. If there is anything that makes this adventure game a little more unique than others, it's one special inventory item. Throughout your journey, a pet caterpillar named Spot follows you around. Spot gains special abilities at particular points in the game so that you can have Spot morph into a certain form and use it for a specific puzzle. Other than that, The Whispered World is a standard adventure game.
The main character you play is a sad clown named Sadwick. He is a member of a traveling circus. In fact, it's a circus family, consisting of Sadwick, his annoying older brother Ben, and his senile Grandpa. As the story begins, Sadwick is expected to prepare for the next show but longs to explore on his own. Sadwick and his little companion Spot venture away from their camp site before the young clown learns two startling things. One, there is a threat from a race of hideous creatures known as the Asgil. Two, the world will come to an end, and it'll be Sadwick who causes that to happen.
Sadwick's only hope is to save the kingdom from the Asgil, which may or may not avert an apocalypse. His journey takes him across four lands in the game's four chapters. He will encounter a variety of characters and other interesting things, like a loud and proud factory worker, two talking rocks, Grandpa's pantaloons that keep reappearing unexpectedly, an empty railroad museum whose owner still demands an admission price, a deaf astrologer, an Asgil chef in hiding, and a talking blue orb that appears in Sadwick's nightmares. If this isn't an adventure that is both interesting and funny, I don't know what is.
In terms of puzzle difficulty, The Whispered World is mildly to moderately challenging. There are plenty of puzzles where you have to think a little to solve them. In some cases, mindlessly using every item with other items or hotspots in the game environment can give you a hint of what you must ultimately do. That's not to say the game is super easy. To make things a bit challenging, Sadwick may provide verbal responses to puzzle-solving attempts that sound like you're on the right track, but are in fact false red herrings. As for the story, it's good. Its ending, once you finish the game, is something you'll either like because it's an unexpected surprise or dislike because it's something you see in less creative stories. For me, I liked it enough.
Basically, if you're in the mood for another fun adventure game but you're running out of options, give The Whispered World a try. As conventional as the game is, it's still a fun one.
For more information about The Whispered World, visit Moby Games.