Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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In a change of pace compared to other games within the genre, Whisper of Fear: The Cursed Doll provides an intriguing story rather than entertaining gameplay.
Following the tale of the Cursed Doll, which inexplicably kills young girls, the game proves rather creepy rather fast, especially for those who find dolls scary as heck. The storyline is told by the ghost of a young girl as players find themselves searching the town of Dollhaven to discover what's going on and save their daughter. It's all quite cryptic stuff and immediately unnerving, although it can lead to confusion.
Whisper of Fear: The Cursed Doll errs towards the adventure game end of the genre, rather than relying solely on typical Hidden Object elements. Players find themselves mostly wandering around the town trying to figure out what to do next. It's possible to wander freely around the area meaning it's not even clear what room is needed to progress. There is a hints system which helps once in the relevant room, but it doesn't give any suggestion of where to go next. It's also quite slow to refill.
Challenging adventure games are fine, usually, and Whisper of Fear: The Cursed Doll offers a story worthy of persevering towards, but there's seemingly no clear suggestion of what needs doing next or why. It gets frustrating. There's a strategy guide to consult but this comes with the risk of spoilers and isn't anywhere near as satisfying as figuring it out for oneself. Hidden Object fans will be saddened to see that such scenes are few and far between, leading to just exploring the surroundings to determine what needs doing next.
Together, it creates a disjointed experience. I'd never criticize a game for being too hard, but a confusing game feels unfair, both to the player and the quality of the creepy storyline.