Inspired by the TV series ‘Ghost Whisperer’ you take on the role of Melinda Gordon who has an amazing supernatural skill. That’s right, just as the title suggests she is able to communicate with ghosts and spirits! Just like the series, you have to help ghosts complete their unfinished business so that they are able to cross over to the other side and provide closure for the loved ones that are left behind.
Now I’m a fan of point and click adventures, but there’s another kind of related genre which is the hidden object game. Ghost Whisperer is definitely a hidden object game (i.e. there’s a lot less navigating and a whole lot more uncovering of hidden items). The hidden object genre is a simplified version of the point and click genre and, as such, many entries to the genre suffer from similar issues, i.e. pacing of the story, low excitement and a lack of action. Such games rely on trying to portray decent graphics and an involving story arc, considering the success of the Ghost Whisperer TV show, you would hope that the story telling should be top notch.
Graphically, Ghost Whisperer is crisp if a little old school and easy on the eye for the most part. The backgrounds are quite detailed and suit the story that you’re participating in. The characters jump in to a conversation and are reasonable representations of their real life counterparts. The hidden object part of Ghost Whisperer can be a little difficult at times as you try to uncover various items, some of the objects are very small. In some cases you have to find words within the jumble and they are usually the most difficult things to find.
One area which would have made Ghost Whisperer a much more involving title would have been some vocal input from the actual actors or at least someone who sounds a little like them. In Ghost Whisperer dialogue is purely text, so it’s hard to become interested in the story when you have to read and skip through passages of text. Musically, Ghost Whisperer is easy listening, things go slightly spooky when there are ghosts about whilst the regular background tunes hum along quite nicely.
There are two stories to get to grips with. One is ‘Forgotten Toys’ and other is ‘A Brush with Death’. The latter story is more enjoyable than the first, but both in general are reasonably written plots. Navigating between the windows is very easy, though the loading times are too long considering the content. One thing you’ll notice is the lack of an explanation in regards to why certain objects are found in particular places, i.e. why is the plug that you require hiding at an antiques store. There’s no diary/journal to keep a record of how the plot is unravelling so it’s best to play straight through, neither episode takes long to get through and there’s no reason to go back.
On both Casual and Expert settings Ghost Whisperer is quite a straightforward proposition. You just end up clicking on items hoping to uncover what you’re meant to be searching for. The ‘Hint’ function works well enough, there will be occasions where you’ve found every item bar one and that’s when it becomes useful highlighting where the item is. There’s never any urgency in either the puzzle or hidden object parts of Ghost Whisperer, so there’s hardly any feeling of self-accomplishment when you complete a task. The puzzle elements are the poorest part of Ghost Whisperer, they lack imagination and are actually less interesting than the hidden object tasks. The production values are more like Rentaghost (you’re getting old if you remember that) than The Sixth Sense.
Unfortunately, Ghost Whisperer is a limited experience lacking a lot of the charisma which the TV series has. The lack of interesting puzzles, monotonous uncovering of unrelated/irrelevant items and uninvolving gameplay create a scenario that isn’t a great deal of fun. Ghost Whisperer contains the elements of an interesting game but even fans of the show will fail to garner much enthusiasm for this. The artwork and design work well but overall it’s a poorly presented game which hopefully won’t put people off the show.
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