The Whispered World Impressions

Old-fashioned point-and-click adventuring and gorgeous visuals are the hallmarks of this German title.

These days, point-and-click adventure games have become about as common as a sad clown. But point-and-click adventure games about sad clowns? Well, those are among the rarest of them all--yet that’s precisely what The Whispered World is all about. This adventure title from German developer Daedalic Entertainment stars a depressed clown named Sadwick who’s been tormented by mysterious nightmares. Here at GamesCom in Cologne, we just had the chance to see this strangely charming game courtesy of Daedalic.

The Whispered World is an old-fashioned adventure game through and through. It features hand-drawn 2D visuals and a simple control scheme where the player simply points at an object and chooses to look at it, interact with it, or pick it up and keep it depending on the situation. The 2D visuals are especially notable because they’re nothing short of gorgeous. All the backgrounds are vibrant, colorful hand-drawn artwork that spans everything from dank caves to bright autumn forests. Cutscenes are fully animated cartoon sequences that fill in the gaps of the story, and there are a lot of them, too--something on the order of 50 minutes worth of animation throughout the course of the entire game.

Sadwick belongs to a family of clowns living in a caravan in the forest. His brother is a bit of a jerk, but his grandfather is a kind old man who has gone a bit senile and started cooking all their meals with disgusting ingredients. But that’s not what’s getting at Sadwick; it’s the fact that he’s having terrible nightmares every night. Eventually, he meets with an oracle who tells him what those dreams mean: Sadwick will be the very person responsible for the end of the world, which is going to be happening very soon. Naturally, Sadwick doesn’t want that sort of notoriety weighing on his shoulders, so he sets off on a quest to the kingdom at the center of the world to find out how to stop himself from becoming a walking, chronically depressed apocalypse.

That journey is aided by Sidewick’s pet blob, Spot. This little guy is an amorphous green ball of happy-go-lucky goo that can shape-shift into various forms in order to help Sidewick solve puzzles throughout the game. He can fill himself with water to become a heavy orb, flatten himself out like a sheet of paper, turn into flaming torch, and so on. The rest of the gameplay appears to be typical adventure fare, requiring players to examine every suspicious object they find in the game to see if it has some hidden function, reacts to an object in their inventory, or just provides the protagonist with the opportunity to drop a witty remark. For example, when Sadwick examines the bear rug in his room, it gives him the opportunity to remind himself that no matter how bad life gets, it could be worse--you could always end up as a decoration on the floor of a sad clown’s bedroom.

The Whispered World is due to be released very soon in Daedalic’s home country of Germany. The demo we saw was entirely in German but with English subtitles accompanying all the dialogue--which was quite witty and cleverly written. Right now, the team is working on translating the entire game and getting English voice acting in there as well. It should be out in English-speaking markets on the PC sometime next year.

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Discussion

15 comments
HuSSaR83
HuSSaR83

Art reminds me of old good Escape from Monkey Island :D

DestructobotMk3
DestructobotMk3

Ahh...a return to the glory days of 2-D hand-drawn goodness. Haven't seen this quality of artwork in a long time - there's something timeless about 2-D art that all the pixel shaders in the world can't beat. Me likey. Can't wait for it to arrive.

nyran125
nyran125

im starting to get the feeling that gamer's have to rely on non-popular european publishing houses for good games these days. EA is killing the Sims and simcity and command and conquer franchises they also murdered the best American football game NFL2K5 from 2Kgames and stole the good things about the game to make future madden games,Codemasters is murdering their beloved TOCA franchises with games like GRID. BUT thank god for publishing houses like Firaxis,Activision,Bestheda,2Kgames with Bioshock,Valve with Half life 2 and left 4 dead etc,Crytec with its ambitious risky nature,Bohemia interactive with Arma 2, and others that are STILL pushing the boundaries and taking risks like the game above. Another interesting game was BRAID. Without some of these game developers, i would of stopped gaming back when Operation Flashpoint 1 was released. IF EA adn codemasters ever takes over EVERYTHING will be the day i only play games of the last 10 - 20 years and stop buying them.

eldin4444
eldin4444

ok now that I read about the game, I must say that this is one of the wierdest things I ever see but , the game looks so promising that I will buy it depending on its puntuation

eldin4444
eldin4444

this look so wierd, just what I want.

nicktarist
nicktarist

Looks absolutely incredible. I want to be a sad clown now.

arual7
arual7

Reminds me of the King's Quest and Monkey Island days :D

Jak_Napier
Jak_Napier

Wow those are definitely some gorgeous visuals by far.

morbidshark
morbidshark

yea, this really looks like an old classic disney movie :D

reaverthewizard
reaverthewizard

Cool premise. The cartoon cut-scenes sound like they'll be great too. Seeing games like this makes me hope against common sense that Sierra and Lucasarts will port their adventure games to DS or revive their adventure teams to make new ones... I was glad to see Lucasarts putting their old stuff on Steam too. Rock on adventure games!

wiegieman
wiegieman

So he basically has an alternately colored Boogle following him around?

GuybrushAz
GuybrushAz

Looks Cool. Yeah Kings Quest 4 was my very first game back in 1985 :). Also for all you old schoolers, I think I remember a article some where on the remake of ZORK. this time with actual graphics!!! Yeah.

Jackyll87
Jackyll87

Will be looking forward to this...

ISuPrEmAcY32I
ISuPrEmAcY32I

Gorgeous visuals. I love the look of it. If I'm correct this will be something similar in gameplay to the old school Kings Quests games, which were just flat out amazing games. (If you haven't played them, do so, just don't get turned off by the oldschool gameplay). I'd like to hear about how long the game is, and I certainly don't expect this game to be full retail price. Depending on the price point and how much content is actually included I will definitely be picking this game up.

rohit9891
rohit9891

Nice artwork...looks like a classic disney movie