|2013-01-20||Android||Adventure/Puzzle||T (Teen)||Orchid Games / G5 Entertainment|
What happens when a group of friends decides to investigate the forest where a ghost is said to attack hikers? Well, one is bound to be attacked by the ghost, of course. After organizing a trip to the woods, four friends find themselves facing challenges they never thought possible. Soon enough after arriving to their campsite, one of the women gets seriously injured, and the other three are left to work together to find a way to save their friend. Just at that time, the ghost appears. By travelling between dimensions and eventually to the past, you must help the ghost of the cursed girl and your unconscious friend.
Spirit Walkers: Curse of the Cypress Witch is an adventure game at its core, with a few hidden object scenes and some puzzles to be solved. All three blend in together very well for a varied gameplay experience. While the entire adventure is very linear, you still feel free to explore each scene, finding what could be useful in your journey and combining items in your inventory. You are even able to talk to people for further explanation of what you should be doing.
Since the game is actually more focused on the adventure and story, it's not heavy on the hidden object scenes, and these are also played differently from what I am used to. Instead of an object list we have a bar that shows silhouettes of what we are supposed to find, making finding the items we are looking for a more challenging process.
For added difficulty, some of the objects will be hiding behind others and will only be seen once we move a given item. However, finding out what moves and what doesn't can only be done by randomly clicking everything or using hints.
The mini-games were interesting and varied, with the option to skip them after a while of getting nowhere. In my case, the weaving puzzle seemed particularly impossible, possibly due to my lack of brain activity during these late evening gameplay sessions...
On a more technical approach, the graphics and character design were colorful and detailed. Much like in Dark Arcana: The Carnival, the protagonists will travel between dimensions, each with a distinct look and feel. There are quite a few different locations to visit, and when there is a need to backtrack (never too much though), the transitions are done quickly and they don't slow down the pace of the game.
The dialogs were most times quite good, but on some occasions, incredibly weird. I'm not sure if this was the intended purpose, but sometimes talking to someone was like reading a vague fortune cookie message or listening to a drunk person philosophize. Strange! On a few occasions, we are graced with voice acting, which is a very welcoming feature in these games.
While I enjoyed the adventure, it was considerably short. The only thing that made it longer was my attempt at not using the hint button, which I ended up using more than in any other game anyway, courtesy of the lack of explanation from the task journal. The story was different and interesting, but I found myself not caring about the fate of the injured woman, only what happened to the ghost. I never really understood why the groom's father was so opposed to the wedding, and I found Makwa quite creepy (maybe because after I was done with what I needed his help with, he still seemed to be chasing me around and insisted on calling the main character “sweet one”). And when my adventure was over, I felt like the ending was still missing something, and regretted that the supernatural theme that the title suggested was second to another story.