Point and click games are a dime a dozen, but good point and click games are something a little rarer.
Clifftop Games’ Whispers of Machine is one of those rare games; a point and click adventure that somehow manages to tick all the boxes. It packs in stellar voice acting, a gripping storyline, a fantastically realised dystopian sci-fi world, and engaging gameplay that goes beyond clicking furiously around the screen and combining every object in sight.
All that goes to say: if you’re a fan of the point and click genre, Whispers of a Machine really ought to be in your collection.
You play as Vera, a detective tasked with investigating a string of murders. Vera’s not your typical detective though; this is a sci-fi world after all, and so Vera comes equipped with a number of special augmentations that help her complete her job. One of those augmentations allows her to spot and analyse DNA and other materials, while another will measure the heart rate of a person while you speak to them. Another allows her to use a brief period of extra strength – perfect for powering her way through locked doors.
It adds a layer of depth to the game that really makes it feel like you’re in control. Question a witness and they may hold back valuable information; but monitor their heart rate and you can clearly see they’re nervous. Having Vera’s augments right there, accessible at any time, helps too. There’s no clunky menus to go through, or any daft ‘analysis facility’ akin to those early-2000s CSI games.
While Whispers of a Machine looks brilliant – pixel sprites on top of beautiful hand-drawn backgrounds – it’s the voice acting that really sets it apart. There’s a level of professionalism rarely seen outside of AAA games, with each character being brought to life with a great amount of personality. Often, I’m keen to skip over spoken dialogue; I can read the text to myself faster than they can speak it. But not here; with Whispers of a Machine I want to savour every line of dialogue I possibly can.
I’m only early into the adventure that Whispers of a Machine wants to unfold around me, but already I’m incredibly impressed. The level of care and detail that’s gone into its development is plain to see. It looks great, it sounds great, it’s engaging and intuitive to play, and its narrative is gripping straight from the start. What more could you possibly want? For just $14.99/£11.39, get Whispers of a Machine on Steam now.