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Whispers of a Machine - from Kathy Rain developer

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Pyoro-2 - 04 May 2019 12:36 PM

The game is received so well everywhere I feel almost bad for not liking it. But I don’t.

It starts nice; the setting is interesting, murder mysteries tend to make for good plots, a classic “pick up items” combined with “abilities” sounds like good puzzles, it looks good, etc.

Basically I went into it expecting to quite enjoy it.

But I didn’t like the puzzles. They mostly felt uninspired; very linear with one specific solution that tended to be obvious - the worst sequence perhaps being building the shelter which ultimately just felt like busywork - or a bit misleading, like others have mentioned the nutrients situation drove me bonkers too; and the secret room was completely obvious but figuring out how to get into it definitely not. There’s also some of those situations - like, I tried getting everyone’s addresses early on and Vera dismisses doing this, but later on you do need one other address. So it took me a bit to go “well, guess I should try again” - it’s basically enforced order of actions which I didn’t feel was necessary.

I also expected way more nice use of the abilities. But it feels very restricted for how and when you can use them. Like, I really wanted to go invisible when leaving the church ‘cause I had a feeling I’d get caught otherwise. But the game just goes, “naaaaw, there’s nobody here”. Well ... there clearly was someone there. It never feels like you can do much with them “optionally”, either they are necessary for the solution of a puzzle or they are completely useless.

And, overall, the game just didn’t feel like investigating a murder mystery. I suppose in a sense it’s my fault for expecting this, but, heck, it’s an Agent investigating a murder. I think it’s an understandable mistake to make ... but there’s no misleading clues you need to sort through or anything; no ambiguous witness statements despite having an ability specifically geared towards investigating that sort of thing - it’s all very static and linear and with no big surprises; and some disappointing moments like again, as mentioned, finding the murder weapon just does. not. matter. at all. For a (sort of) police investigation that’s just ridiculous.

The writing also felt too obvious. The mastermind was pretty clear (not that you can do anything about it), which I don’t think is a good thing when you are dealing with a mystery. I also felt the ending was kinda spoiled, as it was incredibly obvious that Vera would end up with the kid (well, you can turn it down, but it always going to go that direction). And with the Blue detected in the fluid, well ....

Aside from that, although I did like the characters, I felt particularly the part about her dead lover to not really work for me. As a player you just basically don’t know anything about the guy so there’s no emotional attachment to whatever is going on with him and all he ever does is nag at you.

Actually, the one part I kinda liked was that initially I was fully going to go ahead with AI Baby Jesus and then in a feat of brilliant reverse-psychology I got so annoyed with the guy I did the opposite just to spite him.

But I can’t say I felt that made much sense for Vera’s character and how she’s displayed interacting with him. 

Talking about her character; I admit that was mostly a problem of misguided expectations, but I kinda hoped that your choices on how she acts would affect her character in general (aside from the abilities), but I never got the feeling it did. She’s just assertive/analytical/emotional (or what they are called) for the one moment you actually pick that choice and then it goes back to her “default” personality.

Or maybe I’m wrong about that; but that’s the impression I got.

And of course it all ends in the classic “do either A or B” choice which I’ve never liked and don’t like here either.

To be fair to the game, I don’t think it’s actually objectively bad. It just didn’t live up to my apparently too high or at least too different expectations. But I guess that’s how it goes sometimes Meh


Im sorry you didnt enjoy it, and i disagree with a lot of what you said, for instance her powers are tailored to solve different puzzles, your choice in dialogue directly influences gameplay mechanics. i think that is pretty incredible for an indy game, you dont even get that in triple A games. For instance u get a lot of dialogue choices in mass effect but your choice doesnt open up new powers. Heck your choices here matter more than telltale games. There is literally 2 to 4 ways to solve every type of puzzle in the game, thats impressive to me.

     
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Guybrush82 - 04 May 2019 03:58 PM

Finished this game today, an I really liked it. And since i live in Sweden I really enjoyed all the Swedish names and things (Snus anyone?).

Two great games from this developer now. Hoping for a third.  Smile

I believe there are actually three games between the two guys who made this. Kathy Rain, The Samaritan Paradox and the joint venture Whispers of a Machine.

Just finished the game and liked it a lot. And the Swedishness of it all made it special. It was especially funny hearing american actors pronouncing typical swedish names.

 

     
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As a Kathy Rain fan, this.game really hit the spot. Hope they make $$$ and do another game soon.

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I enjoy playing adventure games on handheld systems- PS VITA, Nintendo DS and ipad mini.

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I hope this wins community playthrough

     
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It was mentioned on the opening page of this thread ... Draugen just released on GOG.

     

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Hey all,

Most of you are probably already aware of this, but the Reader’s Choice Aggie Awards voting just opened!

If if you played and enjoyed WoaM, we’d be honored to have your vote Smile

https://adventuregamers.com/articles/view/39493?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=adventuregamers

     
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Jdawg445 - 05 December 2018 11:46 PM
Was i the only one who thought Kathy rain started out great but fell apart by the end
No. Even the game designer, who was a guest during the playthrough, thought it could have ended better. But he was under both time and budget constraints, so it was what it was.

The end of Kathy Rain was quite horrific, which I enjoyed. It seemed that the game was heading that way from at least chapter 3. I myself found then ending bizarre yet satisfying.

What I would like to see is a Kathy Rain remake in high definition with a less rushed ending and a Kathy Rain 2.

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Mikekelly - 17 May 2019 03:39 PM

As a Kathy Rain fan, this.game really hit the spot. Hope they make $$$ and do another game soon.

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Awesome, thanks a lot! Smile You’ll be glad to know we are working on our next title. There will likely be an announcement about it at some point this year!

     
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I liked Kathy Rain just the way it was (sorry MikeKelly) but would love to see a sequel to that. I’d love also to see more of the excellent ideas presented in Whispers of a Machine in a further game.  Smile

     
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I think many players in the KR playthrough posted our problems with the way the game ended. And most, I believe, were acknowledged by the developer. While I agree that a cosmetic update might be helpful, a re configuring of the final act is what the game really needs.

     

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No matter how much I like a game, I will never vote for it if its developer is trolling for votes.

     

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Wow, thank you so much for your incredible support in the Aggies, guys! Grin

     
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walas74 - 17 April 2019 10:23 AM

Yeah, the Whispers are out there!

After 63 hours of playing, I am sure it will be be AGOTY.


Why cannot I be right when I bet in soccer hahaha

     
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With 9 Aggie wins, this game did even better than Kathy Rain, a well loved adventure game.

We should thank you for such an amazing game. Now for your next game, you have some pretty big shoes to fill. We all are looking forward to that.

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I enjoy playing adventure games on handheld systems- PS VITA, Nintendo DS and ipad mini.

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