There’s nothing like a little summoning ritual to start the day. Whispered Secrets: Into the Wind starts with a mysterious cauldron of bubbling magic goo that calls in hordes of demons unknown. These spirits cause all sorts of mischief in the nearby town, including the disappearance of several innocent inhabitants. You’re a detective with an eye for these sorts of supernatural things, so you’re called in to see if you can get to the bottom of this spiritual conundrum.

Whispered Secrets: Into the Wind is a casual adventure game that feels like a throwback to the genre’s origins in all the right ways. The story sticks to the basics with a few twists and turns, allowing the game’s puzzles to take center stage. You’ll wander across the countryside poking your investigative nose into every tree trunk and riverbed, picking up a massive variety of items and solving some head-scratching puzzles with each step.

Interactivity is one of Whispered Secrets’ strong suits. Inventory items often need a little manipulation before they can be utilized. This is a fairly common theme throughout the hidden object genre, but Into the Wind goes a step further and requires multiple items for some of the assemblies, not all of which are immediately obvious. For example, an early puzzle gives you two halves of an emblem that obviously need to be pieced together. Most games would be satisfied with just finding those halves, but Whispered Secrets demands you actually use glue on them to make it work. The hidden object scenes do something similar and require much more than just pixel hunting and random clicking.

What do you think about having a red panda as an assistant? Whispered Secrets lets you fulfill that lifelong dream by giving you a furry little buddy right at the beginning of the game. Use the red panda to snag out of reach items. It’s a mostly automatic process, but the cursor changes to a little paw, which is guaranteed to make you go “aww” every time you see it.

One of the surprisingly fun extra features of Whispered Secrets are the flames. These optional hidden items appear within each area, showing up as small firefly-like objects that only fully materialize when you click on them. The exciting part is there are 168 flames in all, which adds up to some seriously fun meta-object hunting.

Whispered Secrets: Into the Wind strips the hidden object genre down to its core and builds an entertaining game out of just the basic. You can tell the developers “get” what makes a hidden object game tick, as every element is perfectly tuned to extract the most entertainment out of each event. Bells and whistles are at a minimum, but the overall experience never fails to disappoint.