Curse of a Legend may not be a legendary experience, but it will still satisfy most fans of the genre.
It’s the 19th Century in New Orleans. You’re a young girl named Lillian who has been training under the powerful voodoo queen Marie Leveau. Without warning, the town is overcome by a dark curse, trapping everyone but yourself, so you begin on a journey to save your friends, family and town before they are lost to the dark forces forever.
Voodoo Whisperer: Curse of a Legend is a fairly standard hidden object / puzzle game that sees you making your way through five chapters (in the collector’s edition, the “extra” chapter is anything but, and is actually the third chapter you’ll complete), each of which takes place in a different location. You’ll come across dead bodies and possessed souls, and you’ll need to perform various spells and enchantments to either talk to the deceased or release the living from their demons.
Each hidden object scene has you finding items on a list, with most items being relatively easy to find, save for those that suffer from some naming issues that can cause confusion as to what exactly you’re supposed to be looking for. As for the puzzles, they are the standard examples you’d expect: jigsaw puzzles, matching games, tile or dial rotation puzzles and so on.
The semi-unique mechanic with Voodoo Whisperer comes in the voodoo spells themselves. You’ll collect dozens of items throughout the game, with four or five items being used to create different potions or otherwise magical goodies that normally trigger the ending of a chapter. You’ll find recipes and spells throughout your journey that automatically update as you find the required ingredients, and the item-making mechanic works well.
That being said, you’ll spend a lot of time simply backtracking from location to location (all within the same chapter) to find these items, as hidden object scenes must be replayed, and locations revisited twice or even three times or more before you’ll finally be able to move on. While I appreciate a game that’s not entirely linear, the gameplay in Voodoo Whisperer is, at times, too far the other way.
Technically speaking, the game’s backgrounds and environments are lovely and are themed appropriately for the setting (with the standard dark and gloomy touches), but the character models look entirely out of place. To put it simply, each character looks ultra modern and has clearly been created to look as realistic as possible, but they stand out against the aged, antique backgrounds, and seeing them suddenly appear in a scene is jarring to say the least.
On top of all of that, the game’s story feels a bit rushed, and is altogether a bit repetitive. You’ll complete the same sets of tasks in each chapter (that is, complete a handful of spells) simply using different items, and by the time you make your way through the game’s 2-3 hour length, the ending comes at you with less than five minutes of setup, only to conclude on one of the biggest cliffhangers I’ve ever experienced.
All told, the cliffhanger ending and ample backtracking do detract from the experience, but the gameplay itself is still rather solid, and is worth a look if you’re at all into voodoo, witchcraft and the like. We just hope that a sequel comes out sooner, rather than later, to give us that much-needed closure.