If you had the ability to turn into a wolf, what would you do? Probably a lot of running around in the wilderness and howling at moons, right? Echoes of the Past: Wolf Healer puts you in the shoes of someone who has precisely that ability. Aided by a magical gem-powered bracelet, you can switch between wolf and human forms simply by tapping your wrist. Not a bad party trick, and not a bad way to save the world!
Echoes of the Pasts’s story revolves around a community of healers welcoming a young apprentice, Mira, to their ranks. Unfortunately an attack interrupted the ceremony, destroying swaths of the village and dispersing the healers. The party crashers aren’t just showing up for the fun of it, of course. They’re up to something far more sinister. It’s time for you to put on your bracelet and get to the bottom of this supernatural conspiracy.
Most of your time in Echoes of the Past: Wolf Healer will be spent sliding back and forth between close-by areas digging through rubble for new items. The puzzles are extremely close knit in this casual adventure, meaning you’ll have to scrutinize every scene and read every clue to figure out what’s going on. More often than not you’ll have to use your wolf powers to get past an obstacle, too, which is pretty cool even if you don’t get to choose when it happens.
Mini-games are at the heart of the Wolf Healer experience. Just about every scene has a small one to complete, and they range across the spectrum of complexity from sliding puzzles to memory match games to more original fare. None of them take more than a few moments to complete, which is kind of a shame since they’re such fun to work on. Hidden object scenes serve as extended mini-games by focusing on finding pieces of items to complete a list of silhouettes. They’re highly interactive in nature, and just like their mini-game counterparts, they’re over in a flash.
The most interesting thing about Wolf Healer is its setting. The game takes place in a partly mechanical, partly superstitious world where fantasy and science clash on a regular basis. You’ll see apparently magical acts take place before your eyes, but you’ll also hunt down keys to activate clockwork frogs. It’s a very interesting mixing of genre styles, and it lends the game an air of darkness and intrigue.
Echoes of the Past: Wolf Healer takes some time to find its footing. The story stutters at the beginning, leaving out some interesting details in favor of pushing you right into the action. The gameplay, too, feels somewhat disjointed when you first start playing. All of this eventually smooths out as Echoes of the Past settles into its unique pacing. The puzzles get better, the mini-games more involved, and the storyline more dramatic than you’re first led to believe.