What Heart Heard Of, Ghost Guessed

by Amanda Walker profile


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Number of Reviews: 9
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Innovative and clean, but falling flat emotionally at times, March 22, 2023
by ilyu

By far my favorite part of What Heart Heard Of, Ghost Guessed was the mechanics, which struck me as exceedingly clever and well-fitted to the content. I found the system of discovering new verbs and then figuring out which puzzles to use those verbs with satisfying, especially so when you found a verb that you'd been hunting down for a while (for me, this was when (Spoiler - click to show)I found the "confuse" verb and immediately shot toward the attic, where the latch that needed to be turned had been waiting for me from the very start), although I do wish there had been some more difficult/less obvious puzzles (my favorite and the one that struck me as the most complex was (Spoiler - click to show)opening the box with the key). I thought the piecewise information drops were well-paced and I was curious enough after each to continue seeking more snippets of the narrator's backstory, but once I had it all I found the overarching story to be a little simple emotionally. Some of the NPCs ((Spoiler - click to show)Eva and Ian) struck me as lacking in nuance (especially (Spoiler - click to show)Eva, who was also abused by their grandfather and made responsible for her sister from a young age. I was put off by the characterization of Eva as wholly remorseless and the choice to portray her as fully the villain, without an ounce of regret in her, when the grandfather—who arguably instilled Eva with resentment toward Margaret by punishing Eva for Margaret's actions and causing Eva to blame Margaret for the abuse they both suffered—was redeemed on his deathbed), though I enjoyed the narrator's internal complexity.
Overall, I found the game and story to be clean and clever in its conception, albeit a little too clean in its emotional setup. I'm not certain I would play again (although this may just be that I rarely replay games in general), but I would certainly recommend it to all—even if I took issue with some moments of the story or the emotional payoff, I'm glad to have experienced it.

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