Colorful Wrapper, Lukewarm Candy
I really wanted to enjoy Whispers: Interactive Romance Stories, because the art is beautiful, and the stories are quite engaging. Genres include romance, fantasy and even reality show, so there’s unique characters for every situation. There’s even LGBTQIA+ stories! However, this sim from Gamehaus Network is just another visual novel collection held back by pay-to-play gameplay. If you don’t have enough gems, the story won’t go the way you want. What wasted potential.
Tap & Swipe
When players open Whispers, they’re asked to choose between two different genres. For example, I got Reality Show and Occupation Romance. I chose the latter as I’m not a huge fan of the reality show circuit. The story I got was Guardian Angel, where I play as a female bodyguard. I had to swipe between four women with different skin tones and then choose between six hairstyles. Two of those hairstyles cost 13 gems each, which seems a bit steep as I was only provided with 20 to start with. After choosing my character’s look, the story began. As per usual with these kinds of games, nearly every situation has choices. One will improve your character’s relationship with others, while another will damage it. An example from Guardian Angel is when my character was insulted by her interviewer and second possible love interest; she had the choice of pinning him to the wall or throwing him to the floor. I tapped the ‘pin to wall’ option and the interviewer actually liked it.
The first gem choice comes up when she needs to pick an outfit for her bodyguard interview. While I personally didn’t like any outfit, the apparent ‘best’ one cost 25 gems. Additionally, there are special gem choices that unlock special scenes and dialogues, and the first one for this story cost 17. While there are ways to earn gems for free, it’s not exactly a fair system. The daily login only provides one gem, and achievements can earn either three, five or ten. Achievements range from completing X number of chapters and watching three ads. Considering how high most gem choices are, it’s difficult to have enough. To get the most gems requires players to open their wallets. For example, 20 gems cost $1.99 and 1,500 gems cost a whopping $100. And it’s not just gems players have to worry about. Keys are needed to read chapters and you are only given two at the beginning of the game. They’re difficult to get for free as well, and five keys cost $1.99 while 150 cost $40. Less expensive than gems, but still costly in the long run.
Though pretty and well-written, Whispers: Interactive Romance Stories is just another cash grab. Players can barely get thorough half a first chapter without needing to spend gems. It’s sad that Gamehaus Network had to resort to a pay-to-play method for their game. It could have been so much better without the money issues.
Is It Hardcore?
The characters are beautiful, and the stories are engaging. It’s just a shame they have to be attached to a game that clearly cares more about earning money than it does about engagement.