Parents' Guide to

Empathy: Path of Whispers

By Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Muddled adventure addresses mature political themes.

Game Windows 2017
Empathy: Path of Whispers Poster Image

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This adventure manages to bring up mature topics in an interesting way, but the gameplay and problem-solving leaves much to be desired. Empathy's story-rich adventure emphasizes dialogue and text, and because of it, crosses the line from game to interactive story. Though most point-and-click adventures are fairly text-heavy and involve exploration, the good ones alternate between these aspects and some other kind of puzzle or problem-solving experience. Empathy: Path of Whispers lacks that kind of enigmatic pacemaker, and its flow suffers accordingly.

Most of what you do involves using a hand-held scanner to track psychically rich objects, and scanning involves using your mouse wheel and buttons to adjust the shape of an electronic wave. Doing this is moderately interesting the first five times; after that, it's a chore. The same can be said for marching from point A to point B, clicking on an object, and listening while its related sound bite plays. There's little to break up this plodding routine, and the memories you find along the way reference a confusing number of characters and story threads. Still, the overreaching premise is mysterious enough to help you endure the repetition just to see what happens next, and your reward for doing so is a series of beautifully moody, ominous environments. And it has to be, since the end reveal is a fairly big letdown. Ultimately, it gets a big thumbs-up for attempting to discuss mature and difficult themes, and a big thumbs-down for muddled presentation and lack of problem-solving.

Game Details

  • Platform: Windows
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: Iceberg Interactive
  • Release date: May 16, 2017
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Topics: Adventures
  • ESRB rating: E for Mild Language
  • Last updated: September 10, 2021

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