There are many games known for making dangerously innovative choices in the play style department. Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir does just that! This game makes an attempt to blend the horror genre with the still in progress world that is augmented reality. Though the game pushes boundaries that aren’t often pushed, does it play well? Has the AR world finally gotten its first totally hardcore game? Continue reading to find out! -Dallas B.
As stated above, Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir tries vary desperately to take augmented reality, and use it in a horror game. You’re given an AR book full of “spooky” pictures and writings, that when looked at with the 3DS’s built-in cameras, actually pop out of the screen to create some horrifying ghosts and other monstrosities. You start out in your living room looking at this spooky journal, when all of a sudden you’re sucked into it! You wake up in an unfamiliar world, greeted by an evil spirit. You’re suddenly awakened back to your living room accompanied by a girl who remembers nothing but her name. She informs you that you are cursed, and if you can’t break this curse placed upon you by the mysterious woman in black, she’ll rip of your face! So begins your fright-filled journey into the world of the strange and supernatural.
Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir plays decently enough for an AR game. Whenever you are in the book, you use the 3DS’s motion sensor to look around. When you’re outside of the book, you use motion to turn and look at the girl and shoot all the ghosts in your house. You’ll use the augmented realty feature to view (and play hide-and-seek with) ghosts in the book. The real problem does however come from these controls. You’re constantly having to twist and turn in various directions just to find the girl, or see a ghost. The other Problem is that you’ll have to be playing the game in a perfectly well lit room in order for the camera to actually read the AR book, which takes most of the fear-factor right out of the game. Though the game plays decently enough in a well lit room, even then it just feels a lot more like doing an awkward dance all over the place than an actual game. Spirit camera also includes different mini games as a bonus, but they’re basically just the same thing you play in the story mode, so there’s really nothing new here.
I’m not saying I didn’t have fun with Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir, it’s just that for a game that runs about three hours, it doesn’t make sense that it costs as much as games that run for 12 or more. Spirit camera makes the perfect app, just don’t expect it to feel like a full-fledged game. If it weren’t a horror game, I’d probably recommend it more to the children’s audience for all of the hide, and seek games included.
Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir is a cool idea that’s done pretty well for a first try, and in that respect, I’ve got to hand it to Tecmo for trying something new. Still, I think the game would have done better if there weren’t so much twisting and turning involved. What do you think? Will AR games eventually work better than they do now? Let us know in the comments!