Quick review: Voice Fantasy (iPhone)

Controlling video games through the power of speech has been attempted by a handful of developers with varying success. But what if you replace words with random noises and automate all but a few of the controls? You get Voice Fantasy from Square Enix. It hints at the idea of being an RPG that frustratingly doesn’t actually let you play and isn’t even a game per se but does give a few minutes of fun to begin with.

So what is Voice Fantasy all about? The promotional literature tries hard to make it sound like a full experience, claiming that it’s a new way of playing video games but In reality, players are only asked to make noises into the iPhone’s mic to summon characters. The pitch and level of sound effects what type of character is brought to life and their attributes. Square have tried to invoke happy memories of their classic titles with the art style and presentation of Voice Fantasy by pretty much replicating the presentation of early Final Fantasy games. If you’ve seen any of those NES classics, which is almost a certainty, you’ve seen Voice Fantasy.

Mages, warriors and the typical job types are created via noise and then chosen for battle in one of the shortest single player campaigns Square has ever produced. You fight a few monsters before facing the Demon King. If you lose, you start from the beginning and try again. Win and you start from the beginning and try again. Yep, it’s repetitive regardless of victory or downfall. What’s worse is how there’s no interaction once a character is chosen to fight. No leveling up, no story, nothing. The iPhone does everything for you which left me to wonder why I paid £1.19 for it in the first place.

The quirkiness of watching pixelated people duke it out and repeat a high-pitched rendition of the noise you made to create them is pleasing to begin with but without any kind of progression, real playability or longevity, Voice Fantasy is simply poor. Gathering a group of friends together and showing particularly non-gamers its eccentricity is were most of the slender entertainment is found but paying over a quid for what is essentially an experiment rather than any sort of game is just wrong.

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