And the novel use of technology doesn't end there. The game uses the gyroscopes built into Nintendo's hand-held gaming device to sense where you're looking, so the ghosts you encounter aren't merely superimposed on the image of your surroundings, but assigned a permanent spot in relation to you. This means if there's a little girl standing at the base of your stairs, she'll still be at the base of your stairs, no matter where you roam in the room.
Naturally, how frightening the whole experience is depends on your surroundings. It's tough for a ghost to scare you, for instance, if he's haunting your six-pack of Coke. And here's where "Spirit Camera" sabotages itself.
The game cartridge comes with a notebook of sorts, with a different image on each page. The notebook is used to progress through the game's story. Training your camera on the first page summons the spirit of the young woman you're tasked with saving, and subsequent pages pack a variety of effects, from opening a vortex that sucks up your surroundings, to showing you a warped image of yourself, your eyelids a thicket of scars. This is all very clever; trouble is, the game can't recognize the pages unless you're in a well-lit room -- we're talking football-stadium well-lit -- and the cardinal rule of horror is that bright light is the enemy of fear.
|'Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir'|
|» System: 3DS|
|» Price: $39.99|
|» Rating: 2 out of 5 stars|
A page in the notebook might summon an evil spirit you have to "fight" (pretty much by taking pictures of him at the right moment), but with so many lights on, you won't be thinking "Oh no!" so much as "I should really vacuum this place."