Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir

Horror games often demand input from their audiences to amplify their spookiness. Drawing the curtains, turning out the lights, and plugging in some headphones help set the mood tenfold.

Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir has similar demands.

A haunted house-horror designed entirely around the 3DS's augmented reality features, Spirit Camera requires a flat surface, a lot of patience, and that you leave the lights on rather than play in the dark.

It's a page turner alright...

Using the pages of the Purple Diary, a 16-page scrap book that comes bundled with the game, you can interact with ghosts trapped in the home of the auspiciously named Woman in Black.

Those familiar with the Fatal Frame series on consoles will find the game's ghostly apparitions all-too familiar as spectres leap from the pages of the Purple Diary and into your living room, bedroom, or toilet.

Battling enemy spirits forms the bulk of the experience, and you'll have to move all around using your 3DS as a camera to capture them in your sights, chipping away at their HP gauge through skilful snapping. Hold out for your sights to glow red and you'll be able to unleash a Shutter Charge that saps massive chunks of a spirit's life.

Snap crappy

There's a rather bonkers story, too, but unless you have a thing for Japanese thrillers in which teenage girls with long black hair crawl out of LED displays, then it's fairly disposable.

The need for good lighting is a bit of a mood-killer, but Spirit Camera channels its remaining resources to deliver a chilling atmosphere through the 3DS speakers, and the trickery of its AR book is far more impressive than slapping your mug onto a Face Raider.

The problem is that Spirit Camera feels like a tech demo fleshed out over a couple of hours with few mini-game nibbles to draw you back in.

It might have gotten away with it if the tech it was demonstrating was seamless, but you'll spend a good deal of time manipulating your surroundings to make the game work properly.

Imagine watching The Blair Witch Project on a TV with a dodgy antenna that you keep having to get up and fiddle with. Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir brings that experience to the 21st century.

Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir

Spirit Camera is a nice concept but one that's a little too demanding to be easily enjoyed. It's full of neat spooks and tricks but there are far cheaper and better ways of getting your freak on