Top Critic Average
The negatives never hurt Whispering Willows enough to outshine the positives. The title is a perfect match for gamers looking for the kind of survival horror title that the genre was founded on. The game might not offer the same kind of jump scares as titles like Resident Evil, but with a story inspired by the real-life cruelty of history, Whispering Willows might actually be scarier.
If you're a fan of "Escape Room" type puzzle adventure games then Whispering Willows should be at the top of your list in 2018! The game is beautifully drawn on a foundation of puzzles that aren't a free ride, but certainly, don't hinder your progress or make you feel inadequate.
Whispering Willows is a cool little indie horror game that focuses on exploration and puzzle solving. The game isn't necessarily scary, but the parallel story and atmosphere are definitely eerie. The ghost form mechanic is fun, and the game allows you to collect some items early, which is nice as well.
Whispering Willows is a scary, scary game in a beautiful, beautiful world. The hand drawn, Legend of Korra style artwork is only a façade to the darkness that lies within, and is stripped down by the notes, diary entries and running commentary by Elena. Whispering Willows is a beautiful game, only marred by the short time it takes to finish, and when that is your only issue, I can still highly recommend it.
Overall, Whispering Willows is a satisfying experience that's straight out of a Disney story-book. There's a happy ending, a brave tween looking for her dad whilst trying to help out ghosts, good graphics, simple but stimulating puzzles and a manageable play-time that all help to leave you with a smile on your face.
If we had to nit-pick, we'd grumble at the occasional bit of backtracking and the lethargic motions of the main character, but Whispering Willows had enough atmosphere and entertainment value to keep us intrigued.
Whispering Willows is an engaging horror-themed graphic adventure starring a likeable hero and a haunted mansion. Unfortunately, the great presentation is undone by a predictable story and simple puzzles. Elena's journey may be full of ghouls and ghosts, but it fails to scare up much excitement.
Whispering Willows is an enjoyable experience, even though it's a bit disappointing that it doesn't live up to neither the gameplay nor the writing of old adventure games.
Whispering Willows is a brisk narratively-driven adventure that takes an intriguing theme, turns it into a ghost story, and ties in characters with satisfying depth to create a game that's a little light on gameplay.
Whispering Willows is an enjoyable game with a good story, though much of it will rely on you reading all the letters scattered through the game. The puzzles aren't hard and while some of the atmosphere is creepy the game doesn't quite present the horror you expect. While Whispering Willows is an interesting experience it is a short one at three hours. There are also a couple of annoyances and the puzzles are incredibly simple to work out, but that keeps things moving at a steady pace. Overall Whispering Willows is for those who like adventure titles but also like to experience a story that unfolds without too much effort being put in, making it a solid debut from Night Light Interactive.
I wasn't left feeling dead cold after finishing, it and I appreciated the simplistic nature to the game. Minimal frustration, some nice exploration, and able to be finished in a single sitting if you have a few hours to spare. This ghost story isn't the most memorable, but it doesn't have to be. Whispering Willows was an enjoyable time, and for those that like a decent story, side scrolling exploration, and the idea of talking to ghosts, I'd recommend it.
The game's positive elements shine through, but I can't help feeling annoyed at the poor attempts to diversify the content; made even more frustrating when the game ends at only 3 hours, with virtually no reason to replay it.
If Loot Interactive and the developers at Night Light took away the hand-holding with puzzle solving and given us a speedier way to get around, Whispering Willows would've fared a lot better. As it stands, however, it's still a decent title for fans of the genre, mainly due to its effective presentation and unique abilities. It's not recommended to everyone, but if you're up for a ghost story, dig in.
It is. It just didn't quite hit the necessary benchmarks for execution and the ultimate realization of the main concept. There are quite a few highlights but mixed in are a bunch of low points, and those low points only exist because there is, as I said above, little in the way of follow-through.
Whispering Willows is a very different game from any other. It has a good story, fun mechanics (despite maybe too simple) and a terrifying atmosphere, all made with love by Night Light. It has a lot of issues in all of its aspects, unfortunately, but it's worth it to try and play.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Whispering Willows involves a lot of interesting concepts that unfortunately haven't been fully utilised. It's a pleasant experience that will keep players engaged for the few hours of gameplay it has, but the puzzles are very easy, while the tension and horror is lacking.
Whispering Willows is a supernatural puzzle-adventure game that sucks players in with its beautiful hand-drawn style and mystery, but doesn't bring anything too new to the genre.
Whispering Willows offers up some interesting gameplay ideas behind its tale of a young girl communicating with spirits as she desperately searches for her father. It's unfortunate, then, that Night Light Interactive wasn't able to flesh out most of them, leaving its side-scrolling adventure feeling unfinished for most of the way through.
With just two hours of content and gameplay that never challenges you, plenty of people will dismiss Whispering Willows and never think twice about it. That's maybe not such a bad thing as it definitely isn't for everybody. It acts as an example as to why the Ouya didn't last. This was one of the better received games in the console's short lifespan and it fails to stand up to a lot of games within its own genre on the major consoles and PC. I do genuinely love the game's message overall, however. It gives a voice to a people so rarely represented in video games and does so within a story that's worth seeing. Despite its dark tone and serious subject matter, one word keeps returning to me when I think back on Whispering Willows, and that's 'charming'. It's flawed, and brief, and unchallenging, but so too is it engaging, and mysterious, and charming. Among so many other lost souls in the Willows Mansion, the ghost of the Ouya lives on.
Whispering Willows is by no means a masterpiece, but it is a beautiful world and an engaging atmosphere that unfortunately is wrapped in undeveloped gameplay and a not very compelling story. Still; it's an experience with a lot to offer for those with a love of eerie and beautiful games.
At the end of the day the question is: Would I recommend this game? I would have to say no. If you like puzzle or adventure games, Whispering Willows won't have anything new to offer you.
Whisper Willows is a good effort by an indie studio as the art style drew me in from the moment I first saw it, but it lacks any sort of depth as its puzzles aren't difficult to figure out and it's story, as horrific as it turns out to be, didn't really entice me.
It means that for all Whispering Willows' atmosphere it can't deliver what it sets out to achieve. I don't often say games need to be longer but here, the experience needs more locations, more detail and more time to fill out its fiction to be able to tackle the themes it wants to tell.
Whispering Willows has the foundation laid for a great adventure game, but is held back by some shortcomings. Yes, there's some of the slowness in walking and loading, but this can be forgivable by players who enjoy taking their time and drinking everything in. The biggest problem lies in how it feels there could be so much more to fill this world. The game can be finished in about 3 hours, leaving a void that could have possibly been filled with deeper puzzles, deeper dialogues with the ghosts, and simply more to experience overall. What lies in this shallow grave may still be enjoyable, but let's hope a second effort comes that digs deeper.
If only the developer's care could have graced the poorly drawn cutscenes that lack the vitality of those in 1988's Ninja Gaiden. These sequences don't communicate the emotional sincerity needed to fulfill the potential of a story that humanizes its white-man villain while calling attention to the contemporary impact of his racism.
But when you're playing a character that chooses to do all the things you can make her do, she should have understandable reasons to do them. Elena doesn't, and that numbs most of the game. I don't think Whispering Willows intended for me to ask myself why I needed to keep playing for the majority of my time with it, but it did. It's the kind of game that lacks satisfying substance, the kind of game where all you can say is that you finished it.
The best aspect is that it does not hold the player's hand, and does grant a reasonable amount of agency the way a good adventure game does. Night Light had their heart in the right place, even if their intention exceeded their means.