Top Critic Average
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 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.
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.
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.
All in all, It is a very nice experience if you don't mind playing a book, watching a story or reading a game.
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.
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.
What Whispering Willows lacks in complicated hands-on gameplay, it makes up for in story and atmosphere.
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.
Immersive audio and impressive art-style isn't quite enough to prevent the gameplay of this intriguing ghost story from being quite banal.