|Game: Whispering Willows
Genre: Adventure, Indie
Developer: Night Light Interactive
Publisher: Night Light Interactive
Release Date: jul 9, 2014
Platform: PC / Played on Windows 7
Overall rating: 9/10
Replay Value: 5/10
Whispering Willows is a Horror(ish)/Adventure puzzle game by Night Light Interactive. In it you play as Elena, who is looking for her father. Elena has powers that allow her to spirit-walk (or astral-project, as you may want to call it), which will help her solve puzzles, talk to ghosts, and help them move on. The game has some basis of Native American folklore, which might make it of particular interest to some.
Although the game is fairly simple and short, it has a lot going for it.
The story is interesting enough, though to get the full impact of it you really need to read all the notes you find, and not just skip them. The 2D graphics quite beautiful in their simplicity, yet still detailed enough in the backgrounds that you find yourself noticing all those little special things. The soundtrack and sounds are quite fitting the mood of the game throughout.
In Whispering Willows you’re searching for your missing father at the Willows Mansion, which is full of secrets and ghosts and passageways. You will spend most of your time moving around the maps trying to find items, secrets and such, sometimes on your body, sometime by spirit walking.
The puzzles aren’t too easy, but they’re also not incredibly hard, making them just about the right spot where you won’t necessarily feel compelled to quit or look up the answer, but will also not find it immediately for most of them. Some do require quite a bit of backtracking though, and when I played the game you could only walk and not run. I hear this has been fixed now, as the developer is very present on the forums.
It can be a bit easy to get lost as it has several locations, and at the time of playing it the game had no map system (I don’t think it’s been added, but I’m not sure) which had me backtracking and getting lost in a few parts.
The game might also seem a bit slow to some, though if you’re used to Adventure games, the pacing shouldn’t be a problem.
The replay value of this game is decent – you will probably want to play it again at some point, but likely not soon after finishing it.
All in all, I highly recommend this game to anyone looking for a short, more paranormal than horror story with a good story.