Whispering Willows is a simple game that blends elements of puzzle, point-and-click, and visual novel games. There is a large focus on storytelling, and very little focus on gameplay.
While the game offers many puzzles, most of them are very simple and will likely not require much careful thought or the assistance of an online walkthrough. However, players who wish to experience the full enjoyment of Whispering Willows are expected to do a bit of reading.
The game features a multitude of brief notes and diary entries which the player collects throughout their playthrough. These notes are well-written and help bring the game to life. While there is nothing forcing the player to read these notes, to neglect them would be to skip the entire point of the game.
This is because simply playing the game will not yield much enjoyment in itself. There is nothing particularly "fun" about the gameplay; the entire two to three hour experience is comprised simply of exploring the game's two-dimensional settings and "examining" your surroundings by pressing the Space bar.
However, in spite of its simple gameplay, Whispering Willows does do a great job of telling a unique story. It does so strongly enough that I found myself interested to follow the game through to the finish while also enjoying the experience.
While I really appreciated this, I understand that a lot of people do not have the patience or curiosity to play a game for its story or message alone. If you are one of those people, Whispering Willows is not for you.
Whispering Willows is a great introduction for players who are interested in but not necessarily familiar with gaming as a medium of storytelling. The price may be a bit steep for a rather short game, but all in all, I really recommend this game to you if you enjoy a good story and contributing to smaller indie titles -- especially if it's on sale! ^_^