Interact with the spirits of the dead, solve the puzzles of the mysterious mansion and help Elena find her missing father in the horror/adventure puzzle game: Whispering Willows.
User reviews: Very Positive (127 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 9, 2014

Sign in to add this game to your wishlist or mark as not interested

Buy Whispering Willows

Full Game

Buy Whispering Willows: Deluxe Edition

Full Game + Digital Art Book, Soundtrack, and Wallpaper

Buy Whispering Willows: Deluxe Edition Extras

Digital Art Book, Soundtrack, and Wallpaper

 

Recommended By Curators

"I would therefore sooner recommend the game to inexperienced puzzlers and those looking for a good story about Native American folklore."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (9)

October 29

Game Connection Europe!

Whispering Willows has been nominated for three awards- Best Downloadable Game, Casual Game, and Story Telling at Game Connection Europe!

In light of these nominations we decided to have a sale and what better time than Halloween! Whispering Willows and the Deluxe Edition are 33%-66% off until November 4th!

1 comments Read more

October 16

Walk Speed Increased- Patch 1.2

We were getting a lot of comments on how players wanted Elena to be faster (and the pace of the game) even after we added running outside, so we increased her walk speed by 50%! This should be a noticeable difference, let us know what you think.

We also fixed quite a few lingering bugs in this build. I hope you enjoy!

Patch Notes:

  • Increased Elena's walk speed by 50%
  • Fixed a bug that occurred while holding space and forward- Elena would "stutter walk"
  • When entering Catacombs, Elena will appear closer to the base of the stairs
  • Added a glow to when Elena is scared walking, so you can see how close she is to the creatures (especially helpful in the Trophy Room inside the Mansion)
  • Fixed a bug where you could get multiple Small Keys from the Conservatory
  • Fixed a bug where in the dream sequences, pushing Q while possessing an object would make Elena disappear (as if the game tried to return to her human body). You'd be forced to quit and start over.
  • Added Unity logo to intro because we appreciate the things they do for us ːCatacombSkullː

1 comments Read more

Reviews

“A horror/adventure puzzle game with an absolutely gorgeous aesthetic.”
Kotaku

“If you are looking for something a little dark with paranormal undertones, you are going to like this game.”
8.5/10 – Altered Confusion

“Steam users have a delightful adventure game to look forward to.”
8/10 – Noob Feed

About This Game

Young Elena Elkhorn embarks on a harrowing journey to find her missing father and discover the secrets of the Willows Mansion. Aiding her journey is a unique amulet, she received from her father, which allows her to astral project her spirit into a ghostly-realm and communicate with the dead. Play as Elena to find her missing father, use your astral projection to solves the mansion’s tricks and puzzles, help the lingering souls and discover so much more in Whispering Willows.

Game Features

  • Immerse yourself in a beautifully hand-drawn 2-D world as you traverse the Mansion grounds
  • Allow the haunting music and chilling sound effects to send goosebumps across your neck.
  • Let the history of the Willows Mansion draw you into a plot full of twists and betrayal.
  • Explore the vast Mansion and unlock its puzzling secrets as you search for your missing Father.

Deluxe Edition includes:

  • Digital Art Book - A 56 page Digital Art book exploring the concepts and style used to create the art of Whispering Willows
  • Soundtrack - 10 Tracks of original music from Whispering Willows
  • Wallpaper - 1920x1280 Wallpaper of Elena Elkhorn

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: 2 cpus 2.3 Ghz to 2.69 Ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000 or higher
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: 10.7 or higher
    • Processor: 2 cpus 2.3 Ghz to 2.69 Ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000 or higher
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • Processor: 2 cpus 2.3 Ghz to 2.69 Ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000 or higher
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
WARNING: This game may make you grimace for minutes at a time. Some of the jokes are.... too painful to bear. I just... I... My face has yet to recover and the pain I felt may be etched into the creases of my frown permanently.

As many others has said, this game is SHORT. At least 1 of the 4.2 hours of the game was spent watching Walkthrough's while I was stuck on a puzzle and another half hour was spent reading the diary pages. However, the story is really interesting and the diary pages are worth reading, if you are one who actually reads for enjoyment. I waited until the Halloween sale and bought the Deluxe Edition for a fair price, so I recommend waiting until it's on sale to actually buy it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 11
playing the game and reading the diary
this kind of game its really nice to play
love it!
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 3
Release trailer looks amazing.

Game is.. not as amazing but worth playing.

Good story, good game mechanics, just a bit short.

Then again, making this game longer might been bad for the story.

4/5
Was this review helpful? Yes No
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
The real winner in this game is the art. It's beautiful 2-D animation, and the artists should really be commended for making something so damn pretty. The world is very immersive for a side-scroller. I enjoyed Elena's little comments about the objects around her, even though most of them didn't have much to do with the plot.

The plot was decent. The story was uncomplicated, but it was revealed in an interesting way. I found the ending to be a little too neat and tidy, but I'm a bit of a stickler for storytelling. Overall, it was an enjoyable couple of hours of story. As everyone else has said, it's not a horror game, so much as a ghost story game with spooky elements. That doesn't mean it's not good, but if you want hardcore horror, go find another game.

The game mechanics were simple, but as the emphasis was on story that wasn't really a problem for me. I didn't find the puzzles that challenging, though they were still enjoyable. It doesn't have a lot of replay value, as it's going to follow the same plot everytime and there's no real challenge to the puzzles, but I'll probably play it again at somepoint to finish up the achievements.

I'd also recommend picking it up on sale, if you can. You might feel that you get more for your money that way.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
Good game, not really horror but I did enjoy it. The puzzles is for the most part easy and the story is good. The game is beautiful to look at too.
If you like mystery and adventure games you will probably like this one.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
Totally worth it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 11
Probably one of my new favorite games.
It is somewhat short but it has interesting level and puzzle design.

It is a story rich, 2D puzzle game with some great creepy atmosphere and well made mechanics.
I had no issues at all with this game.

I bought it on the Steam Halloween Sale but would recommend full price for this game
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 16
A decent and very simple puzzle-adventure game, with focus on storyline (and reading a diary) and nice visuals.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 21
Whispering Willows is a pretty bland game. You are quite railroaded while playing and overall there isn't much gameplay, it's mostly walking and following breadcrumbs. I enjoyed the game as I really like the look and feel of it, but if it were any longer I probably wouldn't have recommended it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
Nice little puzzle adventure, though the backtracking is rather annoying.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
nice game
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 12
A fun game but rather short and the puzzles are pretty simple. I would recommend picking it up when it is on sale.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 16
Whispering Willows suffers from "where do I go next" frustration. I'm glad the movespeed had been increaed, but the environment loses it's excitement multiple times through. The hand-drawn style is nice.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
Short but good.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 6
I wish I could in good conscience recommend this game. The graphics are lovely, the mood is atmospheric, and the soul projection mechanic is creative and interesting. Unfortunately, to paraphrase Stein, there's not much there there. The game mostly consists of exploring rooms looking for (sometimes literal) keys to unlock doors in order to progress, while reading the scattered notes to understand the story. Unlike other games in the genre, there are barely any puzzles to solve, and the game really holds your hand, telling you exactly where to go next and what buttons to push to advance, even up to the final "battle." With the walking speed increase, the game can be fully completed in less than 3 hours. The story isn't bad, but it comes to an end pretty abruptly just as things are getting interesting. I'd say it's only worth getting if heavily discounted.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 5 people (40%) found this review helpful
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
The basic idea is good, graphics are nice and so is the atmosphere. But for a game, that is supposed to feature puzzle, the gameplay is way too linear. The only non-linear parts are, when you find an item, that you need somewhere you've already been. Also replay-value is little. This could be a good game, but apparently the developers did not take the opportunity. Too bad.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 4 people (25%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 22
A linear, narrative-focused side-scroller without much of a story to tell. You'll really want to like it but end up disappointed
Was this review helpful? Yes No
83 of 101 people (82%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 9
Games like this are hard to judge on face value alone. When you take more common, action oriented titles, it can be easier to tell from just a minute or two of uninterrupted gameplay footage if a game is going to be worth your time or not. But slower paced, narrative focused titles, like Whispering Willows, are considerably harder to figure out from just viewing a short trailer. Games like this are driven by their quality of narrative and puzzle design. Does the crisp and whimsical imagery evident in WW’s screenshots affirm a similarly elegant literary and brain teasing experience? Unfortunately, no, not even close. But Whispering Willows is still an endearing first effort by fledgling studio Night Light Interactive, even with the game’s numerous flaws. In fact, it’s more what the game doesn’t try to do that is most disheartening.

I’ll begin with the most egregious error this game makes: the quality of narrative. The story is thus: young Elena’s father has gone missing, and has been for some time. After waking from a particularly vivid nightmare of her father being held captive by something, she races to an old, decrepit mansion, of which her father is the groundskeeper. She soon meets the ghost of her ancestor, who teaches her of her heritage, and of her innate ability to leave her body and walk the earth as a spirit, allowing her to commune with the ghosts of those who have yet to pass. What follows is a supernatural tale of loss, deceit and the darkness that festers within.

In truth, the narrative plays out like cross between a darker Goosebumps tale with bits of Clive Barker’s grotesque imagery. This is partly due to the art style; it just doesn’t convey feelings of foreboding and fearfulness that I believe the narrative wants to. Worse, the story takes virtually no risks. But what really hurts the experience is the quality of the dialogue. Throughout the adventure, you will speak with the deceased, and often be asked to find items of importance to them to progress through the story. The dialogue that occurs here is just, well… the best thing I can call it would be, “serviceable”. The dialogue is so often uninspired and plain that it would keep me from really caring for any of the characters’ plights.

I feel I’ve spoken enough on the negatives of the narrative, so let’s move on to the disappointment of the game’s main mechanic, your spirit form, and the weak puzzle design dependent on it. The lack of pluralization is not a mistake, Whispering Willows’ mechanic of Elena’s spirit form most often offers only a single type of puzzle throughout the game. You will come across locked doors, and you will either need to pick up a poorly hidden key or flip a switch. Usually, this means that there is a finely carved, perfectly square hole in the wall or ceiling near to you for your spirit form to slink through. Do so, and there will be a bright blue glowing thing for you to interact with. This interaction opens the door. This is how nearly every “puzzle” in WW plays out. I can only think of a handful of individual puzzles that do not play out in the same way, though they themselves were no more complex than filling a hole or playing Simon Says with a moveable object. The simple puzzle design falls in line with the game’s progression; it’s largely linear, with nary a handful of instances where you will have to seek out an item outside of the area you’re already in. Even then, though, the item’s location is always spelled out for you, so this is really no more than a mode of adding longevity to this short adventure. And it is short. In total, I completed the game in under three hours.

Whew, that was a lot of negativity. How about we move on to the more positive aspects of Willows? Speaking purely of the in-game graphics and art style, my opinion is decidedly varied. On one hand, the environments that you explore never amount to anything special, and much like the dialogue, they are content with remaining largely serviceable. The same can be said for the few human characters in-game, who, along with some stilted animations, look oddly plain. This is in stark contrast to my favorite portion of the game, the ghost designs. Their visages reflect how they died, and their appearances range from the grotesque to cringe inducing. Their designs are absolutely phenomenal, and it’s evident where the best of the artistic talent went in the creation of this game. The same can be said for Elena’s own spirit form, whose flowing hair and glowing visage look fantastic, especially in the light of the full moon in outdoor areas.

While the dialogue between yourself and haunting spirits itself does the overall narrative little favor, your interactions with the ghosts of the mansion’s grounds are enriched by the previously mentioned collectible notes scattered along your path throughout the game. Each is one of several diary entries left by the formerly living, and each tells a tale of their final days. While few of them are terribly unique in their subject matter, finding that final piece of each story provided me a greater driving force for playing than the main narrative itself.

As negative as this review has been, the greatest fault I can levy against this game is not what it does poorly, but rather in what it does not even attempt to do. Given all that has already been done with a similar ability in other games, why is Elena’s spirit walking ability as limited as it is? The game is content with delivering only the most lackluster and plain variation possible. And the dialogue... in an adventure title such as this, gameplay often takes a backseat to the narrative. Only, in this case, both aspects are severely limited in their designs. If the sole gameplay mechanic is to be as limited as it is, why was the dialogue not given greater love, to compensate? The game is so filled with potential, and occasionally, this potential appears as though it’s so near to bubbling to the surface, only to be pushed back down below by weak interactions and the umpteenth recycled door “puzzle”.

I did not hate my time with Whispering Willows. Though admittedly, my want to love it so completely has perhaps made me more critical of its faults. I’ll leave it at this: Whispering Willows, for all of its promise, is content with providing only an unenthusiastic effort on its part. For every glimmer of something fresh and unique, of which there are a few, Willows buries it under less-than-uninspired dialogue and consistently recycled puzzle design. I beat the game, with all of my fumbling, in under three hours. By the end, my only thoughts were on what could have been, had this game taken just a little more risk, rather than on my final moments with Elena. There just isn’t enough content or thought put into Whispering Willows to make it fully recommendable.

6.5/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No
32 of 39 people (82%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 13
Whispering Willows is a side-scrolling adventure game where you play a girl named Elena who's gone to an old abandoned mansion to find her missing dad. She quickly discovers this place has a thin veil between our world and the spirit world, and with a special necklace, can part her soul from her body and rejoin them again. With her newfound supernatural powers, she goes to find her dad and learn the history of the estate.

Gameplay is pretty simple, you walk around, observe and occasionally interact with objects, find items, and open doors. Your amulet begins to glow when near spiritual energy, in which case you press a button and you let your soul be free. Your soul can't interact with most real world objects, but can see ghost and talk with them, and turn into a tiny flame to fit into cracks. You can also possess blue glowing objects to interact with them. There's a few puzzles, and occasionally some threat appears, in which case all you can do is avoid them and run.

It's got some interesting concepts, but honestly I felt a lot of its ideas were severely underplayed. Your ghost powers are cool, but they feel really underutilized and lack any real form of challenge, except in like one occasion. There's enemies, but they're so few and far between, and most of them are easily avoided and are hardly threatening, except on a single occasion. And the game does this with almost all of its elements. It has like one moment that's kind of unique and interesting and somewhat challenging, but then that's it, it doesn't continue to build on its interesting concepts, it sort of sits on what it's comfortable with. It really left me with a feeling that I wished the game would of been more daring.

There's very few puzzles, and the only sort of challenging ones are at the very end. There's horror 'moments', but there's only really one scene that's even kind of creepy. I don't know, maybe I'm being too hard on it, but I was left with wanting the game to be more than it was at the end.

What the game is as opposed to what I want it to be is a very pretty fetch-quest game where you go back and forth between locations collecting items.

And it does look very pretty. Some nice lighting effects, matched with textured objects, unique rooms, interesting sights... It's really a visual treat. The style the game has is definitely its best element, and the number of varied locations were nice to look at.

The sound is good too. Music is appropriate with a few very pretty tracks, the game is not fully voiced but the character groans and sounds worked well with the game, and they had some good ambient sounds in the environment.

The game also did an interesting job at delving into Native American folklore, which was interesting to see unfold through the course of the game.

But honestly, outside of this, I don't have much to say on the game. It was not really remarkable to me, there were periods I felt the game was just a bit dull. The threats are hardly threatening, made even less threatening on the off-chance you die that you'll start-up almost immediately where you were as this game throws checkpoints up the wazoo. The puzzles were always the kind where the solution was right next to where the puzzle actually was, the ghost are nothing more but flavor text NPC's. And the story just felt very tried and not at all remarkable, with obvious developments and an almost cheesy climax and resolution. I mean it's not inherently a bad thing and there's nothing wrong with the game, but it just is way too safe. Outside of its very interesting aesthetic look and pretty decent sound design, there's nothing remarkable about the game, it really feels like a good engine and concept wasted on a rather cookie-cutter game.

I'm disappointed with it, but it's not a bad game. It has some interesting ideas, and has a good feel to it as you go through worn-down environments, and I'd say worth a play if you really like its style and don't mind a rather routine and simplified adventure game around its style. But that's what it is at the end of the day, and it's a game I don't think I want to go back too, or will remember a month from now.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
22 of 23 people (96%) found this review helpful
7.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 6
Whispering Willow is a Very story-rich ( good tag indeed ) 2D Creepy game, Noticed how I said creepy because it is but not sure if it falls under the category of "Horror" for reasons i will discuss in this review

The game sucks you into this deep dark cold atmosphere I actually felt a cold breeze when the character gets cold, The art is done so beautifully it gives the game that feeling of success and the soundtracks are great.

It took me 6 hours to finish the game with 100% achievements probably could'v done it faster , I would say the game goes around 5 hours or so, and it has no replay value pretty much a one-time deal BUT that does not make it a bad game,

Other than the amazing atmosphere it leaves you in , Whispering Willow succeed greatly in the story , all the notes and diaries are well-thought and it seems like it was supervised by a professional author because it is well-put indeed, deep meanings and nice choice of words.

The animations are great I'm not that crazy about the Elena's voice and reactions to objects though.

All those saying this is a Hard puzzling adventure horror , To be honest the puzzles in this game are really easy, it highlights the object you're supposed to move, and uses common sense to know where to put it at next
The reason why i am not calling this a horror game, because they outdone it with the atmosphere BUT forgot the usual jump-scares, Yeah us gamers complain when we see a horror game with constant jump-scares because thats not what horror games are about, But this game really needs some ( in the entire game i had only one ) and thats bad, I kept expecting some but never saw any, and with that set atmosphere it creates unpredictable jump-scares so they should'v used that to make the game much more exciting and alive but its sad that they didn't.

The idea of leaving your body as a soul to do things your body cant is refreshing, though it can be a bit annoying because its not as fast as you'd expect it to be, Same for no-running indoors ... its frustrating but you get used to it, i was hoping for parts where you have to run from monsters or hurry up to get to a place by running but running is restricted only to outdoors, and when you press the sprint button indoors the character breaks 4th wall and says "uh-uh" annoying lol ...

have that said the game does keep its spooky elements, and piecing the stories together with the notes, the character design , the backgrounds the lightning effects, all so wonderful 10/10

So TL;DR
( Its a Spooky 2d game, lasts about 5 hours maybe 6 for full game, beautiful story, great artwork, and great gameplay, but dont expect jump-scares because the game don't do that )

-Pros
1 - Graphics , artwork , style , Atmosphere, Soundtracks, Animations, and effects
2 - Gameplay, Story, Character designs, And levels

Cons
1 - It did not place jump-scares which are a good element in horror games and would'v worked perfectly in this game.
2 - Sometimes i feel that the game is kinda slow because of the ( no indoor running )
3 - The fact that the game went on 2 Bundles ( groupees and blink bundle ) and both bundles were less than 5$ because i guess they didn't make enough sales ? They could'v just reduced the game's price to 9,99$ and do a 33% sale or something to do it


So basically I would recommend this game on full price but since I did not get it on full price so I wont, its your choice to do it I already did my best explaining what this game is about and the gameplay hours if you're fast enough, Don't get me wrong support devs is something we all love but it kinda bums me out when people buy a game on full price and a few days later it goes on a bundle for 10% of the price that also has a lot of other games.
Was this review helpful? Yes No