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 (167 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 9, 2014

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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 (13)

February 1

Language Update- Patch 1.21

Patch Notes:

  • Menus for all languages are now translated
  • Simplified Chinese translation has been added
  • Portuguese-Brazilian translation has been added

2 comments Read more

January 28

Sabre Frag Dolls Stream

Kimberly Weigend, aka Sabre, from the Frag Dolls team will be streaming Whispering Willows today at 1pm (PST)! We met Kim at MAGFest this year and it seems she has a bit of a jumpy history with spooky games :D. Tune in and say hi!

0 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
24 of 28 people (86%) found this review helpful
13.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 17, 2014
This was a surprisingly fun and polished adventure game. I wasn't expecting a lot from it when I picked it up in a recent bundle, but I thoroughly enjoyed it all the way through. It has a very polished feel to it with a lot of good going for it from its art style, musical score, sound effects, game mechanics, and even has quite a bit of humor.

It is tagged as a “horror” game, but really it falls more into the supernatural experience than true horror storytelling. While there are elements of creepiness and some scares, it is more of an uneasy feeling of dealing with ghosts and spirits than monsters. There are a couple of instances where you will be shocked, or surprised by events that creep up on you forcing you to run away from danger, but overall the atmosphere is more of a haunted house feel. The music is atmospheric to a spooky story, and fits well with old mansions and graveyards. The music is quite good overall, and mixed with some eerie sound effects you will feel some uneasiness while wandering around the game.

The game is focused on telling a story of a young girl who cannot find her father. She goes looking for him and ends up at an old mansion where it seems an old rich guy who was a mayor and founder of his town used to live and get up to some nefarious practices. Things look abandoned and filled with secrets as all the people that once resided here are long gone. You are introduced to an array of characters through notes you pick up, as well as a neat mechanic that you get almost immediately. You gain an amulet that allows you to switch to your spirit form and this form is the only way you can solve certain puzzles, or interact with other spirits you will come into contact with. You won't likely miss these as the amulet will glow and make a sound when you are near an instance that requires the swap. This is explained in a way that you are part of an Indian ancestry and that you are in a place where spirituality and otherworldly events seem to be more common. I found the story and presentation well done for the majority of the game. While there was almost no voice acting in the game you got a lot of lore for the people in it through messages you find in notes and diary entries, as well as conversations with spirits that appear as a bubble above their heads. These are all short conversations so not having a voice actor for this is no big deal. I didn't find the lack of voice acting to be a negative at all for the presentation. The girl you control does make some noises and sounds when she looks at certain things, or does certain actions at times. Even laughing at weird scenes and the like so there is some of that. The game isn't fully voiced so you will have to read a little bit at times, but never an excessive amount of more than a couple paragraphs at once in a diary entry. The ending may have been a little weak, but the journey to get there was fun and enjoyable so I still was pleased with the story overall.

The art style is well done. It reminds me of the comic book style you see in a game like Mark of the Ninja, except this is darker and more geared towards those old 1800s mansions with the background settings. The gameplay is certainly nothing like Mark of the Ninja, but the graphical style absolutely is similar. It is a 2D side scroller that will have you walking outdoors, or inside mansions and other old time grounds of a mansion like the gardens, catacombs, and guest homes. While indoors you can see a couple of floors at a time, but your room is highlighted and lit up while the other rooms are either completely dark, or just dark enough to where you can see their outlines. This too is very much like how the settings in Mark of the Ninja looked.

As mentioned earlier in the story section, you get the mechanic of turning into a spirit, which is necessary to solve certain puzzles. The way this is used makes the game pretty fun to solve these puzzles even though the puzzles themselves are very easy. You will have to use the spirit to go through walls and small cracks that you couldn’t get through yourself to pull a lever, you may have to use the spirit to possess an object so that you can move it and open a new path for you to continue, you may need it to deal with finding areas you can't find by reading hidden messages with the spirit form. While the puzzles in general were very easy throughout the game, I found the mechanics of getting around and the cleverness of using these mechanics fun. I enjoyed seeing how they would be used and it lead me to strange ways to enter and gain access to ares that seemed to be blocked before.

Although this is considered a horror/supernatural tale, there is good amount of humor in the game. Some is clever, some very corny, and a fair bit of puns are used. The humor was fun and gave me a few chuckles as I played with there begin many instances of a dark humor to lighten the mood at times. Toss in a lttle bit of "cuteness" too and you have a little bit more appeal to the ladies probably than guys besides just the main character being a female.

I would recommend this game to most adventure fans that are interested in a casual and fun experience. Normally I would want a game that is deeper meaning and serious, but I just found this game to be fun to play, cute, and well made. Lovely art style, great music and sound effects, quite a few laughs, fun mechanics in dealing with puzzles, and just a generally polished experience.

The negatives, and things I would like to see in future games from this developer would be more in depth and difficult puzzles and the possible addition of voice-acting. Another negative and something to be aware of is that during cut scenes, the game will SKIP them if you press ANY key on your keyboard. So taking a screenshot with F12 will skip the cut scene and you most likely will not be able to go back to a save before this as this has auto-saves. Also, the automatic save system with no ability to go back, like I mentioned with skipping a cut scene by pressing F12 is a must to change for future releases. Otherwise I was very satisfied with the game, and recommend it.

8/10

The game works perfectly fine with the Xbox 360 Gamepad I used, including on menus (which is what FULL controller support means), so this is definitely a Big Picture game you can use from the couch.

Game has Trading Cards and Achievements. Achievements are fairly easy to get with about 14/20 being story related and the other 6 being things you may want to look up before you play so that you can get them all in one playthrough.
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24 of 32 people (75%) found this review helpful
7.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 6, 2014
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.
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15 of 18 people (83%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 3, 2014
Whispering Willows is a shallow game both in terms of story and gameplay. The shallowness is eerily reminiscent of Atari's Haunted House. The game makes a fizzling attempt at being scary/creepy. The few puzzles the game offers require zero cranial activity. The main character may have been improved by utilizing a stronger personality, but with the limited story elements it probably wouldn't have mattered.

The character movement is unnecessarily slow. As I progressed further in the game, this slowness eventually started giving me a feeling of "God, hurry up and end." Being able to run outside was nice, but the slow pace inside seems to be the result of a developer looking to extend an already short game. You know a game has issues when it tries its hardest to make you not want to finish it. And yet sometimes I amaze myself at my persistence, or maybe I'm mistaking that for stubbornness.
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11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 26, 2014
In Whispering Willows you play the role of a girl running out of the house to an ancient mansion. See, her dad vanished there, so she wants to find him. Mum doesn’t, if the intro is to be believed, and wants her to stay home.

Our intrepid heroine has but to find her father and avoid all the cleverly placed sinkholes around th- ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥it woman!

So, we start off in the crypt after taking an unrelated fall. The uniqueness of the game lies in the fact that you can tear out your own spirit with the aid of a shamanistic artefact and fly around outside of your body, to get into small rooms and the like.

The goal, then, becomes to use your spirit for to ghost around, do ghostly things, meet ghostly people, and ghost with them.

Oh, and save your dad and escape the mansion from death hell. And probably apologise to mum, who’s perhaps a bit miffed now.

The graphics are good, the sound design is competent, and the gameplay’s uniqueness makes it a lot of fun.

Recommended!

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=332299095
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13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 25, 2014
I give it a 10/10 Great storyline and fun puzzles totally worth the price. Im glad i bought it.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 8, 2014
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.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 12, 2014
+Beautiful art style
+Asmospheric
+Engaging story

-Lacking proper controller prompt
-Indoor walking speed is too slow (fixed in patch 1.2)
-Limited variety of puzzles

9/10 (old score: 8/10). Satisfied Kickstater backer. Please consider releasing it on GOG.com.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 2, 2014
"Searching for her missing father" was enough to interest me to buy this game, and it turns out to be really, really good. Unique designs of the characters/ghosts, decent soundtrack, and of course, simple but yet a beautiful story. It doesn't feel like a horror game, its more like a game that tries to tell you to become a better person in your life. Anyway i feel like they need to add more Side-Stories about the other ghosts in that town, i think it'll be great.
9/10. Totally recommended even if you don't like Horror Games

*This game actually made me read all those notes/diaries specifically, because reading them makes you understand the story more.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 20, 2014
I made a video review to show off some of the features and gameplay of this game!
http://youtu.be/h3Adx6p9Js4
I hope you enjoy!
Martyr
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 3, 2014
A neat short little game. Whispering Willows is an atmospherically well done adventure game. It is not so much a horror game as a horror themed game with some scary bits strewn about.
Gameplay is a bit slow which discourages the player a bit from exploring the beautifully drawn levels which are even further enhanced by a fittingly atmospheric soundtrack.
Despite the slow gameplay, the pacing is is done well, especially near the beginning and end of the game which benefits such a short game that can be completed on a first run in under 4 hours.
A negative point would be the lack of actual universe building. The player meets a lot of ghosts and finds various notes, letters and journals during the game yet a lot of your supernatural new friends seem either boring or like developer cameos if they do not play a central role in the story. That's is definitely a missed opportunity where this game could have shined. Give the ghosts a little backstory. For example there is a piano player who lost his sheet music which you'd have to bring back to him but then there is an ex-person just outside a building who serves no other function as to give you a hint to an otherwise already obvious puzzle which solves itself as you progress through the story.
Another point would be the difficulty. Now I don't want to say that it's bad for the game to be easy but players should not look for difficult puzzles in this game. Nevertheless the lack of frustrating puzzles makes the story more enjoyable and the pacing work better.

I'd recommend this game to all people who prefer a more light hearted, romantic approach to ghosts and horror than the r-rated kind. It's reminds me strongly of Luigi's Mansion for the Gamecube in both setting and atmosphere.
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9 of 13 people (69%) found this review helpful
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 10, 2014
Whispering Willows features beautifully painted environments and gloomy atmosphere, but its weaknesses in gameplay and story keep it from being a great game. There's only one path to progress through the game, and any "puzzles" that you are presented with only have one solution. At the end of the game I felt especially hand-tied, as the final gameplay takes place through what are essentially interactive cutscenes (where the interaction consists of completing the one available action for your character). I also found the story to be quite two-dimensional, with a pat, everything-tied-up-with-a-bow ending. I was surprised to see that this game won more than a couple awards, including one for immersion. To me it seems like just another middling addition to the current indie game bubble. Whispering Willows is a "good enough" game, with no glaring flaws, but it stops short of being memorable, or a classic. Grab it in a bundle or a sale and give it a try, but if you're looking for a game to add to your list of favorites, it probably won't be this one.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 11, 2014
playing the game and reading the diary
this kind of game its really nice to play
love it!
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 3, 2014
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
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 15, 2014
Whispering Willows is a nice game, the story is rich, the end is beautiful and really easy to complete 100% of the game and achievements. The soundtrack is normal and simple, there's nothing special in it, the same goes to graphics and gameplay. Overall it worth a try.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2014
I was a backer of the Kickstarter and I'll admit that I was originally in it for the soundtrack. I wasn't sure what to think about the story and gameplay at first. However, after playing the game I found it a rather enjoyable experience. Certainly a huge step up from the Web-based demo I had played previously. While there are a few things that did frustrate me a bit, particularly the lack of running indoors, those are minor nitpicks when you take into account the positive aspects. The story starts off with a girl trying to find her father and she quickly discovers a mystery at the Willows mansion and her journey takes her delving into a centuries-old tale that tugs at the heartstrings. If you like stories that evoke emotion and make you think then you can't go wrong with this one. Just make sure you pick up all of the notes lieing around for the entire story.
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8 of 12 people (67%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 10, 2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wwkoAn76ho&list=UU7_-PLIhjsEBwIQXqKxmNpA

Whispering Willows is an adventure and puzzle game with horror elements. The
main story of the game comes from notes and diary entries, and it is a bit
heavy in reading.

Graphically, the game looks charming, slightly cartoon-ish, and it creates a
theme and atmosphere that draws you in. The ghost animations are very well done,
but there is a disconnect on the motivations and back story of the main
character; the game assumes you know things that would be helpful to know, and
add another element to that character.

Unfortunately, the excess of save points take away from any sense of meaning when
battling monsters, and gives you a feeling that if you die, oh well, you can just
move along to the next thing. The levels are mazelike, and designed to drag out
the experience, instead of complementing the atmosphere. Only made worse with the slow walking inside buildings. While the main mechanic of this game, being able to become spectral, is a good one, it is overused to the point of becoming tedious.

The puzzles are oversimplified, and while the story and level design complement
each other, they also make you feel as if you are doing mindless repetitive
busywork before you are permitted to continue.

Unfortunately, the combination of all these thing takes away from immersion into
the game. I felt that it didn't respect my time, and sadly I am unable to
recommend this game.

For more details, see the linked video review, as this is a basic
summary of what I cover in my video.
Thanks for your viewership and support for more videos check click here.

http://www.youtube.com/user/SocioPyscho
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 1, 2014
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.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 1, 2014
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.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 10
Whispering willows was an interesting Adventure game. It is played in a platformer style and was engaging for the most part. A short and sweet kind of game, however the story was not investing enough. I would recommend it to any adventure game fanatic but if you are looking for high quality, you won't find it here. Good game.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 14, 2014
To make it short: I love the game.
Im not sure but i think i bought it in a bundle and i decided to check if its fun or not.
After is started playing i wanted to know how the story goes on. After every note i found i wanted to know more.
At the end it was like a good book and it was so much fun.
The musik was very good too. I was standing in front of the piano guy for like 10 minutes. :)

Since the playtime is only something betweeen 3-4 hours its maybe not worth 15€ but if its on sale you should totaly get it.
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