Developed by Night Light Interactive
Published by Night Light Interactive
*Foolish Girl, He’s Mine now*
*Please Note: This Review is of the PlayStation 4 Version*
Whispering Willows focuses on a young girl called Elena Elkhorn who travels to the mysterious old Willows Mansion in search of her missing father who vanished while trying to discover the secrets the house holds. When she falls into the grounds’ catacombs; Her descent into the dark horrors that lie there begin as she discovers from A Native American spirit that she is his ancestor and is the heir to a mysterious medallion that allows her to shift between human and spirit form. Using this new-found ability; She sets out to uncover the secrets of the mansion and to rescue her father from the evil spirits within.
Whispering Willows has some simplistic yet enjoyable gameplay in which you explore different sections of a haunted mansion in search of your father. One of the skills that comes in handy when your exploring this map is the ability to become a spirit which I really enjoyed when playing the game as it allows you to find things which can’t be seen by the living eye such as Spirits who will talk to you or give you helpful advice aswell as the ability to go through gaps in the ceilings and floors to explore rooms which Elena can’t access in her living body. I also really liked the puzzle aspects of this game since it allowed me to use my head to try and solve them with some focusing on finding clues/items in a garden maze to rotating swords on still Knight Armors. I’d probably have to say one of my biggest problems with this game is that you cannot confront the enemies in this game since they kill you upon touch and you don’t have any attacks and even then there isn’t really that many enemies in the entire game.
Overall, The gameplay in Whispering Willows is enjoyable and somewhat a refreshing return to the 2D video game however the lack of attacks and enemies makes it slightly disappointing.
Whispering Willows had a fantastic score that combined ominous sounds with numerous styles of composed music which really helped to portray the feel that you were in a haunted compound and listening to the music was a real throwback to games in haunted settings such as Luigi’s Mansion and Grabbed by the Ghoulies. Some of the sound effects used were also pretty eerie from the scuttling sounds of the Arachnids (Spider/Scorpion) to the sounds of arms coming out the walls to grab you. This game is pretty damn eerie however the bad side of all this is there is very little voice acting however the few bits of voice acting actually in this game is pretty enjoyable.
Whispering Willows utilizes a stylized 2D visual direction that really lets this game shine in a world of dark and gritty horror games and looks in my personal opinion like it is an animated horror movie idea drawn by Disney. The environments in the game are highly detailed and add to the affect that the mansion grounds are haunted.
All in all, Whispering Willows has a great visual style unlike anything I have seen in a while.
While Whispering Willows has collectibles hidden throughout the world, Once all of those are gathered there is pretty much no reason to return to this game which is pretty bad however if you like the story then more than likely you will play this game again. There is of course trophies for the collector’s out there however these are pretty much obtained as you progress through the game.
All in all, Whispering Willows is an enjoyable title with a decent story and beautiful visuals aswell as a fully immersive and in my honest opinion pretty eerie sound score however the lack of any real combat or survival element aswell as the fact that there isn’t too much replay value really lets the game down.
My Score = 7/10
- Great and Simplistic Story Premise
- Simplistic and Enjoyable Gameplay
- Puzzles to Solve
- Eerie and well composed Soundtrack
- Beautiful “Walt Disney” style visuals
- No way to combat enemies
- No real Survival element
- Not much Replay Value
Whispering Willows is available now digitally for PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Ouya, PC, Linux & OS X and will be coming soon to Wii U. Thanks go out to Night Light Interactive and Loot Interactive for supplying the game and assets used in this review. Be sure to let us know your thoughts on this review in the comments section below and be sure to stay tuned to UGNN for all your gaming news and reviews and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.