Whispering Willows: Afterthoughts Friday 10th of May 2019

The title screen for the game
The title screen for the game

Whispering Willows, by Night Light Interactive, is a charming 2D adventure game. You play the part of small girl looking for her father in a spooky mansion and its grounds. As a descendant of a Native American tribe that used to live in the area, you share some of their mystical power which will be used constantly throughout the bulk of the game.

A series of notes can be found on your travels filling the backstory and fleshing out the main characters. Annoyingly, I somehow managed to miss one of Flying Hawks notes on my own play through, otherwise they are all easy to spot and you don't have to travel out of your way to find them.

You'll be swapping between physical and spiritual forms quite a lot to solve puzzles
You'll be swapping between physical and spiritual forms quite a lot to solve puzzles

There are a number of unique locations, each with their own graphical style. Although most locations covered multiple screens, there was never so much that you would get lost, or be unable to find a location you needed to solve a puzzle.

For an adventure game, it was extremely easy - none of the puzzles were remotely taxing, although I did "die" (no perma death or consequences, you just reset to the last save point (the game auto sizes when changing areas or changing game state)) in the last part of the game playing dodge-the-monster.

Notes fill in the backstory of the history of the area, and diary entries describe your own story
Notes fill in the backstory of the history of the area, and diary entries describe your own story

I did dislike the ending; it just feels completely wrong based on what you discover during your search. Unfortunately I can't really write why I think it's a bad ending as that will spoil it! With that said, in my view it is fairly obvious after the first few notes how the games story will play out, it is quite linear without twists. And while you meet a number of characters in your journey, there's no real indication of how they got there, aside from a violent end (judging from the art and speech). For the most part, it is never explained how they fit in with the core storyline which is a shame.

An interior of part of the mansion's upper reaches
An interior of part of the mansion's upper reaches

The game was quite short - I finished it in some 3 hours, give or take. I probably would have finished it even faster, except for the lamentable fact that you can only run outdoors. Indoors, you can only plod along, aside from a few scripted points.

All in all, it was an enjoyable little diversion. This seems to be the only game currently available from Night Light Interactive, but I would be interested in playing future titles by them if any become available.

This post was first published Friday 10th of May 2019 and was last modified Saturday 11th of May 2019 at 04:48:01.

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