Wednesday, October 3

Review: Whispering Willows [Nintendo Switch eShop]


It’s that time of year again where people begin to seek out games with a few creeps or scares, so certainly something like Whispering Willows, with the main character being able to take on a ghostly form would be a decent candidate? Not so much, unfortunately. Used more as a mechanic for solving some pretty rudimentary puzzles, the main character Elena will encounter a few somewhat menacing figures along her way but there’s really nothing inspiring in any direction here unfortunately.


Elena, searching for some answers to the mystery surrounding the disappearance of her father, learns early on that an amulet in her possession will allow her to take on a ghostly spiritual form. Not only does this come in handy for gaining access to rooms that are otherwise walled off but it also allows her to communicate with ghosts. Unfortunately, most are far more friendly than frightening.


It turns out most of them are also in need of help so you’ll need to seek out items or ways to trigger passageways that she’s then able to move through in her physical form. Unfortunately, for the most part nothing gets to be terribly challenging and most solutions are practically right there in your face, it’s just a matter of trudging around to find them. While the story could perhaps try to redeem the affair the scattered notes and bits you’ll find, usually out of order, don’t really do much to make that end of the bargain compelling either.


The result is a pretty middling adventure with uninspired puzzles, not much of a story, and very few threats, none of which are really at all scary. There’s certainly a sense of ambiance and lightly spooky elements but when you realize that there are no spooks or scares awaiting you it’s all just window dressing ultimately. While it’s hardly a terrible experience it’s just a very ordinary one.


Score: 5.5

Pros:
  • Some decent ambiance
  • If you find typical adventure puzzles too challenging this may be more your speed
  • A few moments where the puzzles at least feel a little clever

Cons:
  • Not terribly long
  • The story fails to justify the overall experience and lack of thrills
  • If you were hoping for something spooky you’ll be sorely disappointed