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Whispering Willows branches out on Kickstarter with playable demo

There's no shortage of Kickstarter campaigns for adventures these days, but time's running out for Nightlight Interactive's supernatural puzzler Whispering Willows.

Whispering Willows tells the story of young girl named Elena as she searches for her missing father in the mysterious Willows Mansion. In order to overcome the many obstacles in her way, Elena must "harness the powers of her heritage, utilizing astral projection and other ethereal abilities to find him before it's too late." By helping out ghosts who are "hopelessly chained to this existence" along the way, Elena gradually uncovers the mansion's past that is "so horrifying and yet so human that you'll be left not knowing what to think. The lies, deceit and inhuman violence will all bubble to the surface."

The game features hand-drawn 2D graphics with side-scrolling gameplay, as seen in the first teaser. With shades of both the 1996 PlayStation survival horror Clock Tower (which indie developer Night Light Interactive cites as an influence) and the DS puzzler Ghost Trick, players will be able to project Elena's astral spirit to "fly through the air, squeeze through cracks no mortal could fit through, manipulate time to your will, freeze objects and harness the power of light to ward off evil spirits in the mansion." Only by switching between Elena's two forms will you be able to solve the mansion's various puzzles.

The developers are hoping to release the game for Windows, Mac, Linux and OUYA (with later ports to Android and iOS) as early as July, but in order to do so, they're seeking to raise $15,000 by March 15th through Kickstarter. With only a week to go, the campaign has just passed the 2/3 mark, so meeting its goal looks to be touch-and-go at this point. According to lead designer David Logan, the team will continue production on Whispering Willows regardless of the outcome, but failing to raise the necessary funds will at the very least result in the game taking much longer to complete.

Pledge rewards begin at $10 for a downloadable copy of the game, while upper tiers offer goodies like the soundtrack, art book, early beta access, T-shirts, and plushies, among many others. To learn more about Whispering Willows and/or contribute to the campaign, visit the Kickstarter page for full details. For a hands-on sampling, you can even check out a brief demo of the game, playable in your browser. You can also vote on Greenlight if you'd like to see the game eventually be launched on Steam.

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