(Episode 1 of The Silent Age is free…it comprises of the first 5 chapters of the game. Episode 2 is £3.99 & comprises of the last 5 chapters of the game. This pricing is a bit suspect but the game is worth it).
The Silent Age is a point & click adventure game set in the 1972 & distant future of 2012, it’s all about time travel & with the touch of a button you can swap between the time periods.
Joe is a janitor working for a mysterious corporation & his life is fairly mundane. All that changes though when he is given a minor promotion & given access to the labs to clean them up. It’s inside these labs that he finds a dying man. Having been shot this man tells Joe that he is from the future & he needs Joe to find his younger self. Once Joe finds him he is to tell him not to travel to the future at all as doing so will bring about the end of mankind.
He hands you a small device & then dies….
That’s your goal but it’s not instantly reachable as interesting puzzles & more stand in your path. The device Joe holds can transport Joe through the time periods instantly changing a dusty corridor with no clear exit into a devastated ruin with holes to escape through. You see 2012 is not a good place to be…something has happened between the years & it has left mankind extinct. The future is an eerie & silent place…
The moments when you can be standing in front of a busker in the subway in 1972 & then staring at his charred bones with a crashed train around you are thrilling & I love that the change is instant. No delay, no loading screen just a quick flash & you’re in the different time period.
What really sells it as well though is the look & music. It has a retro feel about it while appearing quite detailed. I like the graphics & the interface is top-notch. The music though is outstanding with some of the most oppressive & eerie sounds I’ve heard in a game to date. What you see in the future is limited but the feeling of death & emptiness is enhanced by the excellent music & effects.
It’s not all great though….the biggest problem facing The Silent Age is the ease of the puzzles. While they are often clever & varied they rarely task the brain & often just require switching between the time periods, finding a few items to pick up & use on whatever you need to get past.
Sometimes more is required but the logic is easy to work out & you never get that feeling of satisfaction that should come from completing a tricky puzzle.
I also think the game should have ended slightly earlier, it would have been a more ‘downer’ of an ending but it would have felt more…right then the one we do get.
This is a great modern point & click that gets so much right & adds some interesting ideas. The flipping between time periods is great with the future being a really interesting proposition. Great music, great visuals & a great interface/controls means any iOS gamer should look at picking this up.
The Silent Age