Children of Silentown Review
20 Mar, 2023
Lucy must investigate the mystery of why people in her village keep going missing. Find out how it goes in our Children of Silentown review.
Children of Silentown looks eerie in a way no other game does. Characters have eyes without pupils. Windows and doors are cut in awkward shapes. The colors of the world perpetually seem to recall a late afternoon coming on to dusk. Something is not right here, but the ‘why’ of it is always just beyond the edge of your understanding.
The game’s protagonist Lucy is an intelligent girl with distinctive design, who finds herself increasingly embroiled in the mystery of the village she lives in. There’s a lot of rules for Lucy to follow in Silentown – the most important one being that you cannot go into the forest that surrounds the village. Those who dare to do so, end up missing for good, memorialized only in posters.
The rules might seem stifling, but they do allow the game to be fairly compact its environments. Much of the game takes place in the handful of screens that comprise the village, breeding familiarity with the village and its residents. Lucy quickly becomes an endearing character, even if all the other characters continue to come across as eerie as their pupil-less eyes.
The gameplay is your classic point-and-click adventure fare. You pick up and use objects with each other to solve puzzles, which advance you along in the story. Apart from the usual point-and-click puzzling, the game also has you learning ‘songs’, which really function as retain-able items you can use on characters or objects. Using songs requires you to solve board puzzles – these I found to be both jarring in play and difficult to solve.
Children of SIlentown certainly isn’t for players who enjoy a leisurely jaunt through the narrative. There’s no means to skip puzzles, no hint system, and no story mode, so the game will most certainly make you work hard for progression, as much as any classic LucasArts adventure would.
It is to the game’s detriment, I believe, because Children of Silentown does tell an intriguing story about fear, tradition, and questioning. It’s not quite a story I’d ask you to drop everything to witness, but I can’t help but feel like a lot of good work on the story has been locked behind difficult and obtuse point-and-click puzzles. Not a very original line of criticism for point-and-clicks, I know, but it bears repeating at a time when games like Return to Monkey Island are balancing narrative puzzles with actually having fun with them.
But if we look on the flipside, Children of Silentown has been built for the very specific kind of player who does appreciate the tough puzzling of those old point-and-click games, topped with a scoop of challenging board puzzles. If you happen to be this sort of player, then you’ll find all of my points of critique to be commendations. For most of us, though, Children of Silentown is an eerie world and curious narrative held hostage by too high a measure of challenge.
Developer: Elf Games, Luna2 Studio
Country of Origin: Italy
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Release Date: January 11, 2023 (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch)
Our Children of Silentown review is based on a copy of the game provided by the publisher. The PC version of the game was played for this review of Children of Silentown.
Thank you for reading this review of Children of Silentown! For other interesting articles on Into Indie Games, check out the links below:
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WHAT DID WE THINK?
Children of Silentown is an eerie world and curious narrative held hostage by too high a measure of challenge.