A game to make noise?

Click on a dot to start the year off right

May the old legends be revived Return to Monkey Islandwith (not so) looking at the interstices of our society through a distorting mirror norcoor blasting investigative game The Case of the Golden IdolThe point’n’click genre gave us some great moments in 2022. Studio Elf Gamessupported by Daedaluspublisher specializing in the genre, brings us one of the first titles in this field for 2023. We will talk about it, but not too loudly…

Because it’s dangerous to make noise in the small town of Silenttown. Monsters roam the surrounding forests and people mysteriously disappear at sunset. Children are the ones who suffer the most in this harsh atmosphere. Adults seem to hide from them a heavy secret about the origin of this evil. Lucie, a teenager played by the player, decides to investigate. Unspoken secrets and things will change the fate of a young girl.

Child’s play

A classic story for a classic game. The title captures the strings of the genre, based on dialogues with characters, collection – assembly – use of objects and solving puzzles. However, managing to preserve the best game systems of its predecessors, the small Italian studio offers one of the most efficient interfaces: it’s a real pleasure to direct Lucie and make her interact with its game system, whether using a mouse or a joystick. environment. Managing inventory, actions, or contextual actions is natural and there is no need to resort to this method. pixel huntingSearching for interactive elements on game screens is facilitated by the appearance of contextual icons when approached.

All this allows the player to fully focus on the story and puzzles. Immersion is enhanced by the bucolic imagery that contrasts with these characters with big empty eyes that seem to come from a nightmare world. Elf Games also allowed us to enter the horror universe through a short but very successful nightmare sequence. A perfect atmosphere and interface side, even somewhat unnecessary music loops will not be spoiled.

As for puzzles, they have the advantage of staying logical if there is only one solution to solving them, so the lack of a help system is not a hindrance. The game manages to introduce new challenges throughout the adventure by offering a series of puzzles of increasing difficulty. These are quite uneven logic games, the difficulty is not insurmountable, but for those who are allergic to such tests, perhaps they deserved a system of indexes.

An intrigue passed in silence

The plot is quite relevant, carried out by a very successful French adaptation, and especially the non-continuing dialogues, which are always a pleasure to read. It will remind us of a time not long ago, when a population confined to a small space saw the mental health and joie de vivre slowly decline. The story develops this theme through the child characters, giving pride to their moods and questions in the face of a world where the gulf between them and adults is widening. Although simple, it sounds pretty true and the game takes its time to develop the theme. Maybe a little too much, since after the first half of the game, we’ll finally get out of the dozen or so screens that make up the village.

The second half of the game, when the hero will find himself alone, will focus almost exclusively on solving puzzles (quite successfully) to the detriment of the scenario, which will later, unfortunately, fade into the background. After about ten hours, the game brings a partial and rather disappointing conclusion to the story compared to the expectations it created. You will have to restart 3 new games and unlock many additional endings that will allow you to understand the story as a whole. Unfortunately, this is a bad game idea, as these new runs offer few new features, most notably recovering stickers to collect or unlocking additional achievements. Replayability is almost nil, it will certainly be more interesting to watch the various results on YouTube than on the controller in your hand.

At the end, Children of Silenttown It is a very enjoyable point and adventure game to play. Utterly classic but never frustrating or boring, we just blame it on a framework that gets lost along the way after a brilliant launch. It should certainly please fans of the genre and those curious to explore it with an accessible title. The game was developed by a small team who put love and respect for this genre in their work. As such, it deserves to be supported and we can’t wait to see them work on a more ambitious and hopefully brighter title.

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