Now that developers are comfortable with the iOS platform and have realized how well it works for adventure games we’re starting to see a lot more original content come to Apple’s mobile devices. One of the latest entries in the genre is The Silent Age, and it’s clear the folks behind this game know a thing or two about what made the old Sierra classics great. If I had to come up with a down side, it’s that the game was over just as it was reaching its peak. Thankfully the developers are already hard at work on a sequel, though, so even that little inconvenience will be rectified at some point.
You woke up on this particular morning and went to work just like every other day. Who knew that you’d go from mild mannered janitor to time traveler extraordinaire on a quest to save the world from itself? The story sucks you in from the very beginning and doesn’t let go until the final cut scene is done. In fact, I was a bit sad when the game ended, because I really wanted to know why the future became the world it had become. The one thing that was a bit lacking after the initial few minutes of the game was character interaction, but I suppose that’s what happens when you become a fugitive on top of everything else.
The game uses pretty standard touch screen adventuring mechanics. Tap the screen to move, tap on an item to interact with it or tap on an inventory item and then an item on the screen to use the two things together. I will admit that there were a few occasions where a screen simply turned into a hunt and peck fest, and once in a while it didn’t seem like there was much guidance as to what to do next, but for the most part the game flowed nicely and there was never a time that I was so stuck that I needed a hint. While it is by no means a new technique, I think the developers did a really good job of utilizing the need to go back and forth between two time periods in order to solve certain puzzles. If there was one thing I didn’t care for it was the fact that the screens were all linear in the sense that you could only move left and right. Even the old Sierra games understood that the world was more engaging when you added a sense of depth with the ability to move in and out of the screen.
Visually The Silent Age is a treat. It has a look that is both highly detailed and somewhat simplistic at the same time, and it pulls it off quite well. Given the stylized look they did a good job of making the future seem bleak graphically speaking. It really has a modern Sierra Online feel to it. The sound effects are well done, though I do wish the characters had some voice to them. The music is certainly good when it’s there. I do hope there’s a more complete soundtrack in the second installment of the game.
The Silent Age is a prime example of how to make a good point and click – or tap – adventure game, regardless of the platform. The story is interesting, the puzzles flow nicely and don’t get you too frustrated, and the game looks and sounds good. While I was disappointed when it ended it felt like it was a pretty good length, and it certainly left me wanting a sequel. There were a few niggling points where I could see some improvement, but overall I was very happy with my time spent in The Silent Age.
|Title:||The Silent Age||Developer:||House on Fire|
|Reviewed Ver:||Min OS Req:||4.0|