January 28, 2023

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Children of Silenttown, a review of an adventure about fear and silence

Children of Silentown review, an Italian point and click adventure for PC, PlayStation, Xbox and Switch, is about fear and silence.

Lucy is a young girl who lives with her parents in a village surrounded by a forest where everyone follows strict rules: don’t wander the streets after sunset, don’t scream and don’t leave the populated area. Anyone who violates it ends up disappearing, never to return. It is said that terrible monsters live behind the trees, which, however, no one seems to have seen before. Lucy strictly adheres to what is prescribed, at least until one day a dramatizes her desire to discover the truth, and she has somehow stayed away until then.

We try to explain in Silenttown Kids Review Because his story is worth following to the end.

Playing: cheers


Most of the adventure takes place in the village
Most of the adventure takes place in the village

Elf games is a talented independent Italian development studio that has already proven itself with the excellent Little Briar Rose, a point-and-click adventure with graphics inspired by the art style of stained glass. The Children of Silenttown, which maintains the same genre, is evidence of great written maturity, both in the story it tells and in the Eye-catching fashion: Hand-drawn 2D details reminiscent of children’s picture books. So we have figures with large heads, completely white, round eyes and stylized limbs in which hands and feet are not visible, and we have “painted” environments that make up the dream world, where everything takes on a strong symbolic value.

The general idea that the game immediately conveys is to be inside a dark and sad fairy tale in which we wander around collecting, combining and using things in the same scenario through a convenient inventory that opens up on the left side of the screen. As the story unfolds, Lucy will also come to know the gods do you singwhich will become increasingly central to solving various puzzles.

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We’re not exactly into the Loom parts, but the reference to the Lucasfilm game feels pretty obvious, even if the music is used in a very different way here. Each song is composed of three different notes and effects, resulting in unique mini-games. For example, we can actually fix some people’s dreams, by running a string over some canvases trying to get all the buttons through, so as to see what they want, or we can “illuminate” secret areas by lighting eyes on the grilles, avoiding but to shed a lot of light at some specific points. The mini-games are linked to the individual songs and it gets repeated more and more until the end of the adventure, but it’s never impossible. This way you can follow the story continuously, reaching the end in just over six hours, which is a perfect time considering what’s been said (and then you can keep playing in the new Game+ mode if you want).

Puzzles


There are also many classic puzzles in Children of Silenttown
There are also many classic puzzles in Children of Silenttown

Talking about Classic puzzles, those based on collecting and using things, we can say that we have not encountered great difficulties. That is, the things to do are clear enough and it is not difficult to find what you need, even when there is no key that shows all the interactive objects in the scenario. Note that the control scheme is very different depending on the peripheral device used. So, with the mouse, the gameplay is that of Simon the Sorcerer and click and tap, where the cursor allows you to explore the whole scenario while stationary, where with a controller you have to move Lucy directly making her physically reach the interactive mode. Objects to highlight. We played with the mouse, but we also briefly experimented with the other system (useful, for example, if you want to play on the Steam Deck or on a console), which turned out to work anyway, by virtue of the fact that the game world isn’t very big and the things to Interact with it all clearly visible.

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Adventure


In Children of Silence, fear of the unknown creates monsters
In Children of Silence, fear of the unknown creates monsters

Don’t expect a huge adventure. Children of Silenttown is primarily set in Two scenarios: the Village and the Forest, where the first consists of some main freely visitable places, where you spend most of your time, and the second that offers a more guided experience in a certain sense, made up more of situations than exploration, with more mechanical puzzles and a special focus on chants. The choice is justified by the development of history, which mainly tells of ancestral fears and how humans established civilization around them, and end up suppressing curiosity for the unknown and marginalizing all those who do not accept certain rules. t control and does not resolve the initial conflict, except for Lucy’s individual conflict, resulting in everything being stronger and positioned.

In short, the “Disney effect” was avoided, and indeed, we tried as much as we could to parse what is a very classic universal theme, working closely around the narrative core of adventure. In this sense, Elf Games have proven themselves very capable of not losing the thread of conversation, which they have built continually from start to finish, leaving no room for escaping towards the absurd.


Each chant has one type of mini-game associated with it
Each chant has one type of mini-game associated with it

And so we have gods It has a simple and profound style at the same time, which tends to form a diverse human society, in which every individual aspiration runs counter to the rules imposed by its own circumstances of life, which reveals itself to be more distinct than it might appear at first sight, gradually revealing traits much more unexpected and multifaceted than they seem. it at first. For example, Lucy’s father is the classic parent concerned about his daughter’s well-being, and the symbolic figure of an authority that enforces rules without prompting them and without allowing the individual to challenge them, even in the face of undeniable facts. The songs themselves, as well as their association with the game’s mechanics, are an active part of the feeling itself, and are symbolic of Lucy’s will to express herself, who throughout the story tries to find her voice again.

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bales that disappear


Lucy often finds herself alone
Lucy often finds herself alone

Overall, we loved Silentwown Kids, so much so that it captivated us from start to finish. Having said that, we did notice quite a few of them flaws, such as misspellings in screen segments, which could have been avoided. For example, upon entering a farmer’s field from the village square, a sack of hay at the top of it mysteriously disappears. Same goes for the billboard with pictures posted on it, which becomes a door as you walk around the building. These are small things, but they are noticeable, above all because we travel around the country a lot in search of objects and characters and in the end it is inevitable to notice them.

For the rest, the work of Elf Games convinced us. I was Good adventureHow long did it last.

Suspension

Tested version Windows computers

digital delivery

steam

price
19.99 euros

Silentown Kids Works: It tells a good story, has some great moments and has a captivating visual style. It has a few spelling issues and is probably too easy, especially if you already have experience in the genre, but it flows really well and ends up being a lot more in depth than we first thought.

forefront

  • great story
  • Beautiful painterly visual style
  • The gaming systems are well integrated with the storytelling

Opposite

  • It might be a little easy
  • Some errors in the transitions between screens