I’m not entirely sure how I heard of The Silent Age or where I picked it up. It was probably just a spur of the moment purchase during the final hours of a sale somewhere: It’s a point-and-click adventure. I like point-and-click adventures - it’s one of the few types of adventures I’m comfortable with. It’s developed by Danish indie game studio House on Fire. I like indie studios. And it was on sale. I love sales.
In The Silent Age, you play as Joe, a simple janitor working for Archon. It’s the groovy 70s, and Joe mostly spends his day emptying trashcans and staying out of other people’s business. But when Joe stumbles across a dying man in the Archon basement, his uncomplicated life is turned upside down. The man gives Joe a tiny time machine, capable of taking him back and forth between 1972 and the apocalyptic future of 2012, where mankind has become extinct. Can Joe save humanity without going insane in the process?
The time machine is an interesting concept, and traveling through time can be used as a neat trick to solve some of the puzzles in the game. But Anniken and I only had to think as a time traveler twice, and it’s perhaps a concept the developer should have considered using more. The use of a time machine also gives the developer another huge opportunity; to brain fuck their audience. Take the movie Primer, for instance. No one is able to explain that movie. The Silent Age, on the other hand, might make you go “hmmmm”, but nothing more. There’s no major brainfuckery going on there.
Something else that will make you go “hmmmm”, but nothing more, are the puzzles in The Silent Age. Compared to all other point-and-click adventures I’ve played, the puzzles are fairly easy. You’ll never have a lot of different items in your inventory, there’s always a limited number of things you can interact with in a given scene, and it’s without exception logical what you have to do to solve a puzzle. If easy puzzles is a good or a bad thing, is a question of personal preference. In our view, The Silent Age probably could have challenged players a little bit more.
Originally released as two separate episodes, the first in 2012, and the second in 2014, the version reviewed here contained both episodes. I’m glad I never heard of the game until both episodes were available, because if I’d bought just the first episode, I suspect I would have felt a bit cheated: The game is surprisingly short, and we only used about three hours to complete The Silent Age. That said, we were thoroughly entertained the whole time, so I guess there’s good value for money to be had when buying The Silent Age, despite its limited length.
While The Silent age is neither a challenging nor long game, it’ll give you a few hours of solid enjoyment. The game is available on pretty much every platform you can think of, from iOS to Kindle Fire. See the official page for more details.
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