Simply put, Silent World is an extremely slow-paced adventure game. You step into the shoes of one of the few survivors of a nuclear apocalypse, and now your goal is to find other possible survivors. Something has happened to this world’s light source, as you can only see in a small circle around you. Beyond your sight is darkness, pitch black and unknowable. What lurks in the darkness? Mutants who want nothing more than to smack you dead.
The game is brief, consisting of four chapters. Before each chapter, there is a loading screen filled with exposition. This would normally be more than enough for me to get into the story, but once it’s finished loading, the level automatically begins. Occasionally, I hadn’t finished reading before being thrust into the gameplay. What’s more, the text is full of strange and awkward translation problems that make it a lot more difficult to process.
As for the game itself, it’s very slow – very, very slow. I suppose the game wants to evoke feelings of survival horror, but being slow didn’t really pose any specific challenge in terms of danger or challenge. Instead, it just makes going from point A to point B a bit of a grind.
Throughout each level, you will often find matches, and if you hit Y, you’ll light one up. This light will show you the surrounding area for about three seconds before burning out. This can be helpful if you’re stuck on a puzzle, but I honestly never used them. I once struck a match in a mutant’s face, thinking that the light would scare them. However, to my dismay, it immediately slapped me dead.
The B-button/hide mechanic is both broken and exploitable. If you press and hold B, you will hide inside your fedora. This makes you silent and lets you slip past mutants. You can only stay under your hat for a brief period, as you are holding your breath while you do. However, you still have plenty of time to sneak past a monster. Plus, as soon as you hide, a mutant who has seen you forgets and resets. You can walk right up to a mutant – they take a few seconds to look at you (I suppose to make sure what they are seeing is actually a tasty snack and not a fellow mutant) – and as long as you hit B as soon as they move to attack, they stop and reset. No punishment for being cheeky – and I was definitely being cheeky!
Presentation-wise, Silent World has a feel slightly akin to Limbo. I liked the character designs, specifically the way the eyes of the mutants and your character glow. The background art is suitably gloomy and grey, which I suppose adds to the atmosphere of “being alone in a world devoid of light.” The sound design was my favourite part of the game, and it stays silent and spooky for the most part. I liked the creepy breathing sounds the mutants make; this sound effect is helpful while walking in the dark, as you are definitely going to hear your enemies before you see them.
All in all, Silent World is an okay dip into a dark and dreary world – if you are okay with the extremely slow pace. The price is definitely right, and if you’re a fan of the genre, you might want to consider picking this one up.
Silent World £3.99
Silent World is a short, extremely slow-paced 2D adventure game set in a post-apocalyptic world. The challenge is minimal, but hardcore fans could get some enjoyment without hurting their wallet.