A very solid and enjoyable Point & Click adventure
Children of Silentown is a very solid and enjoyable point and click adventure. While it’s not particularly innovative, or very long, what it lacks in length and originality, it more than makes up for with polish and atmosphere.
The game tells a mysterious and endearing story, focused on a quaint town nestled around a dangerous forest full of monsters. People have been disappearing for a while now but Lucy, our playable protagonist, is old enough to investigate things on her own. When her mother goes missing, Lucy is more determined than ever to figure out what it all means. But is she prepared for what’s lying beyond the gates of town?
Before Lucy can venture beyond however, she explores the town and its quirky inhabitants, solving puzzles, minigames and collecting clues. Split across five chapters, the game will take you between 7 and 13 hours, depending on how easily you can solve the puzzles and get through the challenges this one has in store for you.
The story itself is okay, although to be fair the early build-up is far better than the late-game reveals. I won’t spoil anything here but it’s a rather predictable end for what’s otherwise a pretty solid game.
This ending (or endings to be precise) boils down to a final choice that concludes the narrative in varying degrees of “good” or “bad” way depending on what you choose. Given the quick-save in place here, there’s no ability to exit out and replay the final segment either, so you’ll need to replay the game four times in order to see everything. Of course you could just google it but expecting others to just replay this four times to see everything seems a bit much.
The narrative ultimately plays second fiddle to the gameplay itself though, which is classic point and click adventure territory. Lucy has her own inventory, which she can use to collect items across the different connected areas, and even combine some items to create brand new ones. These can then be used against certain areas in the environment to solve puzzles or open up new areas.
Areas of examination pop up with a magnifying glass when you get near, and while on PC you’ll use your mouse to discover everything, on consoles the trigger buttons will do the heavy lifting.
Whether it be using corks to try and stem the flow of water, or finding kids in a game of hide and seek, Children of Silentown tries to keep things fresh across its run-time. In between these segments in the world are a number of minigames, ranging from line and light puzzles through to button-mashing races. Some of the late-game challenges may stump you for a while as you try to find a solution but there’s nothing particularly head-scratchingly difficult at play here.
Outside of this, Children of Silentown adds an extra dimension to its puzzling through its Singing mechanic. Singing is incredibly important in this world, especially given the narrative, and as you explore the town you’ll pick up song notes that can be used to manipulate the world around you. These can vary from uncovering secrets that people are keeping from you, to identifying the history of a specific item.
Children of Silentown has some beautiful areas to explore and the hand-drawn aesthetic is absolutely gorgeous. This game has a really unique art style and it works surprisingly well across the game. Even late on, when new mechanics and ideas are introduced (especially in Chapter Five, which changes the game up dramatically), the game never lets up with its art style.
Given how long you can sometimes stay in one area (especially in Chapter 3), the music and sound can become incredibly grating. The musical score isn’t diverse enough to sustain its various puzzles and you may well find yourself muting it completely and putting on your own music or podcast instead. At least until you get to the next area!
Children of Silentown is a decent little point and click adventure and a fun way to pass the time. The mechanics are well drilled, the puzzles fun and the art style absolutely gorgeous. The narrative is perhaps a bit weak and the repetitive music does become grating after a while. Despite its flaws, this is a solid game and well worth a play.
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Verdict - 7/10