THE SILENT AGE
Start Date: April 15, 2016
End Date: April 15, 2016
Ever since I first played Space Quest IV when I was 11 years old, I’ve been hooked on point-and-click adventure games. And while I appreciate what studios like Telltale and Double Fine have done to modernize and revitalize the genre, for me nothing can match that old classic formula of moving a little pixely guy across a pre-rendered background, LOOKING at stuff and TAKING stuff and COMBINING stuff with other stuff.
The Silent Age is such a game, and it’s a good one. Like many adventure games before it, this is a time travel story – the player must travel back and forth between the game’s present era (1972) and a post-apocalyptic future, in an attempt to save the world from a horrific fate. This plot doesn’t exactly break any new ground, but its Terminator-meets-Cold-War-intrigue narrative is intriguing enough.
More importantly, this plot leads to some very fun gameplay mechanics. Most of the game’s puzzles rely on zapping back and forth between time periods, manipulating the past to change the future. This also means that there are two versions of every environment in the game, a great feature when the visuals are this pretty.
The gorgeous, detailed environments are what push The Silent Age over the line from good to great. From rooftops to bars to subway stations to (my favorite) a mysterious swampy island, the game’s locations offer a ton of variety, and they are consistently beautiful.
The only thing stopping me from wholeheartedly recommending The Silent Age is its price – $5 on ios and friggin’ $10 on Steam. With so many excellent point-and-click games available for free from sources such as Adventure Game Studio, it’s hard to justify paying such a premium price for this one, no matter how great it is. But if it ever goes on sale or becomes available in a bundle (which is how I acquired it), there should be nothing stopping you from grabbing it.