The Silent Age

Technews Writer
Sat Mar 03, 2018

I love listening to people that have no idea about what they are dealing with talk about what they are dealing with. For example, I love when people go to the movies or try a new spice and narrate their experience. After all, that is what human experience is about. Art is not intended only for the most literate art major’s appreciation, but rather is meant to emit a feeling of some kind to every human on Earth, whether that feeling be hate or nonchalance. That short bit was just an explanation of why I, a non-gamer, am fit to review a video game that I played recently, and it is called "The Silent Age."

"The Silent Age" was first released on May 29, 2015 on Steam, and it was available for Mac and PC. I remember that when it was first released on mobile, I downloaded it immediately because of the thumbnail on the Play Store, and I went through chapter one in a couple of hours. Back then, the game had not yet released chapter two, and they were looking for crowdfunding to work on the unreleased chapter. I was only 17 years old, and living on a small island in the middle of nowhere, my parents did not operate the slightest bit like parents do back in the States. That meant that I did not have a credit card and therefore could not spend money on the internet. So I remained hopeful that the hundred of thousands of downloads that the game received off of the Android play store would support them like I would. They did not disappoint. Three years later, on March 25, 2018, I used my debit card to purchase chapter two of "The Silent Age" and completed the game within two days.

This review might be biased because I am fascinated by the idea of time travelling, but who isn’t? "The Silent Age" revolves around a janitor, Joe, who works for a weird scientific company where the upper echelon employees do not care about him. In chapter one, he gets the news that his coworker, Frank, has decided to move on with his life to pursue a greater career path, and that Joe is being promoted to take on his tasks without any raises. As a non-confrontational character, Joe goes on to go down to the basement to clean Frank’s part of the job, and finds a trail of blood that leads to a dying scientist, Dr. Lambert. Dr. Lambert hands him a time travelling device, and a few minutes later, Joe is arrested and is accused for the death of Dr. Lambert. Joe uses the device to go into the future to find out what happened, and to try to communicate with Dr. Lambert to figure out what his mission is. The main plot of the game, however, is that Joe can go back and forth between the future and the present, and hence, can solve puzzles along the way with the device.

As every great movie and great game can testify, story is always king, and "The Silent Age" sticks to that feeling to give a great and simple game. The game is a point-and-click puzzle type, and usually, I would find myself being bored with that genre, as games like "The Walking Dead" would try to implement useless action scenes that do not contribute to the progression of the story, but rather add an element of frustration to the game. However, "The Silent Age" strips all the useless content out of the way to let the user focus on the plot. There is no time limit to solve the puzzles, and the player has a lot of time to appreciate the art style, the Easter eggs, and the amazing voice acting. It also encourages map exploring; without doing so, the game would not be able to be completed.

As much as I would like to compliment the game, point-and-click games always have one problem, and that is linearity. The story only progresses in one way, and the developers have made it in such a way that the player has no other choice than to figure out what the developers are expecting from that player in order to achieve some tasks. For example, in one level, you are given a syringe filled with a flammable fluid and a lighter. The task at hand is to destroy a bee’s nest so that Joe can move into a building. The catch, however, is that Joe will not throw anything, even if it is a few centimeters out of his reach, and thus the player has to look for other elements that the game provides so that Joe can light a fire. On one hand though, you have to give props to the developers for encouraging the player to think harder and solve the puzzles.

"The Silent Age" is available on the App store, the Play store, Steam, Kindle fire, and on the Windows store. For such a low price as $5, I really appreciate the story and the amount of effort put in by the creators of the game. It succeeds to be thought-provoking while dealing with a complex concept, and lacks in only a few areas which do not drive the player away from the mood of the game.

Appears in
2018 - Spring - Issue 8