These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job. So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us to help by regularly selecting a gameYou Should Play.
House on Fires The Silent Age is actually a two-part game: The first episode, which is free to play, was released in early 2013, while the second episode, which costs $5, was released just a few weeks ago. You should think of the entire game as a $5 investment, though, because I guarantee you wont be able to stop after episode ones cliffhanger.
The Silent Age is a point-and-tap adventure game that takes place in two different erasyour characters present-day 1972, and a thirty-year leap to the eerie, post-apocalyptic 2012. Without giving away too much of the plot, you play as an unassuming janitor at a large corporation who stumbles upon a time-traveler from the future. The time-traveler asks you to warn him about this meeting... and then dies, leaving you with a pocket-sized time-travel machine that you can use to flick between 1972 and 2012.
Youre then left to solve the puzzle of what the heck happened to this guy, by using a combination of your time machine (which keeps you in the same place, just changes the time) and various objects you find in the environment. While many point-and-tap adventure games can feel overly relaxed, The Silent Age expertly weaves an intriguing storyline around its puzzles to give you a sense of urgency. Its the most fast-paced point-and-tap puzzler Ive played, and thats only one of the reasons you should check it out. Here are three more reasons you should play this game.
A well-designed puzzle game: I play a lot of puzzle games, and Im especially a fan of escape the room games, in which you have to use various objects to solve puzzles and work your way out of a locked room. The Silent Age plays very similarly to escape the room games, and the story line involves a lot of escaping from (and breaking into) locked rooms.
However, unlike many escape the room games, The Silent Ages puzzles are both clever and logical. The objects you pick up, and the ways in which you use them, make perfect sensefor example, covering broken glass with a blanket, or distracting a bartender by ordering a complicated drink. Its not one of those games that was hastily put together (perhaps this is obviousthe second episode came a year and a half after the first). The games time travel element also plays heavily into puzzle solving. For example, lots of doors are open in one time, but not in the other, so youll find yourself switching back and forth quite regularly.
The Silent Ages puzzles add to the story lineyoull have to complete tasks, like distracting the bartender, so you can get into another room.
Atmosphere is everything: Theres no getting around itThe Silent Age is visually gorgeous. The bright, vibrant colors of the games 1972 contrast perfectly with the dystopian, muted grays and greens of the games 2012, and every small detail appears deliberate. The game denotes objects you can pick up by making them ever so slightly brighter than the surrounding piecesgiving you a subtle hint without distracting from the games overall atmosphere.
The Silent Age is a nicely put-together package of artwork, soundtrack, and smooth, distraction-free controls. The opening screen suggests you play the game with headphones, and I second that suggestion: The soundtrack, while not particularly exciting, is everything it needs to be. Much of it is eerie ambient noise peppered with sound effects, which makes for a slightly unsettling atmosphere (and that seems to be exactly how the game wants you to feelunsettled). The soundtrack does have a few bright spots, such as the pumping music inside a nightclub. Use your headphones, and youll definitely forget that youre in present-day 2014.
See this image? This is 1972. This storys main image is this same scene, but from 2012.
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You Should Play: Travel through time in two-part mystery The Silent Age