Game: Children of Silentown
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle, Psychological Horror
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam (Windows & macOS))
Developer | Publisher: Elf Games Works, Luna2 Studio | DAEDALIC Entertainment
Age Rating: US E | EU 7+
Price: US $19.99 | UK £17.99 | EU € 19,99
Release Date: January 11th, 2023
Review code used, with many thanks to Press Engine.
Children of Silentown is a creepy adventure puzzle game set in a small village bordered by forests where monsters lurk. Will you be taken away from the monsters, or will you be able to escape from the forest in this adventure?
Monsters Do Exist
You play as Lucy, a twelve-year-old girl who lives with her parents in a sleepy, quiet town bounded by strict rules. These rules are created by the adults in the town and have been in place for a long time. Yelling, loud noises, and singing are not permitted, and no one is allowed to leave their home after dark. If you break the rules, you will be taken by the monsters into the forest, never to be seen again.
As more and more people disappear from the town, Lucy and the other children start to wonder if the monsters exist and why people are disappearing in the first place. Lucy also frequently gets nightmares and can hear the roars from the forest in her bedroom. When Lucy’s mom disappears one night, Lucy starts her own investigation of what happened to her mom and decides to enter the forest for answers.
A Chilling Game
Despite the somewhat cute hand-drawn graphics, there is a dark and creepy atmosphere within the game. The characters and overall ambience remind me of the movie Coraline, except that the characters here have hollow eyes instead of buttons for eyes. I wouldn’t recommend this game for young children as some scenes are quite frightening and literally made me jump. Especially the nightmares that Lucy has. However, there are also some poignant and funny scenes that break up the dark and creepy tone of the game.
Children of Silentown is mostly a point-and-click story-based game, but you will encounter puzzles sometimes. Lucy has the ability to see the thoughts of people, animals, and objects by singing certain songs. You will be able to unlock the musical notes through your interactions with the townsfolk and progress through the story. You also have to solve the puzzles to get through the story, and they get progressively harder with each chapter. If you get stuck, I recommend using an online walkthrough to get the solutions for the puzzles, which I had to do for most of them as I’m not really a puzzle person.
Gameplay and Controls
As this is a point-and-click game, you have to interact with everything in order to get the best experience. It is essential that you collect all the objects you can get your hands on, as they will come in handy later on. Sometimes, you will have to combine two objects together to help you through particular events. For example, combining a pair of tights with a broken sling will give you a slingshot.
Gameplay is very smooth, and there aren’t any loading screens. It can be tricky determining which song to sing at times, but you just have to try a different song if the first one doesn’t do anything.
The graphics are beautifully done and really set the eerie tone. Colour plays a very important role in this game. In the nightmare scenes, the colours are just black and white, while the town has muted colours. The music is also very haunting and lovely, with an original theme song for the ending.
Children of Silentown is a beautiful, haunting game. It has a deeper meaning that is unveiled at the end. The ending can be interpreted differently depending on which of the four endings is unlocked. Even though it is a little creepy, it is not so scary that I couldn’t enjoy the game. While I wasn’t a fan of the difficult puzzles, I definitely enjoyed Lucy’s character and the story. If you enjoy point-and-click adventures with a touch of psychological horror, Children of Silentown is the game for you.
Final Verdict: I Like it a Lot