Silk Review (Nintendo Switch)

Game: Silk
Genre: RPG, strategy
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam)
Developers|Publishers: iHobo Games | Huey Games
Price:US$ 12.99|Au$ $14.99|€ 9,99|£ 8.99
Age Rating:  EU 7+|Au G |US E
Release Date: 11th October 2019

Review code used, with many thanks to Huey Games

Silk, is an open world adventure game that was funded by Kickstarter. It’s an intentionally retro styled game taking inspiration from a much older computer RPG that combined adventure game with warfare gameplay.

On the Silk Road

The game is set on a sizeable portion of the Silk road during 200 AD. When starting up a new game you can choose from four different destinies. These will predetermine what inventory you start out with, as well as the goals you will be given. These are to travel the road and back, become a master trader, rob three imperial banks, and to bend anyone loyal to the Parthian Empire to your will.

For beginners the traveler is recommended. As this helps you get a feel for the game more, before you start engaging in warfare. Not that you can’t try. When you open up your game, you start in the location for your chosen class. By opening up the menu to yourself you can see your current goal with a due date. However you can miss some due dates and it will simply move on to the following goal. How many you complete will give you a rating at the end. For the traveler it is usually to reach a certain new area or city.

Exploration and Trading

It’s a tile based game where every step will push you forward and also progress time in the day. You can enter cities and trading areas by opening them while standing there. This is where you can engage in trade, using sheep, silver, or other goods to trade. Each area values certain items differently, and they only have so much of one thing so make sure not to over-spend. When you open up the purchase menu you can’t always just trade for it as you or your advisors may not see any reason to. If they do you can click through on them and they will do the trading for you. Which will then add experience to their trading skill.

You can also add up to seven advisors to your caravan this is needed to add additional skills. As well as giving you more options in towns, battle, camping and at temples. These skills are trading, battle, rituals, animals and wayfaring. Battle is obviously for encountering bandits, wolves or enemy holds. You can hire guards to assist with this as well. Rituals are needed to be performed as a way to improve your relations with the different empires. Most importantly it also lifts the spirits of your caravan, so you aren’t all running around depressed, like I did the first time. Of course you need to keep some of the right animals on hand to sacrifice for the right gods.

Animal skills are needed to take better care of any of your flocks, catch wild ones or get milk. Wayfaring is helpful for surviving travel as they can hunt for food. When it comes to just about anything, whatever advisor you choose to listen to will gain experience in the related skill.


Whenever it is night you shall take camp, here depending on your guides you have the option to get food, guard or pray. Whenever taking an action you can see at the bottom bar what resources it will increase and/or decrease. As each day passes your provisions (food) will decrease relevant to what is in your caravan. So while it’s important to have goods for trading further along, you also need enough food to survive.

You need a horse for every person, including guards, unless you want to go quite slow. If you have extra animals your speed will likely drop significantly. The speed translates into how much time passes when you take a step. So if you are moving very slowly you could take only three steps before night falls.


The game has an intentionally low graphical style. It’s hand drawn but all the building types of a certain region are the same. The advisor portraits stand out a lot more in comparison. Silk has very little sound, so I was quite startled when I walked into the first town. As whenever you reach a city a narrator will explain the role of it at that time period, and comparably it’s quite loud.

It’s made with the intent of being historically accurate, but they have added plenty of female characters that you can play as or take on as an advisor.


I found it pretty interesting, although I restarted a couple of times while getting the hang of not walking around in circles. Playing as the traveler, it reminded me just a touch of an Amazon River game I played as a kid. As in both you are going for a particular destination, consume resources daily and can hire a guide with certain skill advantages. For that element I liked it, I had a bit more trouble trying to make my way through enemy strongholds. The only thing that particularly annoyed me about the game was losing my resources in storms. I enjoyed making my way around, given the lack of music it’s probably something good to play while listening to podcasts or something else.

Even though it’s a bit of a niche styled game nowadays it is fairly easy to understand and controls well on the Switch. There is a game manual you might want to peruse if you have picked up the game for yourself. It’s also priced reasonably considering the low visual style and simpler game play.

Verdict: I like it

I like it

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