“Your silence will not protect you.” – Audre Lorde
Children of Silentown is a dark point-and-click adventure game set in a mysterious village hidden deep within a forest full of Monsters. It follows a young girl called Lucy as she decides to investigate why people keep disappearing!
Developer: Elf Games, Luna2 Studio
Released: 11th January 2023
Price: £16.99 – £17.99
The gameplay in Children of Silentown largely consists of exploration, dialogue exchanges, and puzzles and fits well with the narrative. The controls are intuitive and fairly typical for a point-and-click game and whilst a few of the puzzles can get a bit tricky it is a casual experience overall.
One of the key aspects of the game is singing. Lucy can collect notes and gradually learn different songs that allow her to do certain things such as reveal secrets, show past memories or make someone have a sincere and spontaneous thought. Using a song will require the player to do a certain type of puzzle, these are more traditional conundrums such as connecting pipes and threading buttons on a grid. There are also inventory and environmental puzzles as well as mini-games that include racing a frog and playing hide and seek.
There is some replayability in the form of multiple different endings, however, there are very few choices that influence the game and no manual saves so seeing all four outcomes would be very repetitive and require four playthroughs of a game that takes around ten hours to complete. Additionally, it is possible to miss stickers and achievements and going back to get these would also mean starting at the beginning again.
Children of Silentown centres around a small village of people in which there are a number of unusual regulations, such as not making too much noise. People sporadically go missing from the village and according to the adults they are taken by the monsters in the surrounding forest because they broke the rules. When someone close to Lucy, the protagonist, disappears, she decides she is old enough to start her own investigation!
The narrative is delivered mostly through dialogue and Lucy’s thoughts as well as minimal narration. It is gradually revealed to the player, creating intrigue and suspense. However, at times the story drags slightly and there is an awkward juxtaposition between the general slow pace and the abruptness with which the ending arrives.
Children of Silentown has a heavily stylised, illustrative, 2D aesthetic. The art style uses painterly textures in muted colour palettes with very deliberate pops of colour. Certain scenes have high contrast and saturated appearance and use opposing shades of red and green for a very harsh visual feel. This adds to the creepiness of the game and gives it a distinct look. There is an effective contrast between the look of different sections of the game, helping maintain a prevailing sweet yet spooky vibe that is very enjoyable.
The soundtrack is dominated by a melodic and relaxing piano track accompanied by delicate ethereal drones. Whilst this does get a bit repetitive, overall, the music is quite charming and does get more intense for the darker sections of the game. There is no voice acting in the game except for the very limited narration and when Lucy sings.
Children of Silentown is not devoid of flaws with its slightly repetitive soundtrack and demanding replayability for those that want to see all the endings. However, it has a lot to offer with its engaging story, satisfying puzzles, original singing mechanics and uniquely stunning visuals. The casual gameplay and cute characters belie the darker themes and the experience is sure to please fans of point-and-click games with a sinister undertone! Overall, this game was a lot of fun and I’d happily recommend it.
If you’re looking for more point-and-click games, check out these reviews:
Lucy Dreaming – A Rather Spiffing British Point-and-Click Game – Boxville – Point-and-Click Puzzle Game Meets Animated Film – Shindig: A Wholesome New Point-and-Click Adventure