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APP REVIEW: The Silent Age, Episode 1




Set in 1972; a crucial point in time! Disastrous fashion sense and time changing movements all merged into one free episode, just for you.

Gameplay:

Our protagonist is Joe, a janitor who couldn’t possibly be more average, even if he tried. Average Joe is average weight, average height, has an average job. Average everything!

The story kicks off with Joe tending his duties, one morning he is promoted and is graced with more responsibility in his job. He randomly discovers a dying man who offers him a questionable, solar-powered time travelling device.

The old man is supposedly a time traveller from 2012.

Average Joe’s new job is to save mankind through switching between the present and future with the help of the time travelling device.  Eventually Joe tests this debatable device, and finds himself 40 years on in a deserted police station; there is no sign of human life.

What lengths must Joe go to, in order to save humankind?

A very intellectual game based around an interesting and gripping storyline. The genre is a mix of puzzle/mystery/adventure all in one game, an equation that has to add up to something revolutionary.  The episode is split up into 5 separate chapters, successfully breaking the story into small parts leaving the player engrossed, similar to a book in that respect.

The puzzles are relatively easy to figure out without much thought, great in some aspects but not in others. It is typical of a point and click game, each object picked up can only be used once on the intended place, it will disappear after use.

The puzzle has the player switching between present and future in order to develop further within the storyline. Some problems can only be solved in the future and vice versa, for example; some passages may be blocked off in the present, but they may be open in the future.

Graphics and Sound:

The graphics of The Silent age have a hint of classic film noir with the use of black and white aesthetics with a dash of colour. The use of shadow and darkness add to the eerie, mysterious theme of the game. The graphics also combine artistic and cinematic components; it is amazingly stunning to look at and a great tool for drawing the audience in.

The music fits perfectly alongside the graphics depicting a similar eerie and dismal tone. The two work together strengthening the storyline creating an unforgettable experience. The combination of graphics, sound and storyline seem to work in perfect harmony, nothing seems misplaced.

There are a couple of glitches within the game. If you pause the game, you will be taken back to the chapter selection and you will have to start from the beginning of the chapter. Also it is important to add that the game developers are asking for donations in order to progress the project into further episodes, therefore it's left in the hands of us the consumers.

Pros:

 *Strong storyline and protagonist.
 *Gripping gameplay.
 * Free.

Cons:

*A few minor glitches.
*Donations needed for it to continue.

Conclusion:

Forgetting the few minor hiccups within the game, I am happy to say that this is by far one of the best iOS games I have played this year (including games I’ve paid for). The storyline idea and beautiful graphics make for a brilliant and fascinating puzzle game. On top of that, the first episode is completely free, even though it has the traits of a paid game. I would recommend those who love this game to donate so we can enjoy the upcoming episodes because the first episode does indeed leave you with a cliffhanger.

I for one want to know what happens next, don’t you?

Graphics and sound: 5/5
Storyline: 5/5
Gameplay: 4/5
Score: 4 ½

Game developer: House on Fire ApS
Price: free
Last Update: 28 June 2013
Platforms: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch

Laura Ash / @lauraanneash

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