What is Silence?
Silence is a hand-drawn point-and-click adventure game, set in a vivid, Alice in Wonderland style world. When a bomb strikes their bomb shelter, young siblings Noah and Renie wake to find themselves trapped in a dream-like land, the titular world of Silence. A world that exists only in the brink between life and death, they must head to the palace and break a mirror before they're able to wake again in the real world. But the world of Silence is a dark and dangerous place, having fallen to ruin under the rule of a 'false queen', and now its residents are terrorised by her shadowy Seeker soldiers. Only with the help of a band of rebels, and by solving many a puzzle along the way, can Noah and Renie ever hope to return home.
How do you play Silence?
As a point and click adventure, Silence is a game that's all about solving puzzles. At various points throughout your journey, you'll hit a roadblock - someone caught in a man-eating plant, a message stuck high up in a tree, or a ladder that's missing a few rungs - and it's up to you to figure out how to proceed by making clever use of your surroundings. For example, the aforementioned man-eating plant problem requires you to locate the bitterest berries you can find in a swamp, and cook them over a camp fire to turn them into a concentrated syrup - then, by feeding it to the plant, you can make it spit out your friend. Likewise, fixing a ladder is a simple case of locating three metal bars that you can slot in place, although it's made somewhat more complicated by the hallucinogenic pollen a number of plants spit out, making you see all kinds of strange things along the way.
Some puzzles may need you to enlist the help of your transforming smiley caterpillar friend, Spot, who can shape-shift into a bridge, bubble or any number of other forms at a moment's notice. Whether it's for getting across a gap, or getting a giant stone ball rolling, his transformations are a necessity when it comes to making your way through the perilous world of Silence - and generally speaking, if you're struggling with what to do next, and Spot's in the general vicinity, then the odds are you'll need to make use of him.
How easy is Silence to pick up and play?
Requiring a rather specific type of logic in order to solve problems, Silence is likely one for more experienced players, or at least those with a decent puzzle-solving ability. Generally speaking, it's not as hard as other games in the genre, as there's no copious inventory of potentially-unrelated stuff to contend with - everything you need to solve each of the game's puzzles will be found in and around the area in question, and picture-prompts next to interactive items will give you a hint as to what you can do with each. A quick click of the Left Stick on the controller will also highlight all areas you can interact with, as well as giving you a hint of what to do next, meaning you shouldn't get stuck for too long.
The vast majority of the game is fully voiced, however occasional conversation options are not, giving you a choice of a couple of text-only answers. However, these don't tend to have a huge bearing on the story, nor are they ever a matter of life or death - such things include choosing whether or not you want to set a bomb, or simple replies to other characters. Reading may not be essential here, but it would certainly be a help.
Generally speaking, Silence is pretty tame in terms of mature content - there's no sex references at all, and no blood or guts either. Violence is limited, and tends to involve the shadowy Seeker figures, with one scene showing young Renie throwing a spear at one, while another shows a woman being bitten on the ankle by a creature - no blood spurts or injuries are shown. Occasional bad language crops up with the words p*ssed and sh*t making rare appearances. It's worth noting, though, that the world of Silence does have an air of a twisted Tim Burton world to it, and dealing as it does with topics of life, death, and what may lie in between, some may find it a bit on the creepy or disturbing side at times.