The Silent Age
The adventure game may have been revived and given a modern makeover thanks to the efforts of Telltale Games, but we can't help feeling that - wonderful though they are - the studio's games have lacked some of the mystique and intrigue that was so unique to the PC scene in the early to mid-90s.
If you're looking for an antidote, the plain fact is that you can do an awful lot worse than pick up developer House on Fire's latest mobile and tablet title, The Silent Age. It's a story packed with peculiarity and intrigue, as you take on the role of a quiet and thoughtful 1970s janitor who's been burned out by the ravages of the Vietnam War and a series of menial jobs, and now toils away in the underbelly of a shadowy government agency.
On a day that marks both a promotion, and the discovery of a man from the future who lies bleeding to death in the basement, he finds himself in possession of a time machine that allows him to jump through time while remaining in the same location in space.
From here the story unravels over five intriguing chapters, with more to follow, and while we won't spoil the story for you it's this unique use of the time machine that lends originality to the game's puzzles. Obscured passageways in the past are easily accessible in the future. Objects retrieved from a different time assume a new purpose in another. There's a good deal more logic in the puzzles of this modern adventure game too - perhaps a symptom of a less patient generation of gamers - and so for the most part this a game that focuses on the simple enjoyment of a tale well told.
In addition to an intriguing storyline, the game's world is not just drawn with breathtaking flair, but is in fact reminiscent of that most mysterious and enchanting PC games of old, Another World. The unobtrusive music also manages to cast an audible shadow over proceedings, without taking center stage and overwhelming the experience.
Smart, mysterious and layered beneath a very welcome dose of otherworldly eeriness, The Silent Age will delight any adventure gamer who feels that the genre's revival, welcome though it is, is just a little too light-hearted in the 21st century. That this first installment of the game is entirely free is the most surprising layer of icing on the cake, and it makes The Silent Age an unmissable experience.Download The Silent Age (iOS)
What's Hot:A fascinating and mysterious adventure game that will delight genre fans.
What's Not:The game is over all too soon, although at this price that feels like a unreasonable complaint.