The Silent Age is one of those rare, underrated games that leave you entranced. It is truly addicting, yet stands out from those other well-known addictive games that involve flinging birds at green pigs or slicing fruit in mid-air with samurai swords.
The main protagonist in this game is Joe Average, who is, you guessed it, an average joe. (Joe’s life up to 1972), when the game takes place, is nothing close to interesting. He is mostly ignored and spends his days as a janitor making sure the building floors are spotless. That is, until Joe finds a trail of blood that leads him to a dying man from the future.
The man gives Joe a portable time travel device and an eerie prediction that a “terrible event” is about to occur and that it is up to Joe to save humanity. The skeptical Joe accidentally time travels to 2012 where he learns that the old man was right, that 40 years later mankind is extinct. The game truly begins at this point as Joe tries to figure out what occurred and how to prevent it.
The game itself is a puzzle. From the beginning it requires you to think about what the objects in your inventory could be used for (every object has some type of use). Though some puzzles are easy and require common sense, there are quite a few where I spent more than fifteen minutes trying to figure out where certain things should go. Some puzzles really make you think about how you could complete tasks with the limited items available.
The atmosphere of the game is unsettling as you travel back and forth between 1972 and 2012, and this is enforced by the game’s music. When I wore headphones as recommended, it really felt like I was there solving puzzles. I found that the dystopic world depicted in 2012 is very eerie and even disturbing at times as you progress through the game.
The design of the game is extremely simple, which adds to its charm and uniqueness. The developer describes it as a “minimalistic 2-D point-and-click adventure game”. Even the art is incredibly simple, yet it is very original.
Overall, I found that The Silent Age was one of the most interesting app games I have ever played. It can be found on iTunes and is completely free. The only downside is that the game is split up into episodes, with episode two still being in the works. Though I highly recommend this game, don’t be surprised if you find yourself constantly checking app updates for the next installment.