The Silent Age is shaping up to be among the very best point-and-click tour games of current memory. House on Fire’s crowdfunded effort is being teased out in episodes, and if the first one is anything to pass, we are in for a special treat.

Between a compelling, well-written tale, logical puzzle design, a fantastic touch user interface, polished graphics and sound, and a fascinating protagonist, there’s nearly nothing to fault– nearly being a crucial word there, as its two significant shortcomings are problem (it’s easy) and length (this first episode lasts a couple of hours, tops).

Old Meets New

Old-school point-and-click adventuring meets new-school sensibilities in an expert package that incorporates Americana and cell-shading in its visuals and uses puzzles to additional develop the tale rather than stand in its means.

Meet Joe, a lowly, unambitious, ordinary janitor at a top-secret organization.

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Meet Joe, a lowly, unambitious, average janitor at a top-secret company.

True to the genre, lead-character Joe is your prototypical everyman– a common man thrust into extraordinary scenarios by a possibility encounter with a lot of blood and a passing away guy from the future. He’s a janitor– the only one, as his more-experienced associate mysteriously vanishes– at a big company that seems to be vital to the protection of modern 1972 America.

The world’s about to end, and only Joe and his fancy brand-new time travel gadget can get humanity from termination. Or something like that. It’s hardly the most original tale, however The Silent Age makes its plot stripes by doing a better-than-average job relating average Joe in his typical task to you. The key’s in the telling, as the track goes. Joe is really having an effect on, and the environments and other characters blend completely with the theme and writing.

You direct Joe around with taps on the display. A small circle appears where you tapped, revealing plainly exactly what area of area you have covered. Pixel-hunting preciseness is a thing of the past, with The Silent Age, close enough suffices. And the environments are painted in a kind of minimalist visual that prefers vibrant lines and colors, more decreasing the possibility that you’ll get stuck due to the fact that you cannot discover the right item to resolve a puzzle.

No missing tiny one-pixel-sized key items; everything's big, bold, beautiful, and charming.

No missing small one-pixel-sized vital items, every little thing’s big, bold, lovely, and captivating.

Piecing It Together

Puzzles, meanwhile, are an uncomplicated affair. In many cases, you need just make use of a certain product on a certain object in the environment. Said product then vanishes from your inventory, keeping mess to a minimum. This classy streamlining of the normally-tedious adventure-game puzzling is a welcome change of speed, but The Silent Age treads a little too far into casual area.

Puzzles are simple. Too easy, besides a couple of exceptions– such as when you need to get rid of a hornet nest without going near it (due to the fact that Joe is allergic). It’s great that they are sensible, but ideally the 2nd and third episodes will demand more complicated logic than these variations on ‘if this then that’.

It’s an area ripe for exploitation, thanks to an extremely clever time travel auto mechanics. Shortly after he gains his time travel device, Joe can jump in between today (1972) and future to toy with domino effect and to relocate with unattainable locations or to grab crucial products.

The future looks pretty bleak.

The future looks pretty bleak.

To Be Continued, Ideally at Matching Quality

The latter couple of the five chapters evened in Episode One hint that this will be put to even more fancy use deeper into the experience, however we will need to wait and see as Episode 2 is not really due for release till later this year (depending rather on a crowdfunding effort to quicken this “labor of love”).

It looks like it will be worth the delay either way, though, as even more of the exact same in an extension of the tale would still result in a phenomenal game. Do not let The Silent Age sneak by unheard.