The Thin Silence, right off the bat, is a game which tells you that it deals with dark and suicidal themes, but don’t be put off that this is going to make you depressed simply by playing it. However, if you are in a dark place, then it won’t be the best game to play at that time and you’d be advised to seek help from organisations like the Samaritans or, perhaps, Frank, if your issue relates to drugs.
As to where the title originates, the description reads: “The Thin Silence explores depression, self-doubt, struggles, and trials. Amongst the darkness, the game features that sound, that thin silence, which calls to us in our darkest hours” and, every now and again, a man appears wanting to talk to you, who is presumably a doctor of some sort.
In this game, something has happened the details of which you don’t know fully, and you must go on an underground quest in a cavern, which looks like the darkest recesses of one’s mind. However, as the footage I’ve recorded shows, it’s a puzzle/platformer, and since this is first-gameplay footage, I make a LOT of mistakes. I’ve left them all in, and at the time of writing this review, I’m stuck on level 3 (hence no footage of that) and the game tells me it is 50% complete. There were other times when I got stuck, and I managed to discover the solution and move on some more, but – and without giving big spoilers about where I’m up to – I’m at a point where there are two lifts, and their control panels each control the other one. I need to go up to the level above me, but I just can’t figure this out.
It could be that I’m not 100% perfect at puzzle games, which is a certainty, and even when I first started out with PC gaming and getting into first-person-shooters like Doom, I would get stuck from time to time, save my position, stop playing and go back to it later or the next day, by which time I could look at it with fresh eyes. However, as The Thin Silence has an estimated gameplay time of five hours, I really wanted to complete it.
You can reset the screen if you get trapped, which for me, is easy to do, and this will happen. However, if you have picked up an item somewhere else on that screen, and then reset the screen, you will still have that item, so it doesn’t completely take you back to square one – it simply gets you out of a temporary hole.
With its 8-bit-style graphics, it feels like a great throwback to Another World, one of the great games of the early ’90s, and if you enjoyed that, then I urge you to check this out.
When you come to new, large areas, your character will take a sit down and then take in the view ahead, which indicates how you’re going to get out…. possibly. You can stop it showing you this and crack on, but I found it best to show me the area, since the alternative is to move your right joystick to show you the immediate vicinity around you, and that doesn’t quite show you everything from where you stand.
I’ll just give an overall score for this game, given its retro feel, but you’ll see from the footage what the graphics are like and how they mix with dark score from Lightfrequency.
Writers: Ben Follington and Ricky James
- The Samaritans: Call 116 123 (UK or Republic of Ireland, and from any phone), or visit the website
Frank: Call 0300 123 6600, or text 82111, or visit the website
The Thin Silence is released today on PC/Steam.
- Developer: TwoPM Studios
- Publisher: Nkidu Games Inc.
- Players: single-player
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.