The Thin Silence | Coming Out of the Darkness | Steam Review

Monday 7 May 2018

Publisher: Nkidu Games Inc.
Developer: TwoPM Studios
Steam Review on Mac

*Disclaimer: I was sent the code for this game in return for a review, all opinions are mine and mine alone if you want to know more about my disclaimer please see my contact and disclaimer at the top of my blog. 

I don't think I have reviewed a Steam game on my blog before but I'm very happy to be reviewing this game in particular, The Thin Silence starts off deep underground but before this a message on screen appears about how the game relates to depression and includes a trigger warning, so already we know what one of the main focuses on the game is about, for me that's no problem but if you tend to want to play a more uplifting game The Thin Silence is far from that. The developers of this game are going the right way about raising awareness for mental health because let's face it there is a stigma that surrounds it and you would think that in this day and age it was taken more seriously and more people were able to get help. Two PM studios who developed The Thin Silence are donating a small sum to a charity called CheckPoint for each copy that The Thin Silence sells. As someone who has tried there utmost to try and get help for their mental health various times this is a very uplifting and wonderful thing for the developers to do, they have managed to make their game into more than just a game but also something that will help others understand why someone could be suffering from depression so I applaud them!

Throughout the game, you play as a man called Ezra making his way out of the darkness and exploring his feelings as he is trying to escape the darkness, the game doesn't focus so much on graphics as it is an 8 bit 2D style game for me the game was more about the story than anything and trying your best to come away from a bad situation that you find yourself in. I'm not very good at puzzle games but I do try my best at solving them even if I have no idea what I'm doing, The Thin Silence was actually pretty easy to know what you're doing but I would often find myself very stuck on how to execute a puzzle and getting it to work so the game did end up taking me around 6 hours to complete, it would have been short than that if I hadn't got stuck on 1 puzzle for an hour!

Whilst solving puzzles you will have to find notes, pages from a book and equipment, with this equipment you can go into the menu and craft them together to make better equipment, for instances I have a boot and a hook which are both great for kicking things and climbing but put together I can create a climbing book which will help me get higher up in order to solve more puzzles, at times it I was oblivious at working out what to craft together in order to get any further in the game, probably because I was so convinced that one item could work when there were more choices to choose from but once you do work it out I felt that it gets a little easier in solving each puzzle. One main issue for me was the controls, I didn't enjoy using the keyboard so I plugged in my PS3 controller to play and it felt a lot easier after I did, my hand-eye coordination on the keyboard is terrible and because I was using a Mac keyboard they have small buttons making it awkward for me. 

There are a number of different acts to the game and the best way to describe these are that Ezra is going on a journey not just out of the darkness but also within his mind, something that can be very hard for someone to deal with, espically when they start seeng things that arent there, I don't want to go too much into the story as this game is still so new and I want others to experience it for themselves, but what I can say is that even though people put all the blame on themselves for what happens in life sometimes this isn't true. Each character Ezra meets along the way is very important to help tell the rest of his story and what exactly is going on in this world he is living in, you will come to learn that there is a war taking place and people have suffered terribly because of this, Ezra has tortured himself many times due to this and blames himself throughout the whole of the game. He chose to live in the darkness but now is facing it all in order to try to overcome his feelings, that along is hard for someone suffering from a mental illness.

I would happily play this game again, but would also love to see it continued so I can do more puzzles as I enjoyed how much they challenged me, I know not everyone will find them as hard as I did but once again I'm not a big player of puzzle games. The fact that this is about MH and raising awareness is a big selling point for me, I often talk about how people are portrayed in a negative light whether that's to do with disabilities or MH and this game was able to portray MH in an educational way and take me on a journey into the mind of a man who wanted to break free from his own torment. For me I would give this game 4/5, it's a nice little time killer and the visuals although in 8 bit are beautiful, the story alone is well worth the score.

Elle May


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