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Children of Silentown self describes as a dark adventure game, telling the story of Lucy, a girl growing up in a town surrounded by a monster-filled forest, and from which people regularly disappear. The roars from the forest fill Lucy's dreams and her drawings. She will apparently seek to get to the bottom of what is haunting the town, but not just yet.

I am about an hour in and so far remain in the village. I have a number of tasks to do, some of which require other tasks to be completed or conundrums to be solved. I have collected and used some items and combined others, all kept in a little pouch top left. I have also found some stickers and collected some musical notes, kept in the journal top right. The former seems likely to be just for fun, but the second plays a role in the game. I have just learnt my first song, and singing it to people can reveal their thoughts. It has already provided a possible clue to one conundrum.

I have also experienced my first mini-game, stitching together a torn thought. How prevalent this or other types of games will be I can't say, but I note the Steam page says "play minigames with the other children of the village."

It is all point and click, hot spots generating a single icon (look, talk or take) and which might lead to the generation of a different one (looking at something for instance might mean you can then take it). You can't reveal hot spots so explore carefully. Scenes will slide in various directions as you walk around, and arrows will indicate exits. The 2D animation style is particularly appealing, and suits the Silentown feel. Limited ambient sound and a musical score provide the auditory palette, there being no spoken word apart from a short introductory voice over. Talking to people generates little speech bubbles that you click to advance once you are ready.

There are no manual saves but it autosaves on a very regular basis so that shouldn't be an issue. The mechanics of the game will be familiar to most, but the game itself does an excellent job of providing feedback on what to do. The song, the mini-game, even the first time I had two inventory items that could be combined, all came with a little tutorial about what and how to do it. It should ensure that the considerable enjoyment experienced thus far is accessible to all.


Gardens put to bed for the winter. Time to take a break!