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Review: Children of Silentown

Written by LHYonNPUK

Self-proclaimed “big brain” Lucy sets off to brave the howls of the night, her fears, and uncover a generations-old horror.

Lucy is a clever, 12 year old girl who lives with her Parents and pet cat Squinty in the titular Silentown, a quiet village surrounded by a big, dark forest. Our protagonist spends her days playing ball with her friends, and helping her mum around the house. However, at night, Lucy is plagued by nightmares, hearing strange noises, growls and roars from the forest. 

She’s not to go out after dusk, the children aren't to shout, and parents whisper about missing people. After the town's Harvest Festival, Lucy's mother has to return a basket to a friend. She goes out at night and doesn't return. An undisclosed length of time after her mum's disappearance, Lucy resolves to find her and uncover the truth about Silentown.

At its heart, Children of Silentown is a dark point-and-click adventure game. The controls are thankfully pretty intuitive, and you can more or less play it one handed as both the analogue sticks and directional buttons all control movement, which is a big win for accessibility. Elsewhere, you can combine items when in Lucy’s bag, use her diary to keep track of collectibles like the notes and stickers she picks up, and in a nice touch that I haven’t seen in many other adventure games, if multiple interactions are available, the ‘L’ and ‘R’ buttons cycle through the available options without the player needing to reposition themselves. 

The puzzles are also largely intuitive, though some are still hampered by the classic point-and-click obtuseness that leads players to exclaim 'how was I meant to figure that out!?' Luckily the solutions were never too outlandish.  Sometimes completing a puzzle leads Lucy to decide what her next action should be, which will dynamically cause the reactions of her friends and fellow villagers to change. 

Sometimes Lucy will also 'collect a sound' from objects in the world, which we use to make songs. Songs can be used to influence the people and world around us. Each song has its own minigame, which helps us to gain more information about the mystery.

At the end of each chapter we are treated to a beautifully crafted nightmare with creepy artworks, almost like a page turner which ends up in a spook! Completionists and collectors will be pleased to know there are collectible stickers, found by interacting with objects, instruments and backgrounds.

Children of Silentown is a beautiful game. Being a point-and-click adventure, it relies heavily on background art and design instead of flashy visuals. Immediately, you can tell a lot of time and care went into creating this hand-painted world, and everything serves to build the atmosphere in the town. The environments are lovely and the hand-painted style translates wonderfully on any screen. Filters are used as a clever means of altering the time of day at a given location. During the day the village is full of dull yet warm colours, but revisiting at night there's a cold, oppressive blue filter on the town which almost makes it feel abandoned. 

The characters are really appealing, despite not being super detailed. The designs are relatively featureless, but far from uncanny. Even with the character designs being on the simpler side, everything is clearly conveyed. Thanks to the large yet blank eyes, and some beautiful animations, the models manage to emote brilliantly with extremely smooth transitions from the animated story beats and gameplay. You can clearly tell what the characters are doing, and I found many of the animations to be charming. 

The nightmare segments are fantastical, with thick black borders and darkness seeping into the images and flashes of white shining out of the screen. The first time I experienced a nightmare section I couldn't get over how impactful it was. Having a single button prompt to move the scene forward, almost like I was turning the page of a horror comic is a sublime use of art direction.

The first thing that struck me upon launching Children of Silentown was how well the music bolstered the comfortably creepy artwork. After the narrated intro, there's this stunning smooth piano track that introduces and personifies the sleepy little village. The first few tracks of the OST carry a nostalgic note of innocence and comfort. The music often mirrors Lucy's feelings of the areas she inhabits. One theme that particularly struck me was the one that plays when exploring a spooky basement; it reminded me of an almost Scooby-Doo like situation. The composer did a brilliant job here. The score really sucks you into the game’s emotional journey.

There are also the songs that Lucy learns on her journey by coming across different noises. Even though the dialogue isn't voiced, the singing is hauntingly beautiful. The nightmare segments make great use of silence and crescendo too, in some cases mirroring the dramatic sting of a horror film.

Unsurprisingly, the game achieves a consistent level of performance on Nintendo Switch, both docked and undocked.  Performance is rock solid even without a pre-launch patch. I experienced a steady frame-rate and no bugs or crashes during my entire experience in Silentown. Loading times are relatively fast, both in and out of gameplay. Being a relatively undemanding game has its perks here - you can get solid hours out of this game without putting a big dent in your battery life! It has 3 save files for your replays or if you want to share the experience with your friends.

Unfortunately, Children of Silentown doesn't support touch screen controls, but thanks to the controls being accessibility friendly, this isn't a deal-breaker. Something of note, the options contain a font size option. It's not something I used in my playthrough, but it doubles the text size, which could make it more approachable for those that struggle to read smaller fonts.


Children of Silentown sets out to bring us a spooky, domestic supernatural mystery and delivers that in buckets. From its eerie artwork and haunting melodies, everything deepens the very real feeling that nothing is quite right in this sleepy village. It’s so difficult not to go on and reiterate how good this game is without discussing the plot and the mysteries therein without spoiling it, but I can’t not gush about Children of Silentown.


Elf Games Works and Luna2 Studio have given us a game I quite honestly can’t sing praises about enough. I couldn't put it down during my time with it, and that's not just because I love a spooky mystery.  If you are a fan of horror titles such as “Little Nightmares” or “Yomawari”, this game captures that same eerie feeling and comes highly recommended, especially if you like to crack puzzles.


Even in my downtime I found myself itching to get back to Lucy’s village. The pacing is fantastic, and the clues never feel drip-fed. If you’re looking for a spooky mystery to flex your muscles and have fun while doing it, you really can’t go wrong here. I’m happy to say that this game lives up to its potential and for the price you pay, you’re definitely getting a lot of value. 


Where to Buy



Written by Luke Young

Edited by Mark McAllister, Jen Griffiths and Paul L. Russell

Graphic by Paul L. Russell