LifeisXbox’s Silenced: The House review | I had no idea what I was going into when I opted to review Silenced: The House. The main premise here is that it is a story-driven horror game. Alongside this, we have the story being told from the perspective of several teenagers who are all very aware of the horror tropes in 4th wall-breaking dialogue. I haven’t played that many text-based games but I do have a soft spot for them, and Silenced: The House looked like it could scratch that horror itch.
Created by Graven Visual Novels, and published by Graven and Sometimes You, Silenced: The House will welcome you with open arms, but will it allow you to leave in one piece?
Most Memorable Moment
The car explosion is something I never saw coming, not the outcome if I decide to try and stop the character from going outside. It didn’t make total sense, but it was really quite something to see if you opt for the latter. The multiple-choice options really can catch you off guard, especially since you feel like you are doing the right thing.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series S | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer.
What we Liked!
- The Story | The story of Silenced: The House is pretty good and well-written. You can tell the developers of the game obviously had a good idea to run with. Without giving too much way, it’s about a bunch of teenagers who go walking through the woods in search of this abandoned house. Classic horror movie setup. When they finally find it, it quickly becomes apparent that the house is tied to some paranormal entity that gets awoken by one of the characters. It’s a pretty good premise that will leave you wanting more, except for a few things pointed out below, but this is mainly about the character and their motives.
- Quick Menu | The quick menu will be your friend during your time with Silenced: The House. The quick menu allows you to save and load whenever you want, skip sections or even go back if you need to re-read part of the story. You can also hide it when not in use. It’s a really solid addition that I don’t see a lot of in text-based story games and one that I feel is much needed allowing the player complete control of the story and its pacing.
- Multiple Choices | Silenced: The House has multiple choices that you make throughout the story. They are only two choices each time but this means that you are always a 50/50 chance away from messing up. Not only this but picking the wrong path doesn’t always immediately lead you to a dead end. There was one section that went on for another 15 minutes after I picked up the wrong ending before finally killing me off and telling me in a rather meme-like way that it “hoped I had saved my game”. I had in fact saved… but after I had selected the wrong choice. Luckily, thanks to the quick menu I was able to get back to this section rather quickly. But even so, this is a really nice way of playing out the story in different ways and also adding some backstory.
- The Artwork | Silenced: The House uses all hand-drawn artwork to tell its story. There is no animation to them and everything is static. Each drawing is done well and is very detailed. Especially the death scenes. Each character has its own little nuances and flair with a personality that can be seen on the surface.
- The Audio | The audio in Silenced: The House is very minimal and relies a lot on the looping soundtrack to bring you into tense moments, and also take you out of it. Since the loops are very short, and each section of the story is quite long, you will hear the same looping audio over and over again. There were a few sections of the game where the audio didn’t really match with what was happening on the screen and since the audio was taken from free libraries off of the internet, I suppose they didn’t have much to work with. For a horror game/story, the choice of audio wasn’t great. There is also no voice acting in the game and the only other audio being used is for key moments when certain sounds will play.
- The Characters | Not to detract from the decent artwork that is provided in the game, it is quite clear early on that the characters are just a means to an end with the main character making it very clear to the player that he intends to kill them all. That being said, this doesn’t leave a lot of room for character development, nor the time to have the characters have any real meaning given the length of the game. What quickly starts off as a brief introduction to each of the characters, quickly becomes equally important to kill them off to help unravel the story and find out why the main character is doing this.
What we Disliked
- The Length | Coming in at 2 hours in length if you are a decent reader never feels like enough time to justify the reasons and to fully explore the actions of the main character. Yes, it is explained toward the end, but it is rushed and never feels natural. I like how in horror movies there is always some sort of twist and you find out who the killer is and why. This early introduction to the main character and his intentions quickly helps move the story along at a quick pace and never really allows time for the true motives of the killer to be understood. There are demons in the game that also help the main character carry out these scenes of death and torture and although they are clearly the stars of Silenced: The House, they never have enough screen time and are usually bogged down and cleared away by heavy dialogue scenes.
- Lack of Gameplay features | Silenced: The House has one mechanic. One. The simple act of allowing you to choose a path at certain sections. In total there are 5 of these actions and unless you pick the right one the first time, you’ll be greeted with a short sequence about how you picked the wrong choice and have to go back and redo it all. Its only saving grace is that you can save anywhere and at any time, so loading back up isn’t difficult. You can also skip entire sections of the game if you forgot to save so you end right back where you left off quickly. What lets the game down is that there was on a few occasions, an opportunity to insert some sort of gameplay mechanic. For example, there was a scene with an Ouija board. Having the player interact with this would have been great and allowed for a lot more interest in what is going on.
How long to beat the story | 2 hours
How long to achieve 1000G | 2-4 hours
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Gaming is in my blood. Be it handheld games, Xbox, PC, Switch or Playstation, I am all over it.
I make my own games as part of my profession and love playing co op games with friends in my spare time. Avid dog lover and camper van enthusiast.