The Thin Silence from TwoPM Studios is a narrative-driven adventure game featuring powerful messaging and strong themes. Players take on the role of Ezra Westmark and follow his journey that is filled with trepidation. Along the way various puzzles and platforming challenges will be encountered that test your mind and maybe even your patience. But is the silence peaceful or daunting?
Depression troubles thousands upon thousands of people and is something The Thin Silence tackles head on and in a way that is thought-provoking and respectful. Ezra suffers from depression that engulfs him and he casts himself out from everyone, struggling with thoughts of self-doubt, lack of self-worth and blame. For anyone who experiences these similar symptoms will find it easy to connect with the character on a whole other level and almost feel as if you are the main character. I am one of those people that connects with both the story and character on a deeper level so maybe found something more for me, whereas it might not be for everyone.
You face bad thought after bad thought and the choices made as a result of those. In some scenes, Ezra pushes away those who are close to him or want to help, instead wanting to be alone which sometimes I think we can all relate to. What’s important is that it feels grounded, and that’s what I appreciate most.
Gameplay is basic on the surface level but then gets more complex the further you go. Starting off as a simple walking adventure game in which you can obtain items to be used for progression turns into a bit of a puzzle platformer, items can be combined together into a number of combinations and then used to beat the many challenges that lie ahead. It was fun to experiment with the items and figure out what needed to be used to beat the level, and further on I remember constantly thinking, ‘oh, I know how to get past this bit, by using something from before’. This recurring thought was rewarding, knowing your doing something right and working things out is just satisfying.
There were three or four times that I almost had enough of playing, all times were because I just couldn’t figure out what on earth I had to do. It truly got frustrating but of course can boil down to user error, maybe I missed something and sure enough at times, going back a level or two, it clicked. So one bit of advice I can give is to be cool, calm, collected and patient. Otherwise this may not be for you.
Like the puzzles, the visuals can be quite divisive. On one hand, very reminiscent of games from the past and yet on the other hand there are aspects which look a little messy, in particular when it comes to the photos and documents found in the game. The pictures are difficult to make out exactly what is going on and can only be sussed out thanks to the accompanying text. Aside from that I feel the levels look good, featuring varying aesthetics whilst remaining true to the underlying dark tone, smart design.
What the team at TwoPM absolutely got right was the sound design. At all times you feel the weight and emotion of the story, it’s sombre, like life has been just washed away and you are travelling through each area facing a swarm of obstacles. From the sometimes-haunting tunes to the atmosphere building ambient noises, it mixes together perfectly.
The Thin Silence does a lot for creating an immersive, relatable experience with its profound narrative, flawed protagonist and clever design. It almost feels like a chore at points to overcome some of the trials along the way, but those points are very few and far between thanks to good direction. A worthwhile journey with a message I will do well to remember.
OVERALL: 7.7/10 – GOOD
Reviewed by Rhys Baldwin.
(Disclaimer: CONQUEST received a review copy of The Thin Silence, however this does not in any way affect the scoring of a game or our thoughts on the game itself. We believe in total honesty and being transparent with you.)