A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Narrative themes include friendship, family, inquisitiveness, and courage. Play encourages and rewards analytical thinking.
Positive Role Models
The player's character is a young and curious girl who wants to understand what's going on in and around her village. She uses her wit and intelligence to solve problems without violence, is a good friend to her peers, and is eager to be helpful to those in need.
Most characters are White people of varying genders and ages.
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Ease of Play
This is a simple point and click game with no way to lose, but you can still get stuck on puzzles that don't have obvious solutions. If this happens, your best bet is to keep trying to use and combine objects in your inventory until something works.
Violence & Scariness
The overall look and feel is a little spooky, as are some scenes that point to monsters in the woods.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Children of Silentown is a downloadable adventure game for Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and Windows PCs. It tells the tale of a girl in an isolated village who is fearful of the monsters that are assumed to live in the forest surrounding her hamlet. There's no violence -- play is composed of exploring, chatting with non-player characters, and solving contextual puzzles -- but the overall art style is a little spooky (characters have pale skin and gaping white eyes with no pupils), and some of the town's kids are clearly afraid of what might be in the woods. Puzzles tend to involve finding, combining, and using random objects in unusual ways -- such as a doorknob as a bell clapper -- and reward players for thinking outside the box. The star of the game is a young, curious girl who loves her family, has good relationships with her friends, and is willing and happy to help others solve their problems. Parents should note that while the game contains little in the way of iffy content, its puzzles can be challenging and may lead to a bit of frustration for players who lack the patience to try, try again.
Is It Any Good?
It's trickier than you might imagine, but hopefully that won't keep too many prospective players from giving this fun little adventure game a go. Children of Silentown establishes its whimsically dark, Edward Gorey-like atmosphere through an unusual visual style that sees most villagers sporting pale skin, dark hair, and ghostly-white, pupil-free eyes, then builds on this appealingly odd vibe by introducing a series of quirky characters with distinct personalities and problems. Lucy herself is upbeat on the surface, but also fearful of what might be going on in and around her village. Her courage is what leads her to begin investigating the town, and her curiosity and intellect is what makes her the perfect person to get to the bottom of her little hamlet's mysteries.
The puzzles fall in line with those of most adventure games, tasking players to be observant, patient, and willing to try novel solutions. Some solutions are evident and rely on little more than common sense, requiring players to do something like use a stool to reach a higher place. Others demand a little more lateral thinking, or, at times, trial and error. You won't necessarily be told what a character wants or how two objects might go together, nor will you be able to sense the answer through intuition. Instead, you'll just need to try, try again until something works. These sorts of puzzles aren't the norm, and there's usually not so many variables as to make trial and error feel tedious. Still, these are the weakest elements of the experience and most likely to frustrate and interrupt the player's sense of immersion. The rest of Children of Silentown should prove a treat for players who enjoy a good mystery and tricky brain breakers.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.