Thoughts on: Silence, Full Throttle Remastered and Tiny Echo

It’s time for some pointing and clicking. I decided to give a shot to a sequel to a game that was pretty popular and a remaster of an old classic, but in between them, a tiny little adventure decided to give me an extra hour of adventuring. Let me tell you what I think of Silence, Full Throttle Remastered and Tiny Echo.

Silence is a sequel to the first Daedalic’s international success – The Whispered World. Which I’ve played twice and don’t like all that much, by the way. And it hits all the points every Daedalic’s title hits – it has amazing visual style, except now it’s 3D+2D, it has really nice soundtrack, it has fantastic ideas for the story, and then it falls apart at everything else. The studio did make a few point and click adventure games that worked (more or less) fine throughout the entirety of the playthrough, with solid gameplay ideas and actually good story execution, but Silence is not one of them. In fact, I’d say Silence is one of their worst attempts.

Be it the first foray into the world of 3D adventuring or some other reason, but Silence feels like a quarter-baked idea released as is. It has the story arc fit for a full feature, story for about 20 minutes and then a bunch of “adventure game” gameplay in between. Which isn’t actually adventure gameplay, but more of a “guess where you have to click next to trigger the next thing to go to another place to trigger another thing to trigger the story”, in the worst possible way. It’s like watching a movie, only for it to pause and present you with a bunch of boring busywork so it unpauses and continues, with busywork having next to nothing to do with the story. Which, by the way, is a boring and non-impactful rephrasing of the same story as in The Whispered World, but with forgettable disposable secondary characters, pointless “character arcs” (oh no, I so care about this character I’m seeing for the third time and know nothing about who might die now!) and nothing of its own. I hope Daedalic manages to make a good game with this visual style. But Silence is not it.

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Full Throttle Remastered is yet another long awaited remaster of a classic LucasArts point and click adventure game. This game has been often brought up as one of the first adventure games to truly attempt to tell the story in a very cinematic way, instead of being a more free-form story told via many puzzles and situations. Due to that, a lot of puzzles often have immediate and simple solutions that require next to no wondering around or item collecting. Game also added some action sequences, which are, thankfully, much easier to handle in the Remaster than they were in the original release.

All of the above meant few bad things too, though. Fans of puzzle-centric adventure games may find themselves disappointed by the blunt approach to solutions, that fits the game and the character. Some might not like that the game can be completed in just about 3-4 hours. And whoever you are, you will definitely hate the action bits, especially the infuriating car-based sequence closer to the end of the game. While some of the action bits at least require some rather intuitive puzzle solving, that car sequence is just pure frustration. But the game is considered a classic for a reason. It’s fun, it’s stylish, it’s pretty unique for the setting and the mood and it’s definitely worth a play even today.

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Tiny Echo is a tiny little point and click adventure title about bringing spirit mail to spirit animals in a cute little world from the creators of Shelter. It’s considerably smaller and simpler than something that Amanita Design would do, but it’s still nice and sweet. It can be a bit unclear what can be interacted with (check for the cursor changes over not always obvious places), which can lead to frustrating backtracking, since it’s not always clear if you can “do the puzzle” (you can). And the animation style is very slide-show-like in cutscenes, which feels a bit cheap. But it’s still worth a go, especially since it’s only about an hour long.

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