segunda-feira, 13 de junho de 2022

The mysterious (and dark) experience of SILT

Silt is, undoubtedly, the most interesting game I played this year. It is an exploration game set in a surreal oceanic void where you need to possess aquatic creatures around you with a strange soul energy to solve environmental puzzles and travel deeper into the darkness. The gaming objective is to face giant deep-sea goliaths and harness their power to awaken a long-dormant force at the core of the abyss.

The narrative is full of strangeness in a scenario full of old creatures’ statues, unexplored ruins, and ancient machinery. The monochromatic elements in the stages were created by the artist Mr. Mead (you can check his work here) and it is an awesome feature of the game. The sound design is also another point to highlight: in Silt there is no music, we experience a kind of a soundscape that follows our path into the abyss.

The narrative doesn’t deliver a full explanation about what is happening, who are you, why are you diving in this dark world. But it doesn’t matter. Silt invites us to be co-authors of its narrative. Following some ideas from Dansky (2007, p.5), it is possible to say that “On the most basic level, narrative strings together the events of the game, providing a framework and what can alternately be called a justification, a reason, or an excuse for the gameplay encounters. At its best, the narrative pulls the player forward through the experience, creating the desire to achieve the hero’s goals and, more importantly, see what happens next”. The blend between the mysterious narrative and the beautiful-grotesque scenario is an ideal approach to create immersion through the stages.

Spiral Circus, the studio behind Silt, made a piece of art and an excellent example of how important the gaming indie scene is for contemporary times. I’m finishing the third level and am already sad for the end of the game. One thing is certain: this is a game I’ll play more than one time.



DANSKY, Richard. Introduction to game narrative. BATEMAN, Chris (editor). Game Writing: narrative skills for videogames. Boston: Thomson, 2007.