Developer: Fring Frang Games
Release Date: March 3, 2021
I’m going to be really upfront about this: Silent Earth sounds a whole lot deeper than it plays. It’s a short – very short – choose your own adventure story about a nameless colonist on a space station that has recently lost all contact with Earth. Even if the store page didn’t clearly tell you that it had five possible endings, it won’t take terribly long to figure out what those paths are and, if you wanted to, see them to completion.
The entire game is text on a flat background. The only options are fullscreen or windowed, and a volume slider / mute button for the background music. For me, the music was an acceptable volume, and pleasant enough if a bit repetitive.
I’ve never really gotten into text adventures. I came into gaming just a bit too late for their heyday, and I normally want more gameplay if I’m going to be sitting at my PC. For me, the story was a bit predictable and simplistic, almost more of a prologue than a complete game. Still, what was there was well written, and for the bargain basement price of free, it does what it set out do well enough, I think.
Most of the text is white, but there are blue words throughout, which can be clicked on to get a bit of extra information (in the case of the screenshot above, I clicked on “view” and got a couple short lines about exactly what the view was). Anything in red will progress the story, and it’s where you as the player chooses which path they want to take through this tale.
Being a fast reader, playing to completion of a single storyline took me a bit less than 15 minutes. All in all, you could probably squeeze an hour’s entertainment out of the game if you chose to replay to pursue all paths. It’s a bit heavy-handed in its message, but I found no flaws with the actual construction of the game – all the parts work just fine in concert with each other. It just wasn’t anything that appealed to me enough to keep playing after reaching the credits the first time.
SteamDB estimates that Silent has been added to somewhere between 200 and 700 game libraries on Steam. It has just a handful of reviews, a positive rating, and a rank of 5227 out of 10,967 releases in 2021.