Silt is a two-to-three-hour puzzle adventure game developed by Spiral Circus Games and published by Fireshine Games. This short title allows players to explore the darkest depths of the ocean, solving puzzles along the way while constantly dodging dangerous enemies.
Silt clearly takes inspiration from Limbo. The monochrome visuals, the disturbing and creepy tone, and the environmental puzzles all support this. However, although Silt matches the same format and feel of Limbo, Silt lacks motivation. Due to the lack of deeper narrative, players must draw their own conclusions about what the protagonist’s goals even are, beyond survival. Fortunately, this doesn’t drastically impact the journey, but I craved additional narrative to connect with both the main character and the mysterious setting.
I was incredibly surprised at the sinister atmosphere featured in this title. Exploring the dark and eerie unknown waters forces caution upon the player. Levels vary from vast and open to minimal and condensed, evoking the sense of claustrophobia. Some enemies match the description of mythical sea creatures sailors would describe after dangerous voyages. Meanwhile, other monsters are unique, with gears and other industrial components attached to their body. This stew of terrifying chaos made playing Silt a beautifully horrifying experience in the best way possible.
The gameplay mirrors traditional puzzle platformers. You’ll navigate through the abyss by swimming past enemies and avoiding potential traps. Dying results in returning to the beginning segment of the level. Not exactly a full reset, but enough to restart a puzzle. The protagonist has the ability to possess other creatures that are needed to solve puzzles and progress. Certain creatures have specific abilities, resulting in minor trial and error as you experiment. Piranhas can cut through vines, while stingrays are great for short-range teleporting. These small creatures all serve a purpose, and using their powers with urgency can help avoid death.
Unfortunately, the puzzles are a bit too elementary and underutilized for my taste. They don’t feel like the thoughtful roadblock or fun challenge they should be. Most of the puzzles require using the possession ability, avoiding death as a new creature, and simply opening access for the protagonist. Some puzzles require multiple possessions and maneuvering in a timely manner, adding more tension. However, this didn’t feel so much like a challenge as it did a bland and forgettable extra objective.
Nonetheless, I was completely enthralled with the journey. Silt feels like an incredibly gorgeous playable art book. Having to traverse the dark unknown with goliaths and monsters ready to devour me at a moment’s notice kept me on my toes. Although Silt features some jump-scare elements, they aren’t enough to sour the title. The only sense of frustration I experienced was due to my lack of skill, resulting in a handful of deaths. Although some have reported bugs during gameplay, the performance was smooth on PC delivering 60 plus frame throughout.
Although the puzzles are bland, Silt is still an eerie and dauntless experience for all. Silt is available now on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, Xbox, and PC via Steam, GOG, and the Epic Game Store for $14.99.
Watch the Review in 3 Minutes for Silt.