The Moment of Silence
Point-and-Click adventures are undoubtetly one of the rarest genres in the games industry and when the industry does release a new point-and-click title, it is most often of low quality. Recently, Digital Jesters released The Moment of Silence, a point-and-click adventure based in the near future. We were eager to find out whether the game could live up to the expectations and bought ourselves a new mouse in advance.
After you start the game for the first time, you get sucked into it by some nice cinematics in which you, through the eyes of the main character, witness the arrest of your neighbor. A little confused by the events that unfolded just a few feet away from your door, you go on with your life. However, when you decide to check up on your neighbor’s wife, the actual story begins to unfold and you get stuck in a web of intrigue.
The game takes place forty years from now, in a New York where everybody travels by public transport and where the possession of all private means of transport is prohibited. When I stepped out of my apartment, the first thing that caught my attention was without a doubt the fact that, for a metropole, the city is rather deserted. For instance, when you step out of the apartment and onto to the street, up ahead you will see a few taxis, which will take you from one place to another in notime, and one NPC. That particular NPC will be standing there throughout the game. Night, day, doesn’t matter, he’s there. All this gives the game a very static atmosphere.
The game mainly consists of 2D environments with a few 3D elements added to the mix. Although all movement is poorly animated, the graphics are still broadly feasible. But hey, the real important aspects in this sort of games are a good storyline and practical gameplay, right? Maybe developer House of Tales will be able to make our eyes pop out in astonishment after all!
The unexpected plot twists succeed in keeping the player interested, if it weren’t for yet another slip on account of the developer. Overall, the voice-acting could be considered a success, but the dialogues tend to be very long and rather boring. On top of that, you will more than once have to try out all the different answers in function of triggering a certain event or unlocking a new area.
Remains only the gameplay… Once again House of Tales was not able to convince me. Firstly you will have to deal with a very unpractical inventory system. Throughout the game you will have to look for items and then give them to a specific NPC. When I say “give”, I actually mean selecting the item in your inventory and dragging it over the person you want to give it to, rather than having an option in the dialogue box which probably would have made things a lot more simple. The problem I had with this method is that you easily miss something, which leads to terribly frustrating situations.
This title could not, in any way, amuse me and it has cost me blood, sweat and tears before I saw the end credits roll off my screen. From the static environments to the developer’s attempts to artificially lenghten the game and the lacking gameplay elements… If you’re a diehard fan of the genre, this game might appeal to you, if you’re not, you might consider spending your hard earned money on something else. We remain on the lookout for another instantclassic that could bring this genre back to life.