Thalassophobia is the fear of deep bodies of water, and the terrifying creatures inside them. SILT, a game from Steam Next Fest, is a game built on reminding you why the ocean is horrifying. From developers Spiral Circus comes this underwater puzzle-adventure game with its monochrome design and eye-catching art style. You play as an unnamed diver with the unique ability to possess the denizens of the deep to solve puzzles. That captivating premise, the mystery of its stunning world and the creatures found within it will absolutely make you want to wishlist this phenomenal game immediately.
“SILT ensures the player feels a sense of accomplishment with every piece of progress gained.”
Despite being a relatively short demo, SILT still piqued my interest. I felt its enemy, level and puzzle design, all felt incredibly distinct from other games. During my time with the demo, I got to grips with its intricate mechanics in a refreshingly organic way. It never held my hand or explained in great detail what it is I needed to do.
Instead, it demonstrates how to play the game through context clues, innovative gameplay mechanics and so much more. SILT waits for you to figure out each creature before you tackle the puzzles. This ensures that the player not only understands the task at hand, but also feels a sense of accomplishment with every piece of progress gained.
“I was constantly on the edge of my seat from start to finish.”
SILT masterfully blends its backgrounds with your surroundings to create an unbelievably immersive atmosphere. The lighting and monochrome design of the game coalesce to create a beautiful art style that perfectly replicates the horrors and loneliness associated with the deep abyss itself. Complimenting the level design and creating an uncomfortable experience as you explore the depths is the game’s gorgeous soundtrack.
Additionally, the demo features numerous surprises that tease wonderful things for the full launch. It is full of incredibly tense encounters that require quick reflexes and a solid understanding of the many varied intricate gameplay mechanics. One instance saw a monster chasing me through a darkened tunnel filled with writhing tentacles. With no way to combat it, I had to swim aggressively towards the light. I desperately hoped that I would survive the encounter.
However, SILT does such an excellent job of ramping up the tension. At no point did I ever feel truly safe. I was constantly on the edge of my seat from start to finish. This impressive mastery over tension gives me hope for future tense moments to happen in between the various fantastic puzzles found in the game.
“SILT is easily looking like one of the most interesting upcoming indie games”
While the demo is brief and only showcases a small part of the majesty that is to come, I was so blown away by just how incredible my experience with it was, that I am now eagerly anticipating the full launch.
SILT is a perfect example of how to seamlessly blend phenomenal art design, level design and puzzle design with tense and thrilling encounters. Suffice to say, SILT is easily looking like one of the most interesting upcoming indie games, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the full release.
You can wishlist SILT on Steam now by heading to its Steam store page.