[This is a guest review by William Broom. If youâ€™re interested in writing an article for TIGSource, please go here.]
Walker & Silhouette is an interactive fiction by Pacian, creator of Dead Like Ants and Gun Mute, among others. His latest game is set in a fantastical steampunk world and follows the two titular characters on a brief but enjoyable adventure.
In Gun Mute, Pacian made his game more accessible to those unfamiliar with Interactive Fiction by removing most of the directional keywords: Instead of east, west, north and south, the player only had to deal with forward and back. In Walker & Silhouette, he has taken this one step further by highlighting all the keywords within the text. Although you can still type them in if you want to, it’s easier to simply click on the highlighted word. This system (which Pacian acknowledges as being derived from Blue Lacuna) makes the game very accessible and fluid. Moreover, when you’re stuck on a puzzle, it’s nice to know that you have all the pieces in front of you, not hidden away somewhere.
Ultimately, though, this kind of neat gimmick would mean nothing if the story itself were not up to scratch, and fortunately Pacian delivers on this front. His writing is frequently witty and amusing, with the banter between the two characters being his greatest strength. On the other hand, telling the story from both characters’ perspectives gives them a little more depth than your standard comedy duo. The puzzles, though few in number, are enjoyable and intuitive. You’re unlikely to feel frustrated at any point in the game, but IF veterans may find it a little too easy.
The only criticism that I could level against the game is that it’s too short – about 20-30 minutes playtime at the most. This isn’t really a problem in itself, especially as Pacian has said that he is considering extending the story with a series of episodic sequels. However, the story in this first ‘episode’ is a bit too big to fit into the small space provided, resulting in a slightly rushed feeling toward the end. But this is only a small blot on an otherwise charming and memorable little game.