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A light in the depths of the ocean

A look at the creepy and wonderful world of the Silt video game

Published: 4 8月 2022
“The Sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever,” said Jacques Cousteau, the oceanographer who dedicated his life to the exploration of the oceans and created, together with the engineer Emile Gagnan, the first open-circuit underwater breathing apparatus, Aqua-Lung. Cousteau was also the first person to start filming underwater and show the wonders of the deep on the big screen. His film The Silent World was the first documentary to win a Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Human beings have always been fascinated by the ocean depths and what they hide. As shown by the many legendary sea beasts, from giant squid to the creatures in Jules Verne’s novels or H. P. Lovecraft’s short stories.
Silt, the new video game developed by the English indie studio Spiral Circus and distributed by Fireshine, invites you to explore a marine universe that unites all these imaginary worlds. Armed with only a torch, your diver plunges deeper and deeper in search of creatures that live in the darkness of the ocean depths. Each of which brings new challenges that allow the adventure to continue. Unlike Cousteau’s explorations, here there are surreal elements and small worlds that go beyond the recognisable and include ruins of ancient civilisations and mysterious machines that unlock increasingly exciting secrets. “There are plenty of fish in the sea but they're all trying to kill you,” wrote the magazine «Rock Paper Shotgun» when talking about Silt.
The game is completely based on light, in a 2D underwater world in greyscale. It is the torch that allows your diver to unveil hidden dangers. Thanks to its light you can search for, discover and be amazed by sharks, piranha fish, electric and moray eels, and a range of sea monsters.
There is something eerie, supernatural and foreboding about this world, which ranks Silt as a horror video game, but the fear is balanced by incessant curiosity and the poetic and elegant graphics inspired by the watercolours of Tom Mead, one of the game’s creators. The minimalist style is reminiscent of Limbo, the Danish puzzle-platform game, that is also in 2D and was extremely successful ten years ago and has now become a classic. Nick Dymond’s soundtrack and atmospheres that evoke the angst of David Lynch movies, wrote «The Guardian», help to make Silt one of the most memorable releases of the year. As torchlight is enough to discover the many real or invented wonders and dangers that hide in the shadows at the bottom of the sea.