Silver Falls Episode Prelude
Developer: Sungrand Studios
Publisher: Sungrand Studios
Genre(s): Survival Horror
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 06/May/2021
A code was provided for review purposes.
Survival horror is usually a good bet for me. There is something about the genre that I am drawn to. It is a genre that I think is painfully underrepresented on the Nintendo Switch. Especially when looking at the abundance of horror titles on STEAM or other PC-based stores.
I will admit, I knew nothing about Silver Falls Episode Prelude ahead of this game, but suffice to say, playing this title has done nothing to grow any desire to find out about the other titles in the Silver Falls universe.
Let’s take a closer look at this survival horror title in this Rapid Review.
A Little-Known Nintendo Series
Silver Falls Episode Prelude is the fifth game in the Silver Falls universe which spans multiple Nintendo consoles and several different genres. This is an interesting concept and one I would normally jump behind. I love storytelling and playing games within a grand universe are just my thing. However, I found Silver Falls Episode Prelude to be a disappointing, confusing experience that felt more like a short, poorly manufactured demo.
Made by the small indie studio Sungrand Studios, they should be applauded for their vision but reprimanded for their delivery, certainly when it comes to this title.
Confusing and Pointless from Start to Finish
Story is important to a game. Not just in terms of the universe it belongs to, or lore objects that are found that talk of a greater story. In Silver Falls Episode Prelude there is no story, there is no character development or progression. There is nothing of any substance that could even allow this title to call itself a game.
It’s three different scenes, one of which is just confusing dialogue, with next to no action or anything entertaining about it.
You deliver some fast food to an empty house, after fumbling around in the near pitch-black to find some items that have been placed in largely nonsensical locations. There is no threat present while you do this, a concept greatly lacking in the game as a whole.
Never Has a Twenty Minute Game Been So Drawn Out
Once breaking into a house, you have a single altercation with a strange animal that attacks you. Swiftly dealt with, you drive away. While this is going on, you have to play counsellor to your depressed, alcoholic boss, not of your delivery job, but some other job you have, alongside your college education. There is nothing explained or expanded on here. The text message conversation between you and this boss is random, out of context and as disconnected to what you are doing at the time of having the conversation as could be imagined.
Then you drive into the middle of nowhere to have a chat with this boss around a campfire. The conversation is poorly written and again does nothing to add anything to the story. There is again, no threat or horror element to this exchange. Once the dialogue is over, end scene and suddenly you are in the woods, looking for your boss.
You talk to a park ranger, survive an animal attack and suddenly, the game is over.
A disappointing Title That Barely Tries Yet Fails at Each Hurdle
Playing this game, it feels like a rush product of a hackathon session or game jam event that never got looked at again and was simply pushed out into the market. It reminds me of the early days of self-publishing on Amazon, where people published everything without thinking about editing, or the damage they would be doing to the industry they were in.
The game fails to capture attention or focus. Even at twenty minutes, I found myself wondering why I was investing so much of my time in things. I hate being so negative about a title. The game’s only real puzzle, if you can call it that was based around picking up three items that helped you get the key to the house. While there were some nice visuals, there is sadly nothing of merit in the title whatsoever.
Battle Mode Unlocks Once You Complete the Game
Your reward for completing the game is Battle Mode. This sees you choose any of the game’s locations and battle to the death against a range of angry animals. You can get different weapons and items while playing this mode. However, it is a question of too little, too late. It might be the better mode in the entire game, however, even then, it is a weak and diluted experience. It fails to hold attention and offers little in the way of excitement. I stuck with it no longer than was necessary for this review.
Silver Falls … Flat
Sadly, I did not enjoy a moment of my time with Silver Falls Episode Prelude. I do applaud the developers for the way they are trying to build up a universe. However, they need to stop what they are doing and give some serious consideration to things. The most annoying thing with this game is that you can see the skill and craft the team possess. They just need to take a closer look at the individual products rather than only viewing their world as a singular whole.
They have more titles lined up in this ‘series’. Yet, I can’t help but think they are just churning out titles for the sake of it. A move that will, ultimately, hurt the brand they feel they are building.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can get your copy of Silver Falls Episode Prelude from the Nintendo eShop here.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.