Review by Tim Turner
Silver Chains is a first-person horror game by Cracked Heads Games with a strong emphasis on story and exploration. Set at the beginning of the 20th century.
You awaken from a car crash near a manor house and are tasked with investigating the strange happenings which somehow are connected to your youth. As you approach the house you lose consciousness and awake in a small room in the seemingly empty house.
Immediately the music is unnerving and sets the mood for the game making you aware this will not be an easy journey. The creepiness continues with the sound effects of creaking floors and chairs rocking by themselves not to mention the cupboard full of hanging doll parts.
The game draws you in slowly letting you explore a small part of the house and introduces you to the puzzle-solving aspect of the game. Most of the puzzles in the game are typical of this genre and involve finding items to trigger events which unlock other areas to explore.
The game progresses well, to begin with, and gives you hints about what you need to do while remaining subtle about it and giving you more of the story as you find diary pages around the house.
The graphics really help with the setting of the story and the attention to detail is truly impressive. The textures are remarkable, from the well-worn floorboards to the peeling wallpaper and flaking paint, they all work together to capture the Victorian feel perfectly. This attention to detail does mean that you need a pretty good PC to make the most of it.
My old I72600 with 16GB RAM and GTX750ti struggles to maintain frame rate over medium settings on 1080p but it is playable and still looks beautiful.
The sound is also a key part to this game so make sure you have the sound up when playing and the lights off. It is an immersive game and the creepiness is accentuated by the sounds, especially the moments when there is a jump scare, which are plenty! Most of the game I had goose bumps as a permanent fixture!
Later in the game is where I got frustrated because the house is so big and very difficult to find your way around it makes some of the items you need seem inaccessible which they are unless you retrace your steps. It’s difficult to explain without revealing spoilers but I did have to seek help twice and thankfully a fellow reviewer was able to help on the steam community hub (Thanks Adhan!)
I think the main issue I was experiencing is the hitboxes of items you can manipulate being very particular about the angle you are facing and your proximity to the item which meant I missed some clues as I didn’t look exactly at them at the correct angle. I hope the devs will make some improvements on this issue but thanks to the steam community it’s not a game-breaker!
All in all, this is a really enjoyable game as long as you like being creeped out and scared senseless from time to time. It is a masterclass of textures and sound that combine into a magical experience albeit terrifying at times!
I’d give it a solid 8/10. Improve the hitboxes and it would be 9/10