Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Oct 062021
 

I first heard about the Silver Fall series when Silver Falls – 3 Down Stars was announced for the 3DS.

It looked fairly ambitious, and there weren’t a lot of 3DS games still being made. However, it was exclusive to the New Nintendo 3DS, so me and my original 3DS were out of luck.

So I was intrigued when I learned a new entry in the series was being made for the Switch, called Silver Falls Episode Prelude. I ended up winning it in a contest, so I decided to play it this October.

You play a deliveryman making a late-night delivery to a house that seems eerily abandoned, with notes that suggest something sinister has occurred. Episode Prelude is short, with its story mode taking under an hour to complete. Unfortunately, it’s also a little tedious.

The start of the game has the puzzle-solving elements of survival horror that I love. The house is locked and no one is answering, so you need to find a way inside by finding items to help you access other items, and so on.

However, this part of the game takes place in a wide open space with no threat, so it comes down to scouring the environment (first in the dark, then mercifully with a flashlight) for anything you can interact with. There is eventually a threat, although not as much of one as I expected for the number of items I was picking up.

The storyline in Episode Prelude is unclear, maybe because it’s a prelude. Aside from the ill-fated delivery, you spend some time talking to your boss, who is depressed about a vaguely-referenced incident, and later on you’re searching for him after a sudden transition.

I couldn’t shake the feeling that if I’d played the previous Silver Falls games, these characters and events might mean more to me.

What Silver Falls does do well is its atmosphere. Reading the notes in the first area to get a glimpse of the sinister events that unfolded there was one of the most interesting parts of the game, and there was a great moment later on where I looked up to see eerie green lights in the sky.

There’s also a battle mode, unlocked after you complete the story, which lets you fight waves of enemies. That might be a greater draw for some players.

Overall, Silver Falls Episode Prelude just wasn’t for me. It has some nice ideas, but it mainly just left me wondering if I’d enjoy the original game more.

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  2 Responses to “Celebrating All Things Spooky: Silver Falls Episode Prelude”

  1. Games being specific to the New 3DS feels so weird to me, since it was sold as more an upgrade but for some ended up being a newer console… that then got swiftly replaced by the Switch. Or at least, it felt swift to me, similar to the Wii U situation. Anyway, at least the game was only an hour-ish?

    • The New Nintendo 3DS was out for 3 years before the Switch launched, so I wouldn’t say it was that swift of a replacement. But yeah, there’s a handful of exclusives out there for it (I think the Xenoblade port was another one).

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