Silt is a short underwater puzzler that doesn’t overstay its welcome. I was expecting to love it, but it didn’t quite hit that mark for me.
In Silt, you play as a scuba diver that has the ability to possess fish and other aquatic animals/creatures that swim around in this gorgeous black and white alien-like underwater world. Each animal you possess has a unique ability, for example, one fish can chomp through cables and another one can phase-shift to pass through obstacles. You can even possess electric eels which you can use to power up underwater generators. Yes, I know, it sounds weird like underwater generators, what?
But this whole game is weird. This underwater world is fascinatingly weird and while you swim around you’ll see all sorts of intriguing things from giant metallic structures in the background forming a cityscape and large machines to a temple filled with creepy animal-humanoid statues and some fractal-ish places. Wild, weird stuff and I am all for it and to be completely honest, it’s the main reason why I finished the game.
You see, the gameplay or better say the puzzles are not that well designed, let me explain. Usually, in puzzle games, there’s a slight “onboarding” for each mechanic. The game either tells you straight up what to do or something like a background animation or a “cutscene” plays out that shows you what happens if you combine X with Y. In Silt, there’s nothing like that. There’s only a prompt or two that tells you how to possess something and that’s it, good luck. In hindsight, the “solutions” to the puzzles make sense, but how am I supposed to know in the first place that if a creature that I am possessing can get poisoned and then if it gets eaten by another creature, this last one dies and opens up a path?
There are some frustrating sequences like this one throughout the game where you’ll swim around aimlessly trying and failing to find the solution. Luckily the art design is really good and if you play it on a big OLED TV as I did, the black and white aesthetic looks amazing. I just wish they explained stuff better, that’s all.
Silt is a short experience set in a beautiful and creepy black and white underwater world, that doesn’t overstay its welcome. That’s a good thing cause the puzzle design is a little shallow. Having said that, I would still recommend giving it a chance. Thanks for reading.
The game was reviewed on a Series X using a code provided by the publisher. Silt is now available on Playstation, Xbox, Switch & PC.