The Lion’s Song: Episode 1 – Silence on PC
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a fan of the point-and-click adventure genre. The Lion’s Song, an episodic release following this format, is no different. Each chapter of this ongoing tale focuses on an artist, musician, or other creative personality as they struggle to find inspiration and move forward with their work. The first episode, Silence, follows a young musician named Wilma as she strives to keep up with the rising expectations of her mentor.
The Lion’s Song opens with a brief introductory scene of a young man boarding a train bound for Vienna, leaving his parents behind. As the train pulls out of the station, he reminisces about Wilma leaving on the very same train before. I got the sense that the two are family of a sort, but nothing is spelled out. From here, the episode begins in earnest, and the player finds themselves taking on the role of Wilma directly.
Wilma is a budding musician, rising to popularity in the halls of Vienna’s Musikverein, an institute run by her mentor, Arthur. As our story begins, Arthur is reminding her of the immense pressure that this can create, and suggests that she spend some time by herself at his cabin, deep in the Alps. The conversation comes off somewhat forceful, and soon enough, Wilma is hiking the last stretch to reach the cabin before a storm breaks.
Most of this inaugural episode of The Lion’s Song takes place there in the cabin, where players must help Wilma concentrate and find inspiration for her work in progress. Unlike other point-and-click titles, there’s no real moving around; rather, players interact with various objects around the cabin’s interior and exterior in set scenes, while Wilma narrates her internal struggles to focus amid the sounds of the storm and the unfamiliar location.
Beneath the drive to work on her composition, Silence’s well-written story also centers around Wilma’s infatuation with Arthur. It feels a little too simple a story, at times, but the flowing prose of the game’s narration and Wilma’s bizarre dreams keep things moving. The course of Wilma’s work is decided by player choices, and the overall story of The Lion’s Song develops differently in future chapters based on what players decide to do while helping Wilma work.
It is tough to get a real feel for the way that The Lion’s Song will continue to play out through only one episode, but Silence still serves as a great introductory chapter. The look and gameplay are firmly rooted in the retro style common for its genre, but it is backed with an artful writing style that captures the essence of the creative process well. I’m very curious to see how future episodes play out, and how my own choices in Silence will affect them. Though the episode itself is very short, you can check it out for free on Steam to get a feel for the game ahead of the next chapter’s release.
Score: 4/5 – Great