Silk, the ancient silk road – First Sip Review
A tale as old as time. Manage your resources, travel the world, and try not to die. Only this time, there’s a twist. It’s in 3D!
Silk is an indie game by Huey Games on the Nintendo Switch. It takes your standard RPG and throws it into a 3D environment. The characters you choose, the fights you pick, and the resources you take will determine if you survive the hostile world, or die trying.
The Story – 3/5
The overarching story is based around the Ancient Silk Road, which according to the game’s description, is a road that existed around 200AD that connected Roman Damascus to the Three Kingdoms of China.
You are presented with a very basic task – explore the world with your companions. Along the way you encounter tribes, you can either parlay with or attack. You’re given options to appease the gods with sacrifices or brave the world without their blessing. Untold secrets are hidden across the vast land. Can you find them all?
The game boasts hundreds of unique playable characters to take with you on your journey, each one with different combinations of attributes and abilities. All these unique people with unique choices will shape how you succeed and which strategies you use.
The Graphics 3/5
The 3D graphics are basic. You have 2D images like animals and hills on top of 3D ground. It does lend a certain charm to the game, but I don’t feel as though it adds anything to the experience. This game could have easily been almost exclusively top-down and it would have felt more or less the same. Sometimes different isn’t better. Sometimes it’s just different.
Meanwhile, the 2D images are of high quality. The designs of the buildings you come across are organic and pleasant to the eye. While most of the wildlife and enemies you encounter are mere silhouettes, they are shaped realistically.
The character designs are well done, if not a little plain. The way the characters speak gives each one a clear personality. You have to rely on their ideas and opinions to make the right choice, otherwise, you may lose battles and lose supplies. Some characters are more trustworthy than others, it seems. They each have their own stats, too, that will determine if their actions are successful or not. Choosing the right team is essential to succeed.
The Sound 2.5/5
The game overall is very quiet. When the music does bless you with its presence, it is lovely. Chiming but also a little wild, perfect for an RPG adventure. But when the music leaves you – and it leaves you quite often – it makes the world seem very empty. Between the vast and mostly open terrain and the shy music, the game feels very empty.
Meanwhile, the voice acting is superb. I know I’ve said it already, but the voices sound exactly like you’d imagine characters speaking in an RPG. Clear, natural, and distinct for the character. There’s nothing I’d change about the voice acting.
The Gameplay 3/5
As mentioned above, moving through a 3D world doesn’t impact the game very much. How far you travel each day depends on what you’re carrying with you. The more you carry, the more you can sell. The lighter you travel, the faster you can go. Balancing your load and your speed is necessary to make a profit.
The gameplay can get a bit repetitive once you’ve trial-and-errored your way to the best options your characters provide. It’s key to figure out who is best at catching wild animals, who is best at bartering prices, and who is the best fighter. Figuring out all these details can be challenging, but rewarding.
In my playthrough of the game, I started out strong, taking out small villages and looting their resources. But the more I explored, the harder the game became. I ran into patrols and kingdoms that I had no chance of beating. The punishment of being defeated is detrimental, taking away significant chunks of important resources. Sometimes if you can’t get away fast enough, you get beaten again.
Being defeated just once drives you to the point it is a very slow, very arduous recovery, and one wrong move can send you back to the brink. After a while you manage to buy a handful of soldiers, only to lose them the next day.
It’s not an easy game, that’s for sure. But I can imagine with enough caution and strategy it could be a rewarding experience. I feel as though there are depths that I did not achieve and secrets I did not uncover. Perhaps you can brave the journey and discover what I did not.
The Final Verdict – 55/100
Even with the 3D element, Silk is a pretty standard RPG. All in all, it’s pretty average. I wouldn’t say there are any groundbreaking new ideas associated with it, but I’d imagine those that enjoy adventure RPGs will enjoy Silk.
For a portable RPG on the Nintendo Switch – not bad! I’d be interested to see how this game and the developers progress.
You can get Silk on the Nintendo Switch: https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/silk-switch/
Silk Review Summary
Dana is a published urban fantasy author and writing industry speaker. When she’s not writing novels, she enjoys playing video games and writing gaming articles. A little bit zany, a little all over the place, mostly just happy to be here.