App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
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Far from Noise is a peculiar narrative game from the mind of George Batchelor about a young woman who is trapped in a car that is teetering on the edge of a cliff. What transpires across the entirety of the game is equal parts small, bizarre, and intimate, making for an enjoyable and relaxing dialogue-based experience.
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In a lot ways, Far from Noise feels like a one act play of a game. The whole things takes place on a cliffside and there’s no real change of scenery besides transitions in the weather and time of day. Being that you’re trapped in a car, it’s probably not surprising that there’s not a whole lot of movement in Far from Noise, but then again, it’s hard to imagine what to expect in such a situation.
For the most part, Far from Noise has you choosing dialogue options for your character as she talks to herself, the car, and anything else that might wander into view of this precarious scene. A lot of this dialogue starts out pretty panicky, but moves to some interesting places the further you get into the game.
Although your character is never in any less danger throughout Far from Noise, she manages to spend quite a lot of time talking about things other than the fact that her life is literally in the balance. This might seem a little unrealistic, but that’s ok. Wilder things happen in the game than that, plus the meandering dialogue in Far from Noise does a great job of capturing a character’s thoughts and feelings in a moment of intense introspection.
The primary interaction you have with Far from Noise is through determining the direction of where this dialogue goes. A lot of the game consists of you simply tapping through pre-set dialogue, but there are times where you get to choose multiple options. Some of these options can get really clever and even sassy at times, but the game never really branches wildly from the main story.
Without much choice or movement, Far from Noise might sound like a pretty dull experience, but that’s where you’d be wrong. The game is certainly a lot less exciting than other games out there, but it takes place in a vibrant and ever-changing scene that is almost always bursting with color and emotive musical cues. Sure, nothing changes particularly quickly in Far from Noise, but its slow pace is actually quite refreshing.
Everything in Far from Noise is deliberate, and the game’s pace allows you to notice and appreciate all of its little details as you play through it. Mechanically, visually, and narratively, there might not seem like much to Far from Noise, but all of these things reflect your character’s situation and give you a reason to focus on it, and it's all done incredibly well.
The bottom line
Games are often loud and overwhelming in their attempts to provide an escape, but Far from Noise is essentially the exact opposite. It pares things down and quiets them to a point that you can’t help but feel like you’re also stuck in a car and having the same thoughts as the main character. In a traditional sense, this might not make for a particularly empowering game experience, but that’s fine. We have enough of those already.