App Reviewed on: iPhone SE
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Silent Streets is a gamebook/adventure game, but not a typical one. In it, you must investigate the town of Snowport by using your phone to track your steps between destinations. This Fitbit-meets-game idea is certainly a novel one, but it can also be cause for some frustration.
Hit the streets
Silent Streets has you assume the role of a detective that has just arrived to the town of Snowport, a dark and mysterious city. Not far into your journey, you come across a murder, and you must wander from place to place, speaking with the citizens of the town and examining evidence to figure out exactly what happened.
All of this action plays much like you'd expect a standard adventure game except when it comes to gathering evidence and moving from location to location. When examining crime scenes, Silent Streets switches to an augmented reality (AR) camera that lets you pick out evidence in your real life surroundings, and moving to the next place requires you to walk a number of real-life steps to get there.
The AR and step counting aspects of Silent Streets require that you dedicate some real time to walking and looking around your actual surroundings, which is a weird and actually kind of rewarding experience. There are even moments in the game where time pressure is placed on you to move between locations, which can make the simple act of moving in Silent Streets quite exhilarating.
If you aren't exactly up for doing real life actions to play your video games, Silent Streets offers alternate ways to play it. The AR camera can simply be turned off, and players can purchase Cab Tokens to move locations without having to walk. That said, I wouldn't recommend turning either of these features off, as doing so just turns Silent Streets into a pretty conventional gamebook-style adventure game.
Stop in your tracks
As novel as Silent Streets's walking mechanics can be, there are also times where they are cause for some frustration. The step counter doesn't always seem to register steps right, and the game isn't particularly good at notifying you about any times where your step-tracking might be paused.
The time-sensitive walks can also be a bit of a bummer. Sometimes they initiate at moments where you don't have the time to complete them. Failing any of these missions doesn't result in an immediate game over, but it can be annoying to know that your story outcomes may change simply because the game asked you to walk for 20 minutes when you didn't have that kind of time.
The bottom line
Silent Streets is a rather conventional adventure game that has some unconventional mechanics. They don't always work the way you want them to, but when they do, it makes for a pretty enriching experience. If you're looking for a game that might make you go out for a walk, make sure to take this one with you.