Games of the Year


Sylvio Screenshot 1
Sylvio Screenshot 2
Sylvio Screenshot 3
Sylvio Screenshot 4
Sylvio Screenshot 5
Sylvio is a psychological horror game set in a tranquil, disturbing atmosphere. Ghost recorder Juliette Waters trespasses into an abandoned family park, shut down since a landslide in 1971. The voices of the deceased captured on her reel-to-reel recorder reveals a tale of an evil curse and a wicked family cult, currently living in the park. First-person horror with a multi-layered story. 10 - 15 hours gameplay. Open world exploration by foot or car. Conduct seances, search for voices in the static, and analyze your recordings with a unique audio gameplay mechanic.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

ASMR Horror done right first time. Ticks all the boxes and although graphically a little "retro" this title still manages to invoke a great sense of spine chilled terror through use of exquisite audio used throughout the game aided by a top-notch voice actress.
The game is getting on a bit now but it's priced fairly and offers a lot of content as well.

Review from Steam

Terror Meter 1/10
Narrative Intrigue 4/10
Visuals 2/10
Difficulty 3/10
Length <4hrs
Sylvio is a Puzzle Exploration Shooter game, with a creepy atmosphere which takes place over large maps. The player is exploring the remnants of an old theme park, and what brought the place to ruin. With the use of Audio Recording Equipment, listen to the ghosts and discover what actually happened.
On each map the player explores, they will be looking for ghostly apparitions which can either take the form of a general location, white orbs or black clouds. Locations are simply points the player will be guided towards to record a ghostly apparition. The white orbs are passive and the player will simply need to find the correct spot around them in order to record the ghost. While the black clouds can injure the player should they get close. In order to get rid of the black clouds the player needs to use the potato gun with a sharp object to injure them, the amount of shots needed to kill a black cloud increases through the game. Once the player destroys the cloud they are able to then record the ghost.
If the player destroys all of the black clouds in an area then a giant ghost will spawn, like with the black clouds the player will need to load their potato gun with sharp objects and shoot each enough times to deal with them, the amount of shots escalates per level the player is on. Should you get too close to the giant ghost the player will be injured and collapse, the ghosts will attack the player with a black fog from a distance which will also cause damage. The black cloud can be hard to see, and may kill the player before they realise what is happening. Once the giant ghost is dealt with the player will once more be able to record audio.
Once the player has recorded a ghost they will need to listen to what the ghost says by rewinding and listening to the tape. The player may need to go back and forwards through each recording at different speeds before they can find the ghost's message. I found the puzzles of working out what the ghost was saying to be one of the more enjoyable parts of the game, as each time you listened to the ghost stories you found out more of what actually happened in the park.
It is not easy to find the ghost apparitions, the player will need to explore old structures and attractions. In order to get through them the player will need to complete puzzles to open up the maps. This will be done with the use of the Potato gun and hard objects which can be used to knock over objects. The puzzles are not difficult, but can be hard to find some of the locations with there only being one approach.
The player will be traversing large maps in the game in order to find the ghosts' apparitions, the player will need to drive to get from point to point as locations can be minutes away from each other. Driving in Sylvio is very basic, though does suffer with some ragdoll moments which can send the car spinning should the player crash.
Sylvio’s story is interesting with lots of events leading up to the collapse of the park, and multiple stories coalescing from different perspectives. The story is told in such a disjointed way that it makes it really intriguing trying to learn more of what happened. Now saying that, by the time I was near the end of the game, I did get confused on what was happening anymore, to the point I would need to go through the game again to work out what goes on at the end.
Sylvio is not difficult, the problem comes that it is really easy to get confused on puzzles, parts can easily be missed, while others parts you may not realise you can interact with. This seems to be at worst in the Carnival, in which multiple attractions need to be interacted with in different ways to progress the game. At the same time puzzles that involve dropping platforms can be invisible in the red fog unless you are at the correct angle. It can come to such a problem that if you just do not notice a bullseye you can be wandering in circles for ages trying to find a way in.
When it comes to visuals, Sylvio is not a nice game to look at, maps can be bare, or so coated in mist that most locations are hard to make out. The theme park visuals of the early game are quickly lost to bare maps, in which the player will spend a lot of the game just driving from place to place. Buildings feel compact and tight, and having to explore them is both annoying and compact.
Do not come into Sylvio expecting a horror game, at times it can be creepy with the story behind the events and seeking ghosts. There are no scares, or real threats apart from dealing with the giant ghostly forms, shooting dark clouds at the player.
Still I really enjoyed Sylvio, and I am not really sure why. The puzzles were fun, and offered a fair challenge to work out where to go, some of the more enjoyable ones were tactically shooting potatoes to open doors. The story was interesting, though I did get a bit confused the further I went in. I guess I truly enjoyed the game because it is such a unique experience that I find it hard to compare it to other games.
If you want to see what the gameplay is like then check the video below, I would advise you just about twenty minutes in, to see more of the exploration parts:
You can find other games I recommend in my curator feed:

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