Money, it's the form and volume which creates projects, launches ideas, and releases new opportunities. Sadly, without funds or investment most projects don’t see the light of day, and the story of Attic Salt Studio isn’t unique, nor will be the last one around. Studios close doors all the time, postponing their projects or simply cancelling them.
The studio’s first released game was True Odds, which was even greenlit by the Steam community, but it’s now only available on Itch. Misadventures of Laura Silver however, was originally planned to be an episodic game, but as you probably know by now, the studio has cancelled any further development.
Released during the summer of 2019, Misadventures of Laura Silver is a high-quality Visual Novel focusing on the detective Laura Silver and the newly arrived rookie, Cooper. The game offers everything a fan of Noir detective thrillers would love: The classic 30’s setting, intriguing characters, and a rich plot that dives into large possibilities.
There is no doubt in my mind that the world of Miss Silver and her misadventures was built thinking into the future, and that this first “chapter”, despite having over 8 hours of gameplay, also serves as a personification of characters and an introduction to its world of secret agencies and paranormal beings.
The story is very well written, with class and adding a proper personality to each character. However, it is a little bit predictable when it comes to the whole “detective” business, but it does add a few twists I clearly wasn’t expecting. You can tell that passion and love was put into the game, with attention and care given to its characters.
At its core, the game is without a doubt a Visual Novel, with only two very short moments where it resembles a Point & Clicker, allowing players to click on different locations to find clues regarding Silver’s case. There are no other instances where such gameplay events happen. There is, however, a mini-game section where players must create a montage of events by re-organizing phrases.
I personally don’t think adding more of these mini-games would increase the base quality, simply because they are not entirely polished. They are well implemented for sure, but don’t feel solid enough, which is contrary to the in-game choices. There are four different endings and each one is really interesting, so it’s definitely recommended to go through each one.
Artistically, characters are especially well designed, with charming traces and a very familiar western style. Definitely the visual fidelity you would see in any comic book worthy of your money. In fact, the whole visual presentation is quite inspired by comic books, starting from the fonts themselves.
Renders have multiple expressions, all highly suiting their attitude, sometimes even from different angles. There is a lot of quality and effort put into the design, and I’m not talking exclusively about the renders, as we have an animated intro and several sketches where the art becomes far more interesting with special scenes and comic book-like moments.
There is no doubt the visual presentation has a high-quality level, representing well the story, placement, and setting. Backgrounds are perhaps the least impressive element, but I can’t really say they are bad, since they allow players to focus on the main characters, avoiding distractions from the background.
Matching the narrative, characters, and setting, we have a great soundtrack. It’s simple but captures the whole detective vibe. A crossover between jazz, blues, and the classic mystery themes we’ve come to know so well through movies. The soundtrack is not always present, but rather in specific key moments of the plot.
Overall, Misadventures of Laura Silver is a solid Visual Novel, with a fantastic scenario and interesting characters. Unfortunately we may never see the second chapter, but that does not mean we cannot enjoy this indie title, and imagine what other adventure Miss Silver would indulge herself into in the future.