Sylvio is a psychological horror game set in a tranquil, disturbing atmosphere. Help ghost recorder Juliette Waters face an evil curse and a wicked family cult with her microphone and the voices of the dead.
User reviews:
Overall:
Positive (46 reviews) - 82% of the 46 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jun 5, 2015

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Recent updates View all (7)

May 20

Trading Cards and Update!

Some of you have been requesting this from the very beginning, so I'm very happy to finally release a set of Sylvio Trading Cards, Emoticons, Badges and Backgrounds. Hope you like them.

New in the latest update:

Reset car! If the car gets stuck or rolls over, exit the car and hold action button while looking at it.
Achievements Sheet no 5 and Piano Player were broken and are now fixed.
Various bugs and issues fixed. If you're wondering about something in particular, mail me at bugs@sylviogame.com







1 comments Read more

May 2

Sylvio Remastered is live!

Hey all! For the last six months I've rebuilt Sylvio in Unity 5. The graphics are now better, the GUI has been remade, the gameplay mechanic has been improved,and it now has full controller support for nearly all controllers on the market.

I am very excited about this major update, I hope you'll like it too.

If you find any bugs or strange behaviour, please mail your experiences to bugs@sylviogame.com along with your specs and the player log (if possible).

Now: A brief pause and then onwards to the development of Sylvio 2.
A thousand thanks for playing!

//Niklas

16 comments Read more

Reviews

“Sylvio succeeds at every single thing it wants to do. Games don’t do this kind of hermetic horror often, and Sylvio makes zero concessions.”
80/100 – KillScreen

“It’s a quiet horror game – an anti-screamer, right down to the calm almost-whispers of the protagonist – and it’s a triumph.”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

“It's exciting, charmingly indie and above all, just the right amount of scary.”
8/10 – IGN

About This Game

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
  • Full controller support
  • Nominated as Best Original Game at the TIGA Awards
  • Voice acting by critically acclaimed actress Maia Hansson Bergqvist

Sylvio was originally released in 2015, and was re-released through an update with a completely remastered version in 2016.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7 or higher
    • Processor: Dual core 2.4GHz
    • Memory: 2048 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Video card with 512 MB of VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Use headphones if possible.
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.7+
    • Memory: 2048 MB RAM
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Use headphones if possible.
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Positive (46 reviews)
Recently Posted
Jamie
( 8.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 27
What an underrated little gem of a horror story. With some soft spoken scares and a slow burning horror, this is something to lose some sleep over for me. Sylvio is probably going to go down as my favorite horror game. It's a little early yet, but I'm already in love with it. It's odd...and that's why it's so great. Sometimes, Sylvio is trying to do different things at once because it knows it doesn't have to be just one thing. Horror doesn't have to be about making a player constantly ♥♥♥♥ themselves. And I think that's what makes it great. The fact it's juggling a few things at once? Sure. Let's embrace it.

Sure, collecting EVPs and hearing those ghostly voices from "beyond the grave" is enough of a horror premise, but it's the story that you slowly put together from the ravaged land around you and these little voices whispering about the trees and these mysterious deaths they suffered. That makes this game all the more spooky.

Sylvio is also throwing in a few things that aren't exactly needed, but do give the game some charm and force it to stand out compared to other generic horror games. There's some basic shooting. Nothing you need to headshot with, but enough to keep the angry spirits away. I wonder why they don't like shards of glass and nails, considering they don't have a body. I mean...eh. No spoilers. No spoilers, I actually know what happens even if I'm not there yet. Anyway, rather than add on something that makes this clunky and unneeded, it's sort of nice. There's a bit of anxiety while you're wielding your microphone and you're ganked by an angry orb. You do have to figure out the best ammo to help you while managing collecting recordings. It's a pretty interesting combo. Sort of the whole "you got your chocolate in my peanut butter" sensation that we all can't live without.

There's also a bit of wonky platforming going on. You feel like a weird sort of Mario or Sly Cooper, except you're Juliette...and you're trying to help some ghosts pass on...and uncover one creeptastic mystery of a family "fun" park. Hah. Fun. Yeah real fun. This platforming may cause you to think you've broken the game, but chances are you didn't. You were supposed to hop that fence. You were supposed to find that hole. It's all intended and part of the design... And through hopping around, you'll actually progress the plot. So feel free to climb on things! Admittedly, it's an odd feeling. If you've stood in the middle of Stormwind (or any major city/town) in World of Warcraft and just attempted to jump on everything, that's sort of the feeling you're going to get. This isn't bad. You're just going to feel really weird and like you're breaking the rules.

The story is haunting. The bloody reds of the land make you think about just how tainted that soil must be with all of the people who died in the disaster and other things that the "helpful" ghostly voices suggest to you. It's a pretty beautiful picture. A pretty spooky picture, if I might say. Places are decaying and have proper technology for the time period (yay 70s tech). Everything is researched correctly. Do you smell that? It's the smell of someone who got it right. Ahhhh. Someone who cared enough to do a good job. I've noticed some mention our leading lady's voice, but... I like it. I'm really not looking for someone hyperactive and peppy when she talks to herself. A mumble and a soft musing to herself in passing while she's doing her work? That sounds about accurate when someone is talking to themselves. She sounds authentic as a person to me. For this, I find most of the game very appealing and even worth mentioning because it's better than what I was expecting. Please. Don't feel "inspired". Do what you're doing. You feel more real to me.

When you play this game, it's not going to tell you anything. At least, that's my experience. Read the instructions, scrub. Get lost? Pull them up in game. Lost in game? Hold out your microphone and let the spirits guide you. Creepy but effective. I would have liked some instruction. I don't need a lot! I'm an independent gamer who don't need no tutorial level! Just...some sort of instruction. Something small. A blurb. Though I have to admit, just flashing use buttons in front of me did give me the right idea since I had bothered to read the instructions a few times. A minor gripe. It's just me.

A more major gripe is the car. I hate the car. I understand it's useful considering some maps are huge, but the controls for the car are absolute garbage. Considering the area isn't flat and you'll constantly run into trees or you're stuck trying to figure out if the car is in reverse mode or forward mode (yeah left and right will get switched if you're in one or the other, I've found!). That's something I would personally remove from the game entirely. It's not helpful. It's frustrating. It added on so much extra time and most of that was spent flipping my car over constantly. I've played similar portions to that in my driver's ed class when I was about fifteen years old. Listen, I'm over it. If I wanted to play that, I still have the link TEN YEARS LATER. I'm over it. Really. If the controls could be a little more polished, awesome. But honestly? Juliette runs better on foot and I find more EVPs that way, so the car is garbage. It was great for the purpose, and it's just garbage otherwise. You can just get out of the car and run. This is allowed. I feel like this choice makes up for it, but you gave us a pretty car... I'd like to use the pretty thing without it not working.

That rant out of the way? Please don't let that deter you from the game. I'm quite a fan of a slow burn horror that doesn't rely on jump scares. There are few in the game, if any. This story disturbs and upsets me, yet I want to keep playing not only to see it through, but because the EVP function is so unique and fun. It's delightfully creepy and I also feel heartbroken because you can hear the sadness from some of the named souls you're communicating with. It's a wonderful experience. Repeat after me. WE CAN DITCH THE CAR. This is not Thelma and Louise. It doesn't have to go over the cliff with us!

So...it's not Outlast. It's not a jumpscare fest of "OOOH RUN FROM THE SILLY-FACED MONSTER!" like Amnesia. This is a thinking horror game. You have to really take in the details and just sit there while realizing, my god they did this in a game! This is something you'd find in your worst nightmares or played out in some sort of horror series on tv! It's good! I mean, hey, it's not perfect! But it's certainly better than what I'm watching on tv right now!

Nothing badly flashy so far. I compared this to the original Sylvio that had a great deal of distortion during the fighting sequence with the uh, "mean orbs" and that would probably give you more health issues than this. But so far, I've been able to play this without any major problems. It's a pretty nice game...and they didn't force me to play the car part, so that felt awfully nice!

Please play. I'd honestly say this is something to offer to people who love ghost hunting shows, horror games that are not what everyone else is clamoring for, and people who may not be used to heavy horror jump scares but might want to try out a horror game. It's got a bit of mystery to it, so mystery lovers may also enjoy if they're willing to embrace a paranormal element.

A very nice game. Again, probably going to be my favorite horror game...and I'll just...ditch that car in the clay somewhere and ride on an overgrown raven to somewhere nice. Just lemme know when the sequel comes out because I'll be waiting...
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hhaze111681
( 2.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 15
I hate this game. It's beyond frustrating. I can't get past the very beginning when you're supposed to be shooting nails at this stupid black fog that looks like the rest of the darkness beyond my flashlight. I never see the fog and I repeatedly get killed. I was excited about it and it seemed like a unique mechanic, but playing this repeatedly and receiving the same result enrages me to the point I don't want to play it. If I had a cheap controller I would have smashed it by now. This is how much this game's mechanic irritates me.
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IPlayNaked
( 13.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 22
A good horror game. A lot of effort have been made on the sound and the results are really good on that point. But the game is more a "collect pieces to solve puzzles" kind of game. And horror is not really present, probably because danger is not there either. It's a dark ambience, but that's all the horror you will find here.

Story seems minimalist after the firt try: I didn't really understand what it was about in details (but it may be intentional by the devs.). I prefer game with more story, but I was surprise to find out how compelling this story was.

It took me 9 hours to complete and, by the end, it was becoming a little tedious and repetitive.

I will probably play this game again, so there is obvioously something good in it. I recommend it, but don't have too much expectation for this title.
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Kain Klarden
( 12.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 16
Sylvio might look like "yet another Unity engine First Person horror adventure game", but it's not. It does things in a very unique and interesting way and it all boils down to the fact, that the game is all centered around the EVP - Electronic Voice Phenomena. If you were every interested in any paranormal things you might understand that no matter how unscientific and disproven this is, it can still be a thrilling theme to explore. Hence the popularity of the topic not only in classic horror movies, but in modern ones as well. Yet, surprisingly, not a single game (to my knowledge) before Sylvio has dedicated itself fully to it.

Your main tool in this game is your is a reel-to-reel tape recorder that can play recorded audio at different speeds forwards or backwards. Which is important, because the voices you will hear in the dark can be speaking not "normally", but slowly and backwards, for example. It's a simple enough puzzle gimmick and not hard to master, but it creates a genuine sense of mystery and thrill, when you're recording some long died kid's voice in the middle of nowhere and suddenly in the same recording you hear a different voice say backwards "he's mine". It's such a simple yet effective way to tell a story - in short disjointed messages you record and decipher, - and to build an atmosphere that it doesn't get old until the end of the game.

What does get a bit old is "hunting ghosts" - angry black clouds and human silhouettes, - with a weird rifle you find early in the game, that shoots blunt objects to solve simple physics puzzles and sharp objects to pacify the aforementioned ghosts. It starts surprising and creepy, but later becomes a simple routine as you can't actually die or lose meaningful progress in the game and these black ghosts are very much finite per level, as each one leaves a message to decipher. The rifle ammo and pressure management becomes pretty annoying in later levels too, one funfair-themed one in particular long overstays its welcome and relies heavily on using the rifle in a very unfun way.

In addition, the game can be quite buggy. The hub-map you revisit between levels, for example, is traversed with a car and that car can behave abnormally or you can exit it and suddenly ploish through the floor, which sometimes spawns you above the level, but sometimes doesn't and you have to restart the game (it does save all the things you've completed but you always start near the beginning of the level). It's a pretty ugly looking game as well, despite the Remastered version upping the looks. And the menu is very lacking in settings, while the help & controls option is just a huge image file you need to scroll, with no rebindable keys to speak of.

All in all, the game could've used a bigger budget upgrade with few levels and puzzles rethought and a switch to a fully open interconnected world Vanishing of Ethan Carter-like. But, we don't have that yet. What we have is a very exciting, atmospheric game with fantastic 80s horror synth soundtrack and unique mechanics. It's unforgettable and fun, despite it's shortcomings and honestly muddled ending, and I fully recommend people trying it out.

P.S. Is it a weird coincidence, that the game has a logo similar to Aphex Twin's, who released a new LP called "Syro" in 2014? Great record, by the way.

P.P.S. Have you been to Honolulu?
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Myself9
( 5.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 16
I'm maybe 1/3 way through the game, and I'm really enjoying it so far.

The game uses sound and atmosphere, rather than jump scares, for fear and uneasiness. Quite refreshing. I dare say the creep factor of Sylvio is up there with Fatal Frame.

A "relaxing" horror game for us grown-ups :)

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Belphegore
( 0.4 hrs on record )
Posted: May 8
In Sylvio, you are Juliette Waters, a woman who is fascinated with Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP). While wandering an abandoned family fun park, she attempts to unravel the mystery of what happened, and seeks the souls that still reside there. Originally released in 2015, the game recently gained a remastered update for the Unity 5 engine.

I've been waiting to buy this title for a while now, and so I thought that the most recent 50% off sale was a good time to pick it up. The unique idea behind Sylvio, where you attempt to communicate with spirits with an EVP microphone in particularly, appealed to me as it's a concept I have not seen before. Unfortunately, I feel that the game severely lacks direction in the beginning, which caused me to lose all interest almost immediately.

You start out wandering aimlessly around the park, with no sense of direction or what you are supposed to do. Eventually, I'm not sure if it's a timed event or a certain tile that you need to walk on, you will fall through the ground into a basement where you become trapped. You must find your way out, and in doing so you're led to a garage where the first puzzle lies in wait. Out of nowhere, I fell over and came back to a checkpoint. Confused, I proceeded back to the place where I last was and found out that some big black "smoke monster", that looks like it came straight out of Lost, was headed for me. I grabbed my potato launcher and attempted to shoot it, I tried to use my microphone on it, and for about 15 minutes I kept repeatedly "dying"; which is just a fancy term in this game for falling over and restarting at a certain location.

I became frustrated, especially when I managed to somehow get the monster to go away, only to have it return a few seconds later, so I quit the game. It also doesn't help that the controls are completely convoluted, and there's absolutely zero in-game tutorial to help you get used to them. On top of this, there was hardly any background music or ambiance, leaving my experience very empty and rather boring; I honestly felt no compelling reason to continue playing Sylvio beyond the first half an hour.

It's rare that I will write a review for a game that I have not finished, but Sylvio really lacks anything substantial within the first 30 minutes of its existence. This is an important time frame, where it's usually make or break for most players. Unfortunately, it's break for me. Perhaps if the game had more direction prior to branching off into an open world EVP/Ghost Hunting game it would've fared better, but I've seen in other reviews that most latter parts of the game are spent needlessly wandering around also. I've actually refunded this title, I think I'll go for DreadOut: KotD instead.

Rating: 2.0/5.0 - It's not awful, but it's not great.
Belphegore's Hell House Reviews (Group)
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Unknown2585
( 1.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 5
wow i must admit that the game looks alot better, but the controls and the fact that i have no idea what the ♥♥♥♥ is going on. I'm just wandering round a park looking for keys, opening locks and listening to random voices on a microphone. i have a potato gun for some reason, yeah thats right a potato gun ,yeah that makes sense. The controls for the xbox controller,god really! i really thinking this devloper has never used one before. ♥♥♥♥ it just really awkward, god forbid you ever need to look up or down. ♥♥♥♥ me talk about over sensitive.this game has nothing interesting to keep you playing. it just feels like pineview drive. boring as ♥♥♥♥. It has no atmosphere at all and my god whats with the voice of the woman your playing, its just one tone voice is it really that hard to find someone with some emotion in there voice. i wish the developer good luck with your sequel but i promise you this i will not be getting it sorry.
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sevendaygameplay
( 12.6 hrs on record )
Posted: March 27
PLEASE IF ANYONE KNOWS HOW TI FIX THE CONTROLLER SUPPORT PLEASE TELL ME! I can't use items with the controller, the button it says tu use does not work :/ Other than that I love this game but Ireally want to use my controller.
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rjmacready
( 3.8 hrs on record )
Posted: February 18
Straight up, let's just say that the graphics of this game aren't much shakes. It's a good thing, then, that the makers of Sylvio understand the importance of SOUND in a horror game. In fact, with the exception of the trifling fact that they forgot to include the noise of your character's own FOOTSTEPS, they've pretty much based their entire game around it. That's the good news.

But before we get too far into the positive stuff, let's just concentrate on some early negative impressions. Along with the whole "silent footsteps" thing, you'd be forgiven for thinking that your character possesses full-blown powers of LEVITATION, as she seems to almost "float" above the ground rather than travel about on terra firma like the rest of us. She furthermore doesn't need her hands to hold flashlights and other objects in front of her.

Now, I know that such - let us say somewhat "abstracted" - interactive mechanics have hardly been uncommon since Amnesia: The Dark Descent, but when it's coupled with virtually nothing else which seems to "ground" your character in the real world...well, she almost might as well be one of the ghosts that she's chasing. She also seems able to jump or fall down enormous distances without, say, breaking both her legs like any of us regular mortals would.

Luckily for the game, though, it soon becomes interesting and unusual enough that I mostly - MOSTLY - managed to get past these reservations, at least until I quit the game altogether about four hours in. One way or another, there's certainly no denying that for all its ambition and relative innovation, it could have used quite a bit more polish before being unleashed on an unsuspecting public (especially at that price).

Another thing which made it a tad hard for me to get into - something which all you staunchly anti-"handholding" people are gonna chalk up as a pro, so what would I know? - is that it takes a while to get the gist of what exactly it is that the game wants you to "do". I mean, there's a lot of things in this game which are hardly intuitive: Not the controls (un-remappable; C for flashlight?), not the story ("I'm just sorta, kinda, gonna go in this big spooky park place and, I dunno, maybe talk to some ghosts, I guess"), and not the part where you use your microphone and tape player to decipher words or short phrases which the dead offer up to you, then get on-screen "distance metres" to tell you where you're supposed to go next as your "reward" for the information uncovered in the messages.

A few of the puzzles are admittedly quite clever, so there's definitely some good ideas here, and the actual "tape-decoding" bits are suitably spooky and novel in execution...helped in no small part by the fact that the ghostly voices are, to begin with, Euros speaking in what is clearly not their first language - i.e. English - so by the time that you slow down and speed up the voices, or play them in reverse, they ARE quite genuinely eerie-sounding!

Oh, and speaking of which, the voice acting is on the whole fairly decent - not great, but decent - and ♥♥♥♥ it, the GAME on the whole is pretty decent, if by no means perfect or astonishing. There's still a few other reservations that I have - some part of me isn't entirely sure that they shouldn't have passed on the infrequent and borderline-pointless "combat" elements of the game, for example, and just opted for an out-and-out "walking simulator" - but in the end, it was the extreme repetition and overall TEDIUM of the gaming experience which did in the patience of this particular player. I mean, I like a moody, snail-like pace as much as the next guy, but this game takes such "tasteful aesthetics" to new and frankly trying extremes.

I'm actually looking forward to the announced sequel to this game, because I think they got quite a lot "right" this time out, but also quite a bit "wrong". Undeniably interesting devs, in any case. I'm not gonna go so far as to say they've done something truly "original" here - I've already gotten in trouble for such bold claims in Steam reviews of late - but yes, definitely "different", and definitely worth a look to anyone who considers themselves genuinely interested in the numerous possibilities which the horror genre currently presents to game designers (maybe best to wait for a significant sale, though, just to be on the safe side).

Verdict: 7.5/10.
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gusgreco7
( 16.8 hrs on record )
Posted: February 15
genre : horror adventure game in 1st person

score : 8/10

Playing as Juliette Waters, you find yourself trapped in an abandoned family park and with the help of your gadgets, you have to discover the dark (ghost) story of the park and the landslide.

+ Excellent atmosphere, tense and very dark, no jump scares, presentation is very unique despite the fact that graphics could have been a lot better. The ghost bosses are fairly impressive and immersive.
+ No optimization issues, unity engine runs fine here.
+ Fantastic soundtrack, excellent voice acting and the in-game music is perhaps the best part of the game technically.
+ Gameplay seems a bit complicated at the beginning, until you find out how to use the gadgets and especially the gun, since the puzzles are sometimes tricky (especially those that require the use of the gun). You get clues of your next goal by using a stereo microphone which records sounds and points the way to spiritual activity. You interview ghosts and with the reel recorder you analyze and find hidden clues. You use the gun to solve puzzles and defeat the bad ghosts. Beware the gun can be loaded with things like rocks and then can be used to solve puzzles by hitting doors and levers or spikes and pieces of glass so that you can hit and defeat the ghosts. Some inventory based puzzles as well which are fairly obvious. Not much to find exploring rather than some notes in shelves and some piano sheets. You can move around by using an old yellow car...
+ Quite a long game, took me over 10 hours to complete.

- I have seen better looking games using unity engine (and many worse ofcourse), but this is saved by the unique atmosphere.
- There is some platforming involved in the gameplay, which is not as smooth as it should be. Most of the times you are not sure if you are supposed to go that way or it's a bug of the engine.
- Could use some better explanation as far as gameplay mechanics are concerned.

Highly recommended 1st person horror adventure game, for its originality and fantastic atmosphere alone. There is no comparison with those generic unity horror games , this one is an original and fresh game, with great ideas that are implemented just fine in the gameplay. Hope their next project will be funded in kickstarter, since it looks even more ambitious and polished than sylvio.
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
8.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 27
What an underrated little gem of a horror story. With some soft spoken scares and a slow burning horror, this is something to lose some sleep over for me. Sylvio is probably going to go down as my favorite horror game. It's a little early yet, but I'm already in love with it. It's odd...and that's why it's so great. Sometimes, Sylvio is trying to do different things at once because it knows it doesn't have to be just one thing. Horror doesn't have to be about making a player constantly ♥♥♥♥ themselves. And I think that's what makes it great. The fact it's juggling a few things at once? Sure. Let's embrace it.

Sure, collecting EVPs and hearing those ghostly voices from "beyond the grave" is enough of a horror premise, but it's the story that you slowly put together from the ravaged land around you and these little voices whispering about the trees and these mysterious deaths they suffered. That makes this game all the more spooky.

Sylvio is also throwing in a few things that aren't exactly needed, but do give the game some charm and force it to stand out compared to other generic horror games. There's some basic shooting. Nothing you need to headshot with, but enough to keep the angry spirits away. I wonder why they don't like shards of glass and nails, considering they don't have a body. I mean...eh. No spoilers. No spoilers, I actually know what happens even if I'm not there yet. Anyway, rather than add on something that makes this clunky and unneeded, it's sort of nice. There's a bit of anxiety while you're wielding your microphone and you're ganked by an angry orb. You do have to figure out the best ammo to help you while managing collecting recordings. It's a pretty interesting combo. Sort of the whole "you got your chocolate in my peanut butter" sensation that we all can't live without.

There's also a bit of wonky platforming going on. You feel like a weird sort of Mario or Sly Cooper, except you're Juliette...and you're trying to help some ghosts pass on...and uncover one creeptastic mystery of a family "fun" park. Hah. Fun. Yeah real fun. This platforming may cause you to think you've broken the game, but chances are you didn't. You were supposed to hop that fence. You were supposed to find that hole. It's all intended and part of the design... And through hopping around, you'll actually progress the plot. So feel free to climb on things! Admittedly, it's an odd feeling. If you've stood in the middle of Stormwind (or any major city/town) in World of Warcraft and just attempted to jump on everything, that's sort of the feeling you're going to get. This isn't bad. You're just going to feel really weird and like you're breaking the rules.

The story is haunting. The bloody reds of the land make you think about just how tainted that soil must be with all of the people who died in the disaster and other things that the "helpful" ghostly voices suggest to you. It's a pretty beautiful picture. A pretty spooky picture, if I might say. Places are decaying and have proper technology for the time period (yay 70s tech). Everything is researched correctly. Do you smell that? It's the smell of someone who got it right. Ahhhh. Someone who cared enough to do a good job. I've noticed some mention our leading lady's voice, but... I like it. I'm really not looking for someone hyperactive and peppy when she talks to herself. A mumble and a soft musing to herself in passing while she's doing her work? That sounds about accurate when someone is talking to themselves. She sounds authentic as a person to me. For this, I find most of the game very appealing and even worth mentioning because it's better than what I was expecting. Please. Don't feel "inspired". Do what you're doing. You feel more real to me.

When you play this game, it's not going to tell you anything. At least, that's my experience. Read the instructions, scrub. Get lost? Pull them up in game. Lost in game? Hold out your microphone and let the spirits guide you. Creepy but effective. I would have liked some instruction. I don't need a lot! I'm an independent gamer who don't need no tutorial level! Just...some sort of instruction. Something small. A blurb. Though I have to admit, just flashing use buttons in front of me did give me the right idea since I had bothered to read the instructions a few times. A minor gripe. It's just me.

A more major gripe is the car. I hate the car. I understand it's useful considering some maps are huge, but the controls for the car are absolute garbage. Considering the area isn't flat and you'll constantly run into trees or you're stuck trying to figure out if the car is in reverse mode or forward mode (yeah left and right will get switched if you're in one or the other, I've found!). That's something I would personally remove from the game entirely. It's not helpful. It's frustrating. It added on so much extra time and most of that was spent flipping my car over constantly. I've played similar portions to that in my driver's ed class when I was about fifteen years old. Listen, I'm over it. If I wanted to play that, I still have the link TEN YEARS LATER. I'm over it. Really. If the controls could be a little more polished, awesome. But honestly? Juliette runs better on foot and I find more EVPs that way, so the car is garbage. It was great for the purpose, and it's just garbage otherwise. You can just get out of the car and run. This is allowed. I feel like this choice makes up for it, but you gave us a pretty car... I'd like to use the pretty thing without it not working.

That rant out of the way? Please don't let that deter you from the game. I'm quite a fan of a slow burn horror that doesn't rely on jump scares. There are few in the game, if any. This story disturbs and upsets me, yet I want to keep playing not only to see it through, but because the EVP function is so unique and fun. It's delightfully creepy and I also feel heartbroken because you can hear the sadness from some of the named souls you're communicating with. It's a wonderful experience. Repeat after me. WE CAN DITCH THE CAR. This is not Thelma and Louise. It doesn't have to go over the cliff with us!

So...it's not Outlast. It's not a jumpscare fest of "OOOH RUN FROM THE SILLY-FACED MONSTER!" like Amnesia. This is a thinking horror game. You have to really take in the details and just sit there while realizing, my god they did this in a game! This is something you'd find in your worst nightmares or played out in some sort of horror series on tv! It's good! I mean, hey, it's not perfect! But it's certainly better than what I'm watching on tv right now!

Nothing badly flashy so far. I compared this to the original Sylvio that had a great deal of distortion during the fighting sequence with the uh, "mean orbs" and that would probably give you more health issues than this. But so far, I've been able to play this without any major problems. It's a pretty nice game...and they didn't force me to play the car part, so that felt awfully nice!

Please play. I'd honestly say this is something to offer to people who love ghost hunting shows, horror games that are not what everyone else is clamoring for, and people who may not be used to heavy horror jump scares but might want to try out a horror game. It's got a bit of mystery to it, so mystery lovers may also enjoy if they're willing to embrace a paranormal element.

A very nice game. Again, probably going to be my favorite horror game...and I'll just...ditch that car in the clay somewhere and ride on an overgrown raven to somewhere nice. Just lemme know when the sequel comes out because I'll be waiting...
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
40 of 45 people (89%) found this review helpful
Recommended
10.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2015
Yes, "Sylvio" is a first-person indie horror game made in Unity. From that description alone, it would seem doomed for genericity - but this is perhaps the most innovative, unique horror title of 2015.

The first chapter does a great job of familiarizing you with the game's quirkiness. You're granted a blunderbuss that shoots potatoes. You fight against almost laughably unintimidating spheres of moving black mass. The protagonist voices her lines emotionlessly, almost inaudibly. You may be tempted to write off the game right then and there, and unfortunately, many do.

Sylvio's debilitatingly bizarre presentation obscures an incredibly impressive gameplay mechanic that serves as the core of all the spine-chilling, goosebumps-giving, jaw-dropping moments in the game: the EVP audio equipment and its accompanying sound design. The true star of this game. (Sorry, Juliette!)

Using the audio equipment, you will be inspecting every corner of the map for ghostly sounds that you can record and subsequently play back and hunt for clues. Through backmasking, rewinding, fast-forwarding and slowing down the audio, you'll hear all sorts of voices from the beyond. Some are helpful, some are not, and some are even... hostile.

I finished the game in roughly 10 hours, though you can complete it in a solid 8 if you're not interested in finding the many collectibles that shed more light on the stories you encounter. To be honest, the game overstays its welcome a bit towards the end, and drags a little in some parts. Fortunately, the synth-laden soundtrack and static-ridden locations in the game provide just enough of a dynamic feel to make it a worthwhile journey.

As a closing remark, the main complaints I have heard are about the voice of the protagonist, Juliette. It's a divisive voice that may make or break your experience with the game - but she doesn't speak much except for during seances, so I can't say I identify with the chagrin.

Overall, I hold "Sylvio" as the most underrated horror title of the year, and recommend it if you're looking for something new out of the horror genre.
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34 of 38 people (89%) found this review helpful
Recommended
13.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 23, 2015
For a game made by, basically, one guy, it's a huge achievement. Sylvio creates a very subtle, bizarre and uneasy atmosfere, and although I had trouble to understand the main plot, the surrounding stories about the people who died on the Saginaw Park are sinister and uncanny, such as the experience of interviewing ghosts and manipulating the audio to "translate" their speech. It's such an unique and intense experience that, the fact that Sylvio is not a very well polished game isn't really so important. Not going to forget this one very soon.
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45 of 60 people (75%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
9.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 5, 2015
This game is unlike any other first person horror game I've ever played. It has so much intrigue and atmosphere, that you want to keep playing and finding clues and recordings. The voice acting is very well done, and in my opinion really adds to the game. Graphically speaking, it is not the best looking game out there, but the gameplay and the attention to the audio and recording device is really what drives the narrative of this game.

The audio recorder and its place in the game are really well done. When you come across a recording with your mic out, the machine will automatically record it for you. You then can play it back and analyse it to your hearts content. Hear something strange? Play it backwards....still doesn't sound quite right play it backwards at super-slow speed. The recording device Is really the star of this game and you can tell alot of work and effort has gone into perfecting it.

I really recommend this one if you are into horror/mystery type games, there have been a few jumpscares but nothing that scary so far. I also feel like I should mention the soundtrack, as it is reminiscent of old John Carpenter films like "The Thing", very synth heavy and really adds to the game. I honestly hope it is added as DLC, I would like to buy it as well.
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22 of 30 people (73%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 7, 2015
An amazing and unusual horror game. Its main focus is not to throw a bunch of monsters at you (though it does sometimes), but focuses rather on a scary and mysterious atmosphere with a gripping story combined with challenging and interesting puzzles. It also runs quite smoothly on my three year old pc. Im playing with an xbox 360 controller and it works perfectly. I highly recommend this game!!
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 18
Straight up, let's just say that the graphics of this game aren't much shakes. It's a good thing, then, that the makers of Sylvio understand the importance of SOUND in a horror game. In fact, with the exception of the trifling fact that they forgot to include the noise of your character's own FOOTSTEPS, they've pretty much based their entire game around it. That's the good news.

But before we get too far into the positive stuff, let's just concentrate on some early negative impressions. Along with the whole "silent footsteps" thing, you'd be forgiven for thinking that your character possesses full-blown powers of LEVITATION, as she seems to almost "float" above the ground rather than travel about on terra firma like the rest of us. She furthermore doesn't need her hands to hold flashlights and other objects in front of her.

Now, I know that such - let us say somewhat "abstracted" - interactive mechanics have hardly been uncommon since Amnesia: The Dark Descent, but when it's coupled with virtually nothing else which seems to "ground" your character in the real world...well, she almost might as well be one of the ghosts that she's chasing. She also seems able to jump or fall down enormous distances without, say, breaking both her legs like any of us regular mortals would.

Luckily for the game, though, it soon becomes interesting and unusual enough that I mostly - MOSTLY - managed to get past these reservations, at least until I quit the game altogether about four hours in. One way or another, there's certainly no denying that for all its ambition and relative innovation, it could have used quite a bit more polish before being unleashed on an unsuspecting public (especially at that price).

Another thing which made it a tad hard for me to get into - something which all you staunchly anti-"handholding" people are gonna chalk up as a pro, so what would I know? - is that it takes a while to get the gist of what exactly it is that the game wants you to "do". I mean, there's a lot of things in this game which are hardly intuitive: Not the controls (un-remappable; C for flashlight?), not the story ("I'm just sorta, kinda, gonna go in this big spooky park place and, I dunno, maybe talk to some ghosts, I guess"), and not the part where you use your microphone and tape player to decipher words or short phrases which the dead offer up to you, then get on-screen "distance metres" to tell you where you're supposed to go next as your "reward" for the information uncovered in the messages.

A few of the puzzles are admittedly quite clever, so there's definitely some good ideas here, and the actual "tape-decoding" bits are suitably spooky and novel in execution...helped in no small part by the fact that the ghostly voices are, to begin with, Euros speaking in what is clearly not their first language - i.e. English - so by the time that you slow down and speed up the voices, or play them in reverse, they ARE quite genuinely eerie-sounding!

Oh, and speaking of which, the voice acting is on the whole fairly decent - not great, but decent - and ♥♥♥♥ it, the GAME on the whole is pretty decent, if by no means perfect or astonishing. There's still a few other reservations that I have - some part of me isn't entirely sure that they shouldn't have passed on the infrequent and borderline-pointless "combat" elements of the game, for example, and just opted for an out-and-out "walking simulator" - but in the end, it was the extreme repetition and overall TEDIUM of the gaming experience which did in the patience of this particular player. I mean, I like a moody, snail-like pace as much as the next guy, but this game takes such "tasteful aesthetics" to new and frankly trying extremes.

I'm actually looking forward to the announced sequel to this game, because I think they got quite a lot "right" this time out, but also quite a bit "wrong". Undeniably interesting devs, in any case. I'm not gonna go so far as to say they've done something truly "original" here - I've already gotten in trouble for such bold claims in Steam reviews of late - but yes, definitely "different", and definitely worth a look to anyone who considers themselves genuinely interested in the numerous possibilities which the horror genre currently presents to game designers (maybe best to wait for a significant sale, though, just to be on the safe side).

Verdict: 7.5/10.
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13 of 17 people (76%) found this review helpful
Recommended
13.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 18, 2015
Honestly one of the best games I've played this year. Rather than the horror being based on monsters that chase you or pop scares, the horror in this game comes from your own discoveries as you take an old audio recorder and use it to recording the messages from the dead. Scrubbing the audio backwards and forwards and different speeds not only reveals clues to solving the puzzles that lie before you, but they also slowly help put together the story of what happened in Saginaw park piece-by-piece. Assumptions made early about what to the expect eventually become trumped by the recordings of people who were once there to experience the disaster and horrors that followed. Combat is rare and simply executed, with emphasis on the story.

I'd also like to add a note about the soundtrack to this game. With a feel that brings to mind the early works of John Carpenter's films from the 70's and 80's, the music in this game is absolutely phenomonal and it's practically worth owning the soundtrack on it's own. It sets the mood for the game perfectly and can set the mood for a foggy, eerie day just the same.
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14 of 21 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 4, 2015
I had never played a game where you have to listen for EVP's and what an awesome thing it is. Everything ties together seamlessly in this game and the atmoshpere is the perfect level of tense the whole time. You will run into mobs every so often and sometimes they will sneak you and give you a great jump. Very well done game.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
Recommended
7.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 19, 2015
Sylvio is about sneaking into an abandoned haunted Indian Reservation with nothing but a microphone and tape cassette straight from the 90s. The game's red, black, and brown pallette create's a hellish atmosphere as you investigate distorted voices muttering through the static.

Pros:
+ amazing, creepy atmosphere
+ great story
+ unique concept
+ artistic
+ friendly, active dev

Cons:
- repetitive scenery
- details of ghostly mutterings don't make sense at times
- crashing problems reported, although, I haven't experienced any

I really like this game because it manages to still create a suspenseful, beautiful, atmosphere, given, it's limited by being a rough-around-the-edge's indie title.
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
14.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 7
This game was a good idea, but poorly executed. Almost everything fun about it is counteracted by something else which is no fun at all.

Finding and recording the voices of the dead -> wandering aimlessly in the dark without any navigational tools, waving a microphone around, for hours.

Ghost-busting shenanigans -> Getting ambushed by black blobs coming through the walls or ceiling with little warning, and no real challenge to fighting them if you can just engage them from a distance.

Mysterious supernatural plot -> puzzles that are almost solved for you thanks to map markers showing items of significance, coupled with a few very uninuitive uses of a gas-powered blunderbuss.

Then are are a few things I just don't like at all - too much of the game's actual story is entirely missable, hidden behind little documents on bookshelves or tape reels left in random locations. The textures are bad enough that I usually have to determine what objects are by shape alone. Despite the huge number of collectible items, backtracking is not possible for most of the game. The game's save system is only semi-functional: it only autosaves, but it doesn't keep track of your physical location on a game map or what triggers you have hit already and sometimes loses Voices you have collected. Artificial fog and a red filter make it hard to see where you're going. The environment is bleak, but not really scary or unsettling. Death-by-ghost has no meaningful consequences, so they're not scary so much as they are annoying. Problems, problems, problems!

Beyond the novelty of using a tape recorder to play spooky noises backwards and slowed down, I don't think there is a thing about this game that would make me recommend it to others. It's not the worst horror game I've played, but it just isn't interesting enough to overcome its flaws.
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