Developed by Retrotainment Games, Full Quiet is a modern day take on an NES open-world adventure, and although it can be quite obtuse, it’s an exhilarating time once you get used to its quirks.
Full Quiet’s a side scrolling action-adventure game that has been developed to run on actual NES hardware, but it’s also been released on current gen consoles and PC as well. On the other hand, it isn’t by any means as short as your usual rental cartridge affair, though, touting a 20-hour run time, which puts it more in the camp of say, an RPG.
Having played through a fair bit of it, I don’t doubt that it’s a very long game to beat, especially if you get stuck on its puzzles, which there are a bunch of. Full Quiet gives little to no hints about how to solve them, outside of having a pretty well put together “survivor’s guide” and a digital manual, nothing in the game holds you by the hand.
For that reason alone, those who are not used to this more retro-focused style of challenge, mind find this game unplayable, but it’s very much worth keeping up with as a lot of its value comes with the sense of discovery and awe, not to mention the feeling of accomplishment that comes with surmounting a challenge of this caliber.
Full Quiet takes place in a sort of post-apocalyptic wilderness setting with you being part of a group of survivalists trying to make a living while fighting off the many dangers that lurk just about everywhere in the game’s world. Your apparent leader has put together a network of safety huts strewn all over Full Quiet’s surprisingly large map, and it’s up to you to visit them all and tune their radios to the right frequency.
All the while, you’re gonna have to brave through all manner of obstacles that stand in your way. Some are easy to take out with your starting pistol, which has an infinite amount of ammo, while others are on a whole other level that’s way above your own. Then there are the many paths that you can’t access without the proper equipment, such as ropes, and others that require careful technique on your part in order to surmount them.
For an NES style game, Full Quiet has an absurd amount of depth, not only in its gigantic world and the puzzles within, but in terms of your movement options. In order to make a dent in this game, you’re going to have to learn and master precise moves such as swinging on loops and maintaining your forward and upper momentum, which can be very hard to pull off right away.
Then there’s the sheer amount of equipment you will start to accrue the farther you make it into the game. In this regard, Full Quiet sort of reminded me of the original Metal Gear or even The Legend of Zelda, where having the right item for the job meant success or simply not getting through it in case you weren’t prepared. Being ready is by far the best advantage that you can have in this game.
And in order to be ready, you’re going to have to trudge through plenty of trial and error. It’s in the nature of this sort of game, after all. But by accepting that and slowly but surely learning from your mistakes and purely rote memorization, surmounting a particularly nasty section of Full Quiet can be immensely satisfying.
There’s also something to be said about the game’s presentation. Audio-wise, it’s very barren and understandably, as the title implies, quiet, with only slight hints of sound effects and the beeping of Morse code, which comes into play when figuring out puzzles.
Graphically, Full Quiet is an absolute spectacle. It features a wide variety of locations, all visually unique and identifiable on their own, full of instances of gorgeous parallax effects and the expected tricks in order to fit in a bunch of sprites on screens.
In terms of animation, the developers are to be lauded for the ridiculous amount of care given to the main character, where even the muzzle flash from his weapon is a graphical effect that’s taken into account, not to mention all of the movement options that are all realistically depicted.
Perhaps the game’s most annoying aspect are the timing-based repair puzzles, where you’ll spend a specific item in order to navigate through Pipe Dream-ish affairs in order to activate not only the huts that you’ll use to save your game in, but also all manner of machinery across Full Quiet’s world.
It’s the sort of thing that some folks are definitely way better than me at solving, and for that section of the audience of this game, it won’t be much trouble. Then again, similarly to the rest of this adventure, repetition will eventually get you through these as well. They’re just not something I’m particularly very fond of doing in games, so take my views with the necessary amount of salt.
Otherwise, I don’t really have anything else to say that’s a negative in regards to Full Quiet. Yes, it can certainly be very obtuse and might feel artificially difficult to some, but to those who have an inkling at tackling a challenge will find lots to enjoy here. It’s the sort of game where you’ll want to break out a notepad and write down passwords and codes, theories about how to possibly solve a puzzle, the whole shebang.
Full Quiet is a very cool experiment that I’m excited to continue chipping away at, inching ever closer to figuring out every nook and cranny of its huge, complex and absolutely mesmerizing world. I’m especially thankful to my friend John Riggs for making a video about this 8-bit giant-sized adventure, which made me instantly interested in covering it for the site.