Developer: Konami TYO
Platform: Game Boy Advance
Release date: 03/21/2001
Catalogue number: AGB-P-ASHJ
The Silent Hill: Play Novel is an loose adaptation of the original Silent Hill for the Game Boy Advance in the form of visual novel and was never released outside of Japan. A visual novel is a game that uses limited animation/sound in favor of static graphics and blocks of text to tell a story. Essentially these games are a “Choose Your Own Adventure” only in a video game format instead of a physical book or comic.
The Silent Hill Play Novel game play consists of reading blocks and when prompted make a decisions from a list of possible actions to travel down a particular story branch. From time to time you will also use a point and click element to solve some simple puzzles as well.
You can play as either Harry Mason or Cybil Bennett in two major story scenarios and both of which have multiple endings. One of the highlights of this game is to see the town of Silent Hill through Cybil’s eyes and it gives you an possible idea of what she was doing while she and Harry were apart in Silent Hill. Additionally there were four other scenarios named after the seasons available for download only once the Cybil scenario was completed. These scenarios focused on a brand new character named Andy who was Mason’s neighbor and found himself in the town after sneaking into the back of Harry’s jeep. Unfortunately since Konami ended the download service and these were not part of the original cartridge all of these Andy scenarios are lost and are not available in any ROM or fan translation of the game. All we have is a brief summary, a couple screens and story branch chart from the Spring Andy scenario that was in the official Play Novel guide
I consider this game is a loose adaptation of Silent Hill because it takes great liberties with the plot such as having Cybil actually meeting up with Cheryl in Midwich or having Harry get possessed…neither of which happened or was the possibility of occuring ever hinted at the in Silent Hill. So with that said, even though this game was published by Konami take the events that happen within with a grain of salt as later titles have proved it does not fit within the established Silent Hill “canon.”