From developer ‘Sometimes You’ comes a new and intriguing take on the puzzle genre. 7th Sector. Prepare to be put to the test in this cyberpunk world. Let’s see how it did.
Now I’ve played a few puzzle games in the past. It’s a genre I don’t often play, however when I do play I enjoy the challenge of the puzzles and the rewarding outcome for solving them. 7th Sector looked like an interesting take on this genre. Putting it in the sci-fi setting and jazzing it up with the cyberpunk visuals. You control a ball of energy making your way through this cyberpunk world through the use of electrical cabling. Every now and again you come across a puzzle that will need solving. These range from mathematical equations, connecting shapes and audible puzzles. Once completed you move onto the next stage and your story progresses. The simplicity of the gameplay reminded me very much of Limbo.
In terms of the story, you are not told it directly, however indirectly through the visuals of the world around you. Sometimes it can be very confusing however the visual background very cleverly uses the space by drawing your attention to inform you of what is happening and enforcing the dystopian tone of the world. There is little to no dialogue, however, the sound design is key to helping drive the narrative forward. For example. Early on in the game you are given a puzzle where you must activate a blacklight in order to see a code written on the wall. In order to turn on the black light you must select and use the music on a turntable to unlock a device that reveals the message. This is a very clever use of sound to one solve a puzzle and two to drive the narrative forward by revealing key information relevant to the story.
Graphically the game is beautiful. The dark and dinginess while indoors lends to that claustrophobic feel compelling you to move further to break free. Once outside you still maintain that feeling of claustrophobia due to you restrictive movement, however, the neon colour pallet of the outside world mixed with the dark greys and browns of the inside world lend to that Neo noir visual look that films such a Blade Runner created. It really feels like a living world that you are taking part in. Yet there is something almost unnerving and sinister about it which also comes from the fantastic sound design.
Like I said I enjoy a good puzzle. Puzzles keep you engaged as it is your need to try and solve them. Curiosity compels you to find the answer to uncover the truth of what lies underneath. I enjoyed some of the puzzles in the 7th Sector. They fulfilled this craving of fulfilment. However, there were some puzzles which were too challenging to the point of feeling impossible. For example, there was a point where I had to move my ball of electricity from the wire into a screen. On the screen were four lights that must be lit in order to travel into the screen. I was at this for fifteen minutes trying to figure this out. I couldn’t get my head around it. There were audible cues which I thought had something to do with the puzzle, but there were also visual cue’s on a screen above the wire. I didn’t know which to follow, the audible or visual cue. After a further five minutes, I gave up and had a cup of tea as I was starting to get a headache from the audible cue. During this time I consulted the internet as I thought the game had glitched on me. However, it was not a glitch. I found out that I had to follow the audible cues and press the A button every time I heard a sound to turn on one of the four lights. Eventually after a few goes with this newfound information I was through and able to progress the story.
Unfortunately, this was very disappointing. This puzzle nearly ended my enjoyment of the game. The lack of direction on what to do in order to solve it nearly forced me to give up on the game completely. Which would have been a shame?
Strip back the overly challenging and annoying puzzles and you have a game that is truly unique. 7th Sector goes against the conventional method of storytelling and allows you to live the story by experiencing it. It’s just a shame the challenging puzzles can falter that enjoyment. 7th Sector gets a 6 out of 10.
7th Sector was Developed by Sometimes You, Носков Сергей and Noskov Sergey
7th Sector is available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC.
This review is based on the Xbox One version of the game
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Welcome to the 7th Sector, set in a mysterious cyberpunk world. Immerse yourself on this intricate path, solving different puzzles, facing its dangers, and collecting scattered information to discover the story of this world.
Product Currency: USD
Product Price: 19.99
Product In Stock: SoldOut