Title: 7th Sector
Version Tested: PS4
Available On: PS4, Switch, PC, and Xbox
Developer: Sergey Noskov
Publisher: Sometimes You
Genre: Industrial Dystopian Adventure Puzzle
Official Site: https://store.steampowered.com/app/749250/7th_Sector/
Release Date: February 5, 2020
It is no secret to those who know me that I love puzzle games. They are games that I excel at, and I can spend hours completing puzzles and never get bored. I’m always excited when I get to try a new puzzle game, like 7th Sector, and get caught up in the storytelling that the puzzles enhance.
7th Sector was a game whose teaser trailer intrigued me. It features an interesting array of puzzles and “characters” and the unique ways in which the characters’ abilities affected the environment. It is not the only game that uses side scroll or futuristic industrial themes, but I think it is the first to utilize them together, especially in such a unique way.
Players get to start out as a spark, which players later discover is not what it seems. This spark possesses many of the characteristics of electricity. It can jump between lines, charge up machines, overload circuits, and can only travel in specific ways. Technically the main character is always the spark, but character changes occur when the spark enters particular machines. This allows players to operate the machines and still interact with the environment around them.
The storyline was interesting and sometimes challenging to understand. There was a lot of mystery throughout the game; players get little glimpses of the storyline in the form of mail and pictures. Most of the storyline is not actually revealed to characters until the very end. With four different endings that can be affected by various character decisions, 7th Sector offers an exciting story every time.
The setting of this game is gritty, dystopian, and industrial. The soundtrack is pretty minimal, and there is no dialogue to speak of. In contrast, the graphics are gorgeous and really enhance that dystopian industrial vibe. It evokes the feeling of Ghost In The Shell or The Matrix.
7th Sector is rated “T” for teen, and there isn’t a ton of violence per se, but depending on the ending, there are some death scenes and a suicide. Other than the suicides and deaths which occur at the end of the game, there isn’t really any violence. One of the characters does have a gun, but its use is pretty negligible.
A Traditional Puzzler With A Twist
In a lot of ways, 7th Sector was familiar. It offered many of the things that we have all come to expect from a puzzle game, but everything I expected also had a bit of a twist. The way in which the extra nuggets of information and collectibles were revealed was interesting. The obstacles and enemies faced were unique, and each presented their own challenges.
I would say that 7th Sector is more complicated than your average puzzle game; not only are some puzzles unique to every playthrough, but they all require more than a little ingenuity to solve. Perhaps it is because the puzzles are so challenging that the game is addictive enough to play several times. Regardless, I highly recommend playing it through at least twice.
One twist that I had mixed feelings about is that some puzzles couldn’t be solved on the initial playthrough. Instead, they could only be solved on later gameplays. While I found it interesting to have something new to do on a second playthrough, I also find it frustrating that I can’t complete all of the puzzles when I wanted to.
Seamless Character Switches
It was interesting to go from one “character” to another while never actually changing characters. Each character played was perfectly challenged by the environment around it. No two puzzles are solved precisely the same way, which means that there is no such thing as a mindless puzzle or playthrough. The way characters interact with their environment is crucial to gameplay, and there are a number of puzzles that require each specific character’s skills to be completed.
The only drawback to this switch of characters is that not all characters are easy to move. Some of them have very touchy controls, and the inability to change the camera perspective makes for a sometimes frustrating challenge. I would argue that some of the controls for the non-spark character are excessively difficult. Other obstacles are too quickly triggered, which presents a problem when those challenges can kill you. It says a lot about a game when they have two separate trophies about characters dying and trying again.
Verdict: This game is genuinely a lot of fun. If you love games that present a unique challenge, a bit of mystery, and a lot of puzzles, then this is the game for you. Some of the more delicate controls can provide some frustration, but those bits of frustration are overshadowed by the sheer enjoyment I got from mastering a difficult challenge was well worth it.
Want to try it for yourself? Get the game here for PlayStation, here for the Nintendo Switch, and here for PC/Xbox for $19.99.
7th Sector Review
- Interesting puzzles
- Stunning Graphics
- Compelling Storyline
- Tricky Controls
- Can't Complete All Puzzles On A Single Playthrough