While this is not a traditional game we refer to as the gameplay, Device 6 is an interactive storytelling that will keep open-minded readers entertained and delighted beyond limits by its inventive approach to digital type of narration.
Device 6 is another project by an independent iOS apps developer Simogo, a team that has rapidly risen to the elite group of iOS developers. However, you will not find shooters and runners on their portfolio – Simogo is known to produce high quality, engrossing intellectual games – puzzles. In 2012, they debuted with Beat Sneak Bandit, and introduced the highly successful Year Walk in 2013, which has proven that these guys know how to make use of the iOS strengths like few other developers do. In Device 6, Simogo has once again proven it can stand up to the same high level challenge of interactive fiction genre. There is no doubt that you have not experienced anything like the entertainment offered by Device 6 in iOS before.
As the app introduction suggests, you will make use of a pair of good headphones and a pen and notebook, or some writing application on your computer to make notes as you go along with this immersive narrative. Device 6 begins with a cinema-like opening scene, and before you know it, you start the adventure as you read along the lines that feel like an intricate mix of classic mystery novel and a thriller movie.
The main character is the girl named Anna, who happens to wake up in a strange room that is a part of a large set of separate rooms in a mysterious castle. You need to solve the mystery why Anna is there, and what those mystery rooms contain, and how she can get out of there.
The rooms are separated graphically and textually in very creative ways that keep you engaged and interacting with the story at all times. Sometimes, you just need to flip the text upside down to walk from one room to another; sometimes, you need to fall down the stairs of words. However, it is the sounds and images intricately integrated into the text that keep the story suspenseful and creepy as it is. Images are like windows to the rooms they describe; you unveil each new room as you scroll down the text, and each room is revealed to players through little tricks and nifty details and a measured amount of pauses between the rooms that add even more suspense.
The transitions from one room to another is usually where you have to solve the games puzzles, and Device 6 urges you to keep an eye open for the little details, trifles, hints, sounds and simply use your intuition to solve the puzzles. The latter are not innovative per se, but they keep you thinking for a significant amount of time and require all your focus to complete. At times, you’ll find yourself rereading the text, re-playing the sounds and reconsidering the perceived information to solve the puzzle. It is this kind of approach to details that makes you appreciate the game’s unique writing and design.
Having said that, it is rather obvious that the game requires a little bit of getting used to the level of observations it requires of you, but the efforts are rewarding. You just need to know that every little detail can be a clue that opens up the next chapter.
To continue with more praise to the design of Device 6, I would like to focus your attention on the music and sound effects sprinkled across the game as colorful gems. It is the sounds that help you get totally engrossed in the interactive fiction, and transform a good story into a fully fledged game; some sound effects will send cold shivers down your spine as you listen to Anne’s quiet footsteps when she walks along the corridors of a creepy old castle. The sound effects are crafted with meticulous precision, so make sure you get a pair of decent headphones to enjoy the experience in full.
Device 6 is what the interactivity is supposed to be; you don’t just read and solve puzzles, you get completely immersed in the game, discovering each new room without actually knowing if you’re going the right direction. In fact, I still don’t know if there is an option to replay the game if you go the wrong way. However, there is no punishment for taking the wrong direction other than being stuck at some point in the story. However, the game’s messages are not obscure, but make perfect sense as you read along and discover them.
Device 6 makes perfect use of a touchscreen and the platform’s capabilities, providing an experience unlike any other. Even if you don’t call it a game, it’s an outstanding and thrilling, even creepy at times, mystery that makes you wreck your brains. I’m sure you will enjoy this powerful, intellectually and emotionally suspenseful story.