Imagine awakening with no idea where you are, or how you got there. That’s what has happened to Anna, who is the protagonist in the new game DEVICE 6. It comes from Simogo, the creative minds behind Year Walk, Bumpy Road, Beat Sneak Bandit, and Kosmo Spin. DEVICE 6 definitely aligns more with Year Walk, and Simogo is starting to build up a reputation for mysterious titles that really push the limits of the definition of “game”. It’s tough to review DEVICE 6 without spoiling any of the mystery it holds, but we will do our best. At the most basic level, it’s a text based adventure that is unlike anything else you have ever experienced on any other platform. Experience is a good word, because DEVICE 6 is more than just a game, more than just an interactive storybook, and it’s really a new interactive medium.
Puzzles abound in what is in essence a mystery story supplanted with all kinds of challenges to work your way from chapter to chapter. Rather than a simple page by page layout, each chapter is one continuous flow with the text continuously unfolding in a unique manner. For instance, you may start scrolling the page vertically, but then the text and arrows direct you to rotate your device 90 degrees for a bit, and then you’ll end up flipping 180 degrees. The text almost follows the movement of the character whether they’re walking down corridors, turning at corners, or circling back the way they came. It’s an absolutely brilliant idea that grips you into the storyline, and makes you care about the text to an even greater degree. Throughout the text, there are images, but they’re more like moving windows that unveil extra bits as you slide the page in the given direction. There’s so much to explore in every part of a chapter that you’ll end up going over the same portions multiple times to get more of what it holds.
DEVICE 6 is the type of game that requires a pen and paper, as you will need to continuously scribble down notes to figure out the puzzles at hand. You can fill up a half page easy per chapter, and you can’t help but appreciate the time that went into crafting such finely tuned puzzles. The main takeaway is that you have to expect the unexpected in every single portion of the game, and that will make you go slower, and more meticulously through the story. The clues are there staring you in the face, but you have to know where to look to uncover them. You will end up re-reading the text, and starring at the images time after time, and then there’s a whole other audio component to contend with. You will want to set aside time in a quiet place to decipher the clues within DEVICE 6, and playing with headphones can make your skin crawl at times in this creepy mystery.
Every single part of the app is designed to put you in the main character’s shoes to see what she sees, hear what she hears, and think what she thinks. Speaking of design, the production values of DEVICE 6 are unmatched in the App Store with such a high degree of fit and finish applied to every pixel of text, and imagery. It’s amazing how much detail can come from a game that still fills a majority of the screen with blank canvas. At the end of each chapter, there’s a little twist that offers up a thought provoking question and answer segment that masquerades as though you’re at a testing facility when analyzing this story. The story itself is incredible in its own right, and the text in a plain word document would be compelling enough on its own. It’s taken to the next level with the layout, eerie imagery, and timely audio sequences. You end up hanging on every word, especially since you need to find the hidden clues to solve specific puzzles to complete a chapter.
This is the type of experience that you want to savor every moment of, because on one side you want to figure out the conclusion, but on the other you don’t want it to end. It’s truly remarkable in every regard, and Simgo has done an excellent job in building upon what they started with Year Walk, and the even more mysterious Companion app. There’s simply nothing like it in the App Store, or on any platform for that matter. Once you get started, it will encompass your thoughts whether it’s the thought provoking puzzles, or the mysterious storyline that very slowly unfolds into even more off shooting mysteries. Part of the enjoyment is just trying to figure out what exactly is going on to the main character. The only drawback is that the puzzles can be quite mind-bending, which can leave you completely stumped, and if that happens there’s no way forward. There’s no optional hint system, so you’re left on a sequence that you have no clue what to do with. That really comes with the territory though, and you need to understand what you’re getting yourself into. This game will challenge you, but it’s oh so rewarding when a chapter clicks into place, and that feeling is rarely duplicated.
DEVICE 6 ($3.99, Universal) is an absolute must buy that is an experience not to be missed, as you will end up appreciating every minute with. It’s completely engrossing in every regard, and it’s just so finely made to truly put you in the shoes of the protagonist, and get your mind racing just like hers. It’s an all new art form in all honesty that is unlike anything else you have ever experienced, and it’s such a rewarding undertaking that you will remember long after it’s done. Give yourself this treat, you deserve it.