The highly addictive produce-karate mashup, Fruit Ninja Kinect, is Xbox’s latest offering in the 2011 Summer of Arcade series. Although the game debuted on iOS, and has recently come to the Android market, the Xbox version adds the wrinkle of Kinect functionality — turning this quick finger swiping game into a full body hack and slash. But is it worth the made-up 800 MS points?
7th Sector is a side-scrolling puzzle adventure game set within a dystopian cyberpunk universe from developer Sergey Noskov and published by Sometimes You. Overall, I found the game to be impressive in the sense that the puzzles were well crafted, the gameplay evolves over time, and overall aesthetic of the universe is right in the pocket.
The puzzle adventure genre is a bustling one, with games from both small and large development resources. These games are easy to get wrong, and even more difficult to stand out even when you get it right. From Inside to Valiant Hearts to My Memory of Us, these games offer great opportunities for storytelling and puzzle construction and so it’s impressive to see when a game hits as well as 7th Sector does.
Normally, I’d start by describing who you are and what your character is. In 7th Sector this sort of evolves over time, but one way to describe it is that you play as an essence (perhaps a soul?). I’m trying to avoid spoiling the experience, but the way in which this changes over the course of the game creates some really clever ways to play with scale, puzzles, and gameplay mechanics.
I really appreciate how approachable, diverse, and integrated the puzzles are within 7th Sector. Puzzles tap into a lot of different mechanics: some are math or logic based, while other puzzles require you to search around the environment for clues. You’ll manipulate objects, computers, robots and so on; at no point in the experience did it seem like the puzzles felt stale. The difficulty of the puzzles vary but always seemed fair, and only on 1 or 2 occasions did I solve a puzzle through trial and error.
Of course, if you are a fan of cyberpunk and/or dystopian futures in your games then 7th Sector will probably appeal to you. You’ll find fresh takes on familiar themes like relationships between humans and robots, surveillance, oppression, and so on. The visuals, music, and puzzles all work well together to create this aesthetic, making it really interesting to follow the story through contextual clues throughout the game. There is some well-timed humor to be found in the form of some Easter eggs, which were also well received.
Being an achievement hunter and having played 7th Sector on Xbox One, here’s a quick overview for the like-minded out there. The achievement list for 7th Sector is certainly reasonable aside from some slight variations in the game’s ending that depend upon actions you take at various points throughout the game. You’ll find most of what you need if you take the time to explore. However, if you are committed to a 100% completion in 7th Sector, be sure to check an endings guide ahead of time. Aside from that, the game is generous with a level select and a persistent save mechanism as you progress with collectibles.
Overall, 7th Sector is a very enjoyable puzzle adventure game set in a gritty, cyberpunk universe. Evolving gameplay and a variety of puzzles keeps the experience feeling fresh and gives you that “one more level” feeling throughout. Fans of games like Inside, Another World, etc. should definitely play 7th Sector. Happy gaming!