The greatest compliment I can give to 7th Sector, the new puzzle game from publisher Sometimes You and developer Sergey Noskov, is that it gave me strong Limbo and Inside vibes right away. The game is set in a dystopian, cyberpunk world that is full of mysteries. If you’ve been put off by some of the rather poor games from this publisher before don’t let that deter you away from this one as you’d be missing out on something great.
7th Sector has you playing as what I can only describe as a spark of electricity but that isn’t telling the whole story. That’s because you’ll be traveling through the city in the game via cables and wires and will even be able to jump into different kinds of machines such as monitors and a remote controlled car. Eventually you even become a robotic sentry like thing with a gun on it which was fun. Just like a game like Limbo there is no spoken dialog as the game instead opts to use the environment and various other things to tell you the tale. Things that you do in the game also affect the outcome leading you to getting one of four possible endings. You can slowly piece some things together about what went on in this world where man and machine are living together but even after finishing it I was left a little confused about it all.
The main thing you’ll be doing in this game to progress is solving puzzles. Those puzzles are varied and the difficulty of them can range from very easy to bang your head against the wall difficult. Some puzzles have you solving math equations while others might have you interacting with things in the background. Some have you trying to figure out a code while another part has you piloting a RC car. The game doesn’t provide much instructions on how to do much so you’re left to figure things out on your own. Some puzzles I was able to figure out relatively fast while others had me reaching for a pen and paper to write things down just to keep track. Something else the game does is it changes up the solutions to some puzzles on repeated playthroughs so if you finish it and go back to see another ending you won’t just be able to breeze right through it. Not every puzzle is required to solve in order to advance through the game but there is nothing telling you which ones are optional and which ones aren’t. The optional ones reward you with concept art and so you only find out if it was optional when you solve it and are rewarded with that.
The things that don’t work well in this game include puzzles that can have you button mashing in order to clear them or the part that has you using that RC car I mentioned. The reason that latter one doesn’t work well is because it has you controlling the car as if you were in a 3D space yet the game’s viewpoint is from a 2D perspective. I don’t think I need to say a lot more as to why that can be frustrating. There is also a part where you take control of a flying drone and have to navigate through the city while avoiding other drones. The controls for the drone just don’t work as well as you would hope they would which made it a little frustrating as well.
The game looks great visually with some great lighting effects that really help to sell that gritty, cyberpunk look. Environments look great and I was always stopping to try to find little details sprinkled about. The soundtrack also fits this world with a synth like score. It also features some pretty great sound design and sound factors into solving some of the puzzles. The game has 26 trophies in total including a Platinum. A lot of them are story related and there are also ones for reaching each ending so expect to do several playthroughs to earn the Platinum.
7th Sector is an immersive, atmospheric puzzle game and despite some frustrating puzzles it’s well worth checking out. The environmental storytelling is great and the game is complimented by some great visuals and music. Pair all that with some pretty well thought out and designed puzzles and you’ve got a solid little gem here.
*7th Sector is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Reviewed on a PS4 Pro. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.
- Really good atmosphere and visuals
- Mysterious world that slowly unravels its secrets
- Multiple endings and changed up puzzle solutions offer reasons to replay
- Some of the puzzles are really well thought out and feel rewarding to solve
- The game doesn't explain how to do much of anything
- Some of the puzzles and controls can be frustrating and overly difficult