Thanks to the folks at Sometimes You, I’ve been taking a look under the covers at 7th Sector. This cyberpunk puzzler has provided some head scratching here in the Pixel Bandits office, and I’ll cover this here for you in the video below. As ever you can also read on for the full Extended Review.
I’ve spent a a fair amount of time within the cyberpunk soviet setting delivered by the Russian studio at Sometimes You. I’ve been pleased to find a title which doesn’t hold your hand, instead droping you into the title with only brief instruction on basic movement and actions. In fact, basic controls are all you’ll really utilise throughout, with 2D movement, action, and a quick speed boost.
I’ve been pretty impressed with some of the puzzles delivered within the title. There are a few moments where I’ve been caught out thinking a puzzle was obvious, only to find that the obvious answer wasn’t correct. Overall, 7th Sector is a fun little puzzler, with simple controls, but some fairly tricky puzzles throughout.
Sadly it’s not the longest title in the world. While enjoyable, it’s likely that you’ll complete the title within a couple of days even if you are taking it easy. Hitting it hard, it’s possible to even complete 7th Sector in one sitting, depending on how long you have to play through. There is a danger of this, as I’ve found the formula of simple gameplay with challenging puzzles has been drawing me back into the title.
You’ll travel through some nicely crafted environments using various forms. From points of energy, robots and digitised human forms you’ll find an evolving and fairly engaging story if you’re paying attention. However, it is entirely possible to ignore this completely if you fancy skipping through just for pizzles. As you move through the title, some puzzles will become familiar, while still not too easy to solve, and there are some elements of repetition. Overall though, the puzzles retain enough individuality to keep you interested and moving along.
Parent’s Eye View
A different approach to the usual ratings, the ESRB rating of Teen, and PEGI rating of 18 are quite disparate. With the highest PEGI rating available, it would typically retain a Mature 17+ rating over in the US. Instead we find the lower overall rating for the American counterpart.
The title is a fairly simple 2D puzzler, and the most you’ll see of violence towards yourself is some action with security robots. In the background there are some violent themes, such as a body in a blood filled bathtub, however I still feel the PEGI 18 rating may be a little strong for the content provided.
Overall, I’d agree that with the themes in the title, it’s not something which will be suitable for the very young members of the family. In fairness the difficulty of the puzzles themselves is likely to make it of no interest to anybody under the age of around 12 anyway. If you’re looking at this for a 15 or 16 year old it may be worth looking further. For that yeason I’m leaving it without a Yes or a No, and setting this firmly in the middle as likely suitable for older children, but likely of no interest to the younger members of the family.
The Run Down
Visuals – Good: The visuals within 7th Sector were actually a lot better than I was expecting, and I’ve been quite impressed with the athmospheric environements created within the title. From the dark depths of train carriages, to the neon soaked cyberpunk soviet rooftops, while it’s not perfect, the visuals here gave me a pleasant surprise
Audio – Fair: The audio doesn’t detract from the title, and in terms of the general gameplay the effects are worked well. I would like to have seen or heard a little more from the soundtrack though, and rather than being good or bad, it was simply ok. To compliment the exceedingly well worked aesthetics, it would have been great to have a soundtrack which really stood out.
Narrative – Fair: As a pretty simple 2D puzzle title, I wasn’t expecting any story at all. As it is there’s a nice little narrative which runs alongside the gameplay, providing a nice little threat to follow for those interested enough to pay attention.
Replay – Lacking: The title does contain 4 different story branches, and there are collectable points throughout the title which you can gather. Overall though, for me it doesn’t feel like one which is going to pull me back in after my initial review playthrough.
Overall the Pixel Bandits Comrade level is Above Average. 7th Secotr is a neat little puzzle title, which will please fans of the genre. I’ve had some decent head scratching moments with it, and while id doesn’t give a huge deal in terms of replay the small number of different endings does help give it a little extra boost for completionists. It’s important not to go into 7th Sector looking for action, but on the cheaper end of the spectrum, and for those who enjoy a quick to complete puzzle title, this one might be worth a further look.