Use your words

It’s rare to be able to point to a mobile game and say, “This title fits this platform as snugly as a wax cylinder fits a phonograph,” but that’s where we are with Simogo’s Device 6. This interactive novel works beautifully with the touchscreen rather than in spite of it. More importantly, it delivers a remarkably unique and engaging experience that carries on Year Walk‘s spirit, but is considerably more polished than its predecessor.

Device 6 gradually tells the story of Anna, a girl who wakes up alone in an opulent, seemingly abandoned setting. There are two things on her mind: escape, and figuring out where the heck she is. All she’s carrying is a massive headache and a vague memory of a creepy doll.

Device 6 is told across six chapters, which double as interactive escape situations. Reading through these chapters isn’t as straightforward as beginning at “Once Upon a Time” and concluding at “The End,” however. The narrative twists and turns – figuratively and literally. When Anna turns right down a corridor, the on-screen text may take a sharp right, forcing you to turn your device accordingly. If she descends down a staircase, the text does as well. It’s easy to get lost in Device 6‘s words during these moments (again, literally), which can be frustrating – until you begin to notice that there are arrows beside the text that quietly herd you in the correct direction.

Paying attention to these small details will ultimately guide you through Anna’s adventure. Device 6 is not a typical interactive novel with dialogue trees and a lack of “wrong” answers; if you can’t solve each chapter’s mysteries, you’re not going to get ahead, period. You need to listen carefully as you “walk” through each room, because there might be clues hidden in the shrieking feedback of old audio recordings. You must physically tinker with the interactive illustrations you stumble across from time to time, since these offer up more clues, or unlock doors.

Device 6

It’s for these reasons and more that Device 6 is not an on-the-go game. You need to settle down and dedicate yourself to its labyrinthine passages. Headphones are a must, and interruptions are the devil. The game’s puzzles, not to mention the turns and contortions of its in-game text, may be a turn-off for anyone who likes their stories delivered in a straight-up shot, but Device 6 is an experience that should be sampled at least once. Even behind the text’s strange wanderings and the puzzles, there’s a compellingly surreal story delivered through the misadventures of an everyday woman who must hold herself together in order to escape.

Again, Device 6‘s unorthodox presentation may be off-putting at first, but stick with it, especially if you’re a fan of Year Walk. It’s a perfect accompaniment to the current Halloween atmosphere, though like any good mystery, it keeps well at any time of the year.