Device 6 - Analysis

Author: Jaume Esteve
Date: 2020-07-30 20:03:06
A few days ago I found myself lying in bed and surrounded by small pieces of paper with badly written notes. He had been stuck for an hour in a particularly complex puzzle that appears in the first moments of Device 6, an interactive novel by Simogo that is, in equal parts, strange and wonderful.

I had moved my character across an island in every possible direction. He had paid attention to any detail, however small, of the careful prose and the images that accompany the text to find the piece of information he needed to find out the combination of a padlock. And suddenly I realized that I had solved the problem for half an hour. I ran to look for it among my notes and there it was.

Solving this puzzle taught me several important lessons. The main one, that I had fallen in love with the history and the visual aspect of Device 6 . You start your adventure in the shoes of Anna , a girl with amnesia who rises on an island whose aesthetic reminds you of the Bond movies of the sixties while the soundtrack spits out jazzy melodies and you find yourself surrounded by a series of mysteries that seem to have come out from the head of JJ Abrams . Uncovering the truth about Anna , the island, and all the mysteries that populate it has become one of the most rewarding mental exercises I've had to face all year.

Device 6 is an unusual game. It is presented to the user as if it were an electronic book: there are text, images and some video but, although it sounds like a pain in the ass, it is created in such a way that it will not cease to amaze us as we accompany Anna on her journey through the island. To give you an idea, if the text is read from left to right, Anna is walking east. If it appears in the form of steps, the protagonist is going down a ladder. When you are in front of a mirror, the text appears upside down, which forces you to put your iPhone or iPad in front of a real mirror in order to read the text. It is a technique that has been seen in a book ( House of Leaves , by Mark Z. Danielewski comes to mind) that manages to create that feeling of being with the protagonist during his adventure.

Also, the text is written phenomenally. He knows how to alternate between humor and terror without losing his mysterious atmosphere for a moment and the images and videos that accompany the text are keys to giving the user the necessary clues to solve the mysteries that, be careful, are especially complicated but very fair with the player.

In each of the six episodes that make up the story, we will reach a moment in which Anna will encounter an obstacle and it will be there where we will have to review all our steps in search of clues that will help us find the solution. And keep in mind that anything goes: any image , video or piece of text can be vital to discovering the mystery.

For example, at the end of a chapter I found myself taking footnotes while listening to cryptic messages from three teddy bears. So, just as it sounds. In the end I was able to discover which one of them was telling the truth and, thanks to that information, I was able to solve the problem before me and move forward in the story. Obvious to say the feeling of gratification you feel when solving a puzzle of this style.

And it is important to note that, despite its difficulty, I never had the feeling that the Device 6 puzzles were unfair to the player. The game has an internal logic and a series of rules established from the beginning and it is up to us to discover where those clues are hidden. Sometimes they are with the naked eye and other times we will have to pay attention to all the elements that make up the game. I think there are few puzzle- based games that have been able to mix all these elements so wisely.

During my departure to Device 6 I have spent six nights, one for each episode . The gaming sessions ranged from the fifteen minutes it took me a puzzle that I discovered right away to an odyssey of almost two hours in which I had to dive between several handmade maps to finally find the solution. It took me about five hours to complete Device 6 and during them I had to discover secret combinations, decipher messages in the middle of the Cold War and pay attention to each and every adjective in the text to be able to continue through its complicated puzzles .

And, best of all, the ending of Device 6 is highly rewarding. It may be one of the best closings for a game, where all the pieces fit and the player ends with the feeling of having participated in a round experience.

Device 6 is a fantastic game and it really doesn't matter if you play it on an iPhone or iPad. It has its differences, of course. On iPhone you will have to constantly turn the phone to adapt to the text while on the iPad screen you will realize how beautiful the typography that has been taken from the sleeve is and that reminds us a lot of that of the Wes Anderson movies.

In fact, after I passed Device 6, I played it again for the same reason I play Portal every year: perhaps you have lost that feeling of satisfaction when discovering the solution to a mystery, but the fact of returning to that world allowed me learn more about their particularities and characters in the same way that your favorite book reveals new details every time you read it again.

I didn't feel this level of satisfaction with an iOS game from Sword & Sworcery . Device 6 is capable of offering the player a unique experience, riddled with puzzles and in an impeccable visual environment. Its story is masterfully told and developed in such a way that it offers one of the best final climaxes of the recent video game. Simply put, Device 6 is one of the smartest and most satisfying games I've played in years.

Adapted by Jaume Esteve , Indie editor at IGN Spain.