Taking place in a dystopian environment, 7th Sector is an indie sleeper hit. With no UI and trial-and-error style of gameplay, this Unity developed $20 downloadable title carries similar vibes from other cult faves such as Limbo and Inside. This is the perfect example of a game that works as the sum of its parts to create an interesting and emotional experience.
What exactly is 7th Sector? This is going to sound silly but you play as an electric spark. Starting as static on a television monitor, the player is left to determine what to do without any tutorial or instruction but this shouldn’t be seen as a negative. In fact, not telling the player what to do or where to go is part of its brilliance. After a minute or two of confusion, the player will learn that this spark can jump from one electrical conduit to another, mostly from wire to wire. Uniquely, the non-interactive elements found in the background are used to convey the narrative. What starts as a dimly lit and even spooky environment quickly turns into a horror setting when the player slides near a bloody body in a bathtub but then changes tone when loving humans can be spotted in the background. Without giving away spoilers, this spark will be faced with environmental 2.5D puzzles that usually revolve around modifying an electrical charge or magnetism, some of which will require patience and persistence to overcome.
As unique as the narrative and mood are, all is not perfect. Sometime the controls can get a little finicky, such as trying to take advantage of the speed boost button that doesn’t always work or trying to jump on parts of the environment that look interactive but are not. There are also some puzzles that are obscure and can frustrate player, including math puzzles that involve the number 220, a standard in electric power. There was also a segment in which the player needs to navigate a remote control toy car but it has poor control and I actually got the car stuck on the environment forcing a full restart of the game.
The less you know about 7th Sector before jumping into it the better the experience you will have. This refreshing experience even manages to entice the player with additional replay value by offering some secrets and multiple endings. Although it isn’t a flawless experience, this should already be nominated for indie sleeper hit title of 2020 even though this year just began.
Also available on PS4, Switch, and Steam.