Experiencing Device 6

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014


IT'S a little difficult for me to say exactly what Device 6 is. Although listed as a game, I like to see it more as an experience. Sure, Device 6 has its moments where the player must interact with the interface, but in my opinion, using the word "interact" for this game understates exactly how it is experienced by the player. Although the word "immersion" has often been used in games, I believe that it is the best way to describe how Device 6 takes its players through its journey.

For you to have an idea of how it plays out, Device 6's plot is laid out as a book. Along with this, Device 6 is only playable with sound on - best with earphones on - as sounds in the game prove essential to advancing the story.

When you start the game, you'll scroll on like any e-book out there, but when you first get to peer at the lighthouse and watch it move out of view as you proceed, you'll understand how different this experience is, especially as you hear the protagonist's footsteps as she strolls down a red carpet soon after that.

Oftentimes you will be rotating your device around to follow the trail of text which maps out the path your character follows. While seemingly a gimmick, you will learn to appreciate it as you go on as the flow of the text provides spatial context and helps the player imagine the directions the character goes in.

The end of each level, or chapters as they are called in Device 6, are marked with puzzles. This part is where sounds comes into play, as the player will need to take note of recordings and messages they listen to and use the information to solve the puzzles they face. Device 6 maintains an eerie atmosphere heightened by the masterful use of sound which works extremely well with the game's play on space. The heavily filtered voices on recordings, sound effects and music in the game grow faint as your scroll away from the text or room they are in, and grow stronger as you approach. The game's ability to blend text, sound and interaction together so well make for immersion in the experience that is Device 6, so much that you feel the same confusion and ask the same questions the character does, and at the same time manages to pull off such a satisfactory ending while managing to haunt you for a while once you've completed it.

Device 6 is truly a game that provides an experience like no others have before it, with an exceptional ability to tell a story that you will immerse yourself in and linger in your thoughts when it's all said and done.

Device 6 costs $3.99 on the App Store.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 26, 2014.

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