Every day in this United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, we spend around £2.5 million on coffee. I, like many others, would think nothing of walking into a well renowned chain of high street coffee shops to purchase an extra hot, skinny vanilla mocha with whipped cream and a flake and handing over £2 to £3 for the privilege; so why do we often baulk at the idea of paying that kind of money for games on our phone?
Our new feature will highlight one game each week that we feel is worth forgoing your vente foamy cappuccino for. One game that will entertain you for several hours of commuting, long after the latte’s left you; a great game, for the ‘Cost of a Coffee’.
This week you should pick up the brilliant Device 6 on iOS. It’s part game, part eBook and it packs in more style than stuffing Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Paul Frank into a cupboard. The introduction subtly sets up the story in a style which can only be described as 1960s camp action TV show opening sequence (think ‘The Prisoner’ or ‘The Avengers’). A creepy looking doll is being delivered; if growing up watching movies in the 80s taught me one thing, it is that that’s never a good thing!
Essentially the game is a puzzle where the game world is formed by the text of the story being told; this sounds weird and it is disconcerting when you first start the game reading a few normal paragraphs before suddenly having to turn the device 90 degrees to continue reading. The traditional book format is abandoned for a single line of text, which you soon realise is portraying the corridor being described. The game uses fixed orientation, so you will regularly find yourself jostling with your device trying to follow the story; not always ideal during a crowded commute but the experience is well worth the contortion. The visual clues that the game gives you have a cinematic quality and juxtapose the text brilliantly; good use of parallax means you will often find yourself flicking backwards and forwards past images to reveal snippets of information, which appear to be viewable only from a certain angle.
The game boldly states as you begin “This game is only playable with sound switched on.” It is not kidding; many of the clues that you will need to complete the puzzles are audio triggered by your progression through chapters or by interacting with objects. This gives added significance to the background audio presented in the game as you pass through the chapters, making you questions the significance of any changes… and there are many changes. The audio is constantly shifting depending on what is going on around you, from dramatic chords to build tension, to incidental background music on the radio, to the wind blowing through a forest, to jarring lift Muzak that is so at odds with the tension in the story that it just reeks of realism.
The world of words and sounds is so engrossing that it seems more real than many other games I’ve played, with their beautifully rendered 3d surroundings; even better is that like reading a book, every player will have their own version of the game world planted in their heads –this is truly a game that no two people will experience in the same way!
Device 6 is available on iOS for £2.49, which is the same price as a small cinnamon latte and won’t leave you with a bitter aftertaste!