Text-based adventure titles, popularized by the ability to make your own choices regarding storyline, have been a dying genre of games within the last decade. Although many of the elements established by literary interactive fiction are found in newer games: both have great stories. No matter what type of game is wrapped around this concept, if the storyline is well-constructed and captivating, it’s going to be a great experience.
This is exactly what Code 7 accomplishes, as the title card opens, you are met with a creepy intercut of a woman’s face, eerie music and some interesting design choices. It’s meant to keep you off-guard, a theme that is often recurring within this game. Stay flexible this game demands you to learn the ropes quickly, it won’t be long until you’ll have to recall commands of execution with precision and timing to save a situation.
You play as Alex, an operator who has found himself on a ship, and is presented with an interface allowing him access into a computer mainframe. Not much information is shared about him since he does not remember it himself. Soon after, your partner is discovered and your roles within this game are quickly established. Your goal is to safely escape from whatever catastrophe has just occured while in deep space; you are to be the all-important assistance.
I spent a total of two hours typing my way through the gameplay and came up with 5 tips to take this game head-on. Code 7 utilizes a fully immersive heads up display that serves as the game’s main module. From this interface the player is able to guide a NPC team member while simultaneously hacking systems for new info and unlocking new areas.
1. This is a skill based game, and not in the traditional sense
Typical games require fast reflexes for button mashing or combos which have become second nature to most seasoned gamers. Code 7 utilizes nothing more than the keyboard, even for someone who can touch type fairly accurately, it was still an extreme challenge to complete some of the chain commands. Gameplay is restricted to keystrokes, all menus included – like you’re a real hacker, go figure?
2. There are many twists and turns, often at your expense
You start the game not really knowing who you are or what your purpose is, once you discover these answers, there are only many more questions that come up. Answers are fleeting as flashing screens and fast-changing circumstances keep you glued to your keyboard; deciphering what other methods of exploitation you can find within the game.
3. The player (you) discovers the story as the protagonist does
There are many secrets to be learned and different choices in dialogue that you can take. It could be safely assumed that these directly affect the story line that you experience. You are encouraged to be as sluethy as possible in order to learn what’s actually going on around here. Multiple playthroughs may yield new experiences.
4. You are the support role, lives depend on your abilities
Code 7 can easily become intense because your success lies directly in your skill as a hacker. This places a lot of pressure on the player as you will see the direct results of your attempts, in which consequences are quick to strike. It’s a lot to handle but since there are unlimited attempts, the only obstacle truly in your way is yourself. Keep at it, this game is not an easy one.
5. You will fail, learn from it
This game is heavily reliant on conversation, logic, and problem solving. Other than the simple suggestions given by your NPC partner, you are largely dependent upon yourself to discover the proper procedure. Trial and error is your primary method of learning the correct methods for progressing through the story. Maintain your cool and try to think outside the box if you find yourself stuck on any given step along the way.
Code 7, a modern text adventure, takes a rather dated genre and turns it on it’s head. Full voiceover dialogue, extreme challenge, and clean design all combine for a very worthwhile experience. The episodic gameplay is sure to have more twists and turns as the story continues to unfold. The demo (which is just a prologue) is available for download here and has recently been approved on Steam Greenlight! Episode 1 is expected for released in Early 2017.
Check out our review of Mustache in Hell, a twin-stick shooter’s trip through Hell!