Disco Driscoll

Point and click, retro, music, meh...

Thursday, 16 August 2007

7 Days a Skeptic

7 Days a Skeptic is the sequel to 5 Days a Stranger, insofar as it is the game that was produced directly after 5 Days. However, in the Chzo Mythos timeline, it is actually the final game of the 4-game series. Confused? You certainly will be.

7 Days takes place in the future, when humans have struck out into space to explore and colonise. The spaceship Mephistopheles is where our adventure takes place, as we assume the role of the ship’s shrink Dr Jonathan Somerset. All is well until the captain opts to bring in a container found floating in space. Container on-board, the carnage is duly unleashed, as one by one Dr. Somerset’s colleagues meet their demises in typically grisly sci-fi style.

The cause of the ensuing mayhem is the contents of the pandora’s box sitting in the cargo bay, all of which is linked to the events of 5 Days A Stranger. The storyline which was crafted in that first part is built upon nicely here, without ever overwhelming us with fable and backstory, something that the later episodes of the series would sadly succumb to.

The ship’s sterile atmosphere, the clinical lines of the bays and sleeping quarters, and the claustrophobic terror of being trapped millions of miles from home with a vengeful killer on board are evoked superbly, and one is often almost relishing discovering the next dead body or trail of blood. The music, as ever with Yahztee games, is excellent and genuinely unnerving in places.

I’m struggling to think of too many negatives; some of the violence can be a little gratuitous, with no real purpose to it other than to shock, but to criticise on this basis would be picky. A lot of modern day sci-fi movies contain a great deal of bloodletting (Event Horizon for one) and one cannot say for sure that if one was a murderous wraith that one wouldn’t carry out some of the atrocities contained in the game! After all, it’s what murderous wraiths tend to do…

The end of the game has a nice and unexpected little twist, which is developed upon in later instalments, and as usual with Yahtzee the writing and dialogue is excellent, witty and always suspenseful.

The puzzles are tough in places, but there’s nothing too difficult that a little lateral thinking can’t solve. Yahtzee followed-up 7 Days with Trilby’s Notes, which was pitched to take place between the events of 5 Days and 7 Days, and we’ll take a look at that game a little later. For now, if you have played 5 Days and enjoyed it, you should try your hand at 7 Days.


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