The humble door. A marvellous invention.
Capable of separating spaces, giving us privacy when needed, yet at times the door represents nothing but power and money. Or mystery and intrigue. They can be spooky as well; ghostly creaking on opening and strange cavernous knocking sounds when called upon.
Seven Doors, the game, has a very simple and mysterious premise. You are tasked to go through seven doors, solving the challenges inside to get to the next one. Why are we doing this? What is the end result? All will be revealed when playing this ultimate escape room.
There is a story in Seven Doors, but it doesn’t really come into play until you have played through all seven doors and find yourself at the supposed ending. When you arrive here you find out things aren’t what you thought they were, and maybe your journey has a different reason to that which you considered. I’ve already said too much, but in essence, each room that you encounter has its own story and atmosphere. Yet who you are and why you are here isn’t important.
Seven Doors is played in the first person and takes you on a journey through seven different escape rooms. Each room is completely different in its tasks and gameplay asks, although you’ll need to earn a golden skull in each to unlock and open the door to the next area. To do this, you wander around, picking items up, jumping and moving. But that’s it. It’s tricky to not spoil what is on offer, but I’ll give a flavour of what to expect.
The great thing about this experience is that each room feels completely different from the last; like a Crystal Maze type experience mixing the mental and physical. The mental elements of the game come from some pretty fascinating tasks. There are rooms in which you have to find, read and decipher lots of clues to get the skull. There are interesting riddles and conundrums to face, including a human-size chess board. The physical side of the game is the not-so-successful element, mostly as if you make a wrong move, it is instant death. I didn’t find this part of Seven Doors as accurate as I would have liked, mostly due to the control system.
What Seven Doors does do though is provide a very surprising twist, something which reminds a little of the first Portal game. It expands the world, and reason for playing, as well as giving you some more content to play with.
Visually and there are no great surprises in terms of the visual quality of Seven Doors; it is what you might expect for a game of this size. At times it can feel a bit too dark and you might need to whack the brightness up to see what you need to do. But the game creates a creepy atmosphere and that’s what counts. There are a few rooms that excel above others too, like some special secret rooms and a painting room – all are very impressive with some great clues.
Sound-wise and you’ll struggle to remember too much about the audio that plays as you complete your tasks in Seven Doors. There are some creepy effects that are delivered throughout, but the main focus is on the puzzle solving, not how it sounds.
If you’re a puzzle fan then you’ll enjoy Seven Doors, particularly as it delivers a lovely surprise in the latter parts of the game. The puzzle and mental elements are great, with some brain-teasing tests which are fun to solve and participate in. The more physical side of things doesn’t work as well though; more annoying and – at times – just not fun. But Seven Doors is pretty cheap to purchase and whilst it is unlikely to be troubling your game of the year lists, it’s still well worth a look.
Seven Doors is on the Xbox Store