Developer: Simogo AB
Year Made: 2013
Price: iOS - $3.99
Content Areas: English Language Arts
Suggested Age Level: 9-12th grade
Play Length: 6 hours
Number of Players: Single Player
Difficulty Rating: Hard
To call Device 6 a puzzle game is to call War and Peace a pamphlet - neither label truly does the source material justice. Instead, Device 6 can best be imagined as a living, breathing text - complete with interactive parts, audio snippets, moving pieces, and a non-linear narrative that changes with each new revelation.
In the early levels, the clues are a bit more “out in the open,” but just subtle enough to elicit a squeal of ecstasy when you finally “solve” the riddle, beat the padlocked door, or satisfy the code necessary to unlock the next area. Pieces necessary to move on are everywhere - in the text, buried in images, and even spoken through audio recordings. Each mystery provides ample levels of challenge and intrigue, and the mood set by the designers at Simogo is top notch. Device 6 seems to counter every “jump scare” with a bit of wicked humor, so the game is best suited for an older high school audience.
Device 6 works best in the classroom as a text and narrative to be studied, with its unique storyline, intriguing descriptive language, and top-notch setting elements. Although it does not specifically teach skills, Device 6 provides a great text through which to explore literary concepts, as well as superb critical thinking puzzles to decipher. With the draw-you-in mix of mystery, thriller, and horror, contemporary students will most certainly find this game an enjoyable journey. As an exploration game, it does not get much better.
Despite its engaging gameplay and story, Device 6 comes with some educational flaws. The puzzles will undoubtedly be a challenge for students progressing onward at a somewhat similar speed. Some puzzles can be downright frustrating and even turn off gamers who aren’t as attuned to the details needed to move on. The game also relies on its sound and being able to read a text that can present some challenges, meaning struggling readers and those with auditory impairments may need to play with someone else to succeed. In addition, Device 6 offers little in terms of replay - once you’ve solved the mysteries and pieced together the riddles, the surprise is spoiled. The ending, however, is well worth the struggle.
While not a perfect title to implement in teaching, Device 6 makes for a perfect optional text to push students ready for a unique narrative wrapped inside a puzzle wrapped in an enigma. The atmosphere, unique play style, and subtle jokes all make up for a lack of adaptability and replay factor.
Educational Rating: 3/8
(Classroom Tech Friendly, Motivation, Concrete Learning, Additional Skills, Feedback, Difficulty, Accessibility, Extension)
Overall Rating: 6/8
(Immersion, Environment, Storyline, Replayability, Entertainment, Gameplay, Originality, User Control)