SEN: Seven Eight Nine Review

SEN: Seven Eight Nine is a logic puzzle game created by LoCogame Ltd.  Programmer Luke Perkin has taken the logic puzzle game and turned it on its head.  He has created a successful mashup of connecting the dots and Sudoku that will leave you scratching your head on some of the puzzles.  It is the game that gives you no rules but has lots of rules for you to learn making it intriguing and frustratingly difficult all at the same time.

Gameplay

The game starts by giving you zero instructions and drops you into simplistic puzzles to help teach you the first rules of play.  You learn by playing making matches of colored and numbered dots that all have a method to what matches and what does not. The dots are matched based on different criteria such as all blue dots should match each other and all orange dots should match each other.  Numbered dots should match the same number or in sequential order. The gameplay becomes more difficult when numbers and colors are added together. For example, if you have blue and orange dots on the screen you must match all the same color dots and then match the numbers like a blue six to an orange seven before matching the rest of the orange dots. The game lets you know you have matched the correct order by filling in a border around the outside of the screen. If you match it correctly the grey border becomes completely filled by another color. If you do not match it completely some of the borders remain grey.

Controls and Features

SEN features 20 different levels that branch out in different directions on the main screen allowing you to pick the direction to go as you master each of the new rules they add. The game’s controls are fairly simple you move the highlighting circle with the left thumbstick of your controller and chose the circle with the A button.  If you make a mistake you can use the left thumbstick to trace back over and undo the connection. The plus button navigates to the menu screen for the game. Here you can adjust the music and sound effects on or off. You can also go back to the branching menu in or reset a level to try it again. The game allows for play with a controller or by using the touch screen in handheld mode.  This is where I found that the game excelled as the touch screen was much more intuitive than using the controller. The dots in the game come in three different colors: grey, orange, and light blue. Some are just colored dots while others have numbers and symbols on them. The symbol that looks like a lowercase n is used to reset the number count or color as you are connecting the dots.

Music and Art

The music in the game is serene and relaxing giving you a state of zen as you work your way through the levels.  This was good as I needed the calm of the music when I got frustrated on some of the later levels that you unlock and became unsure of the pattern needed to successfully one hundred percent the level.  The art style is very minimalistic in that you play on a black screen with only the colored dots with white numbers in some of them. The only extras on the screen are the border that lets you know your level of completion and the plus sign symbol at the top to let you know how to get to the menu.  Although it is not flashy or loud I find that the music and simplistic nature of the art fit with the overall tone of the game leaving you with no distractions that a bright or cluttered background and different music could have led to.

Final Thoughts

SEN: Seven Eight Nine is great for a casual gaming experience.  I can see myself playing it on the go when I need something quick to fill a wait where I don’t want to get enveloped in a heavy game.  Fans of Sudoku or other logic-based puzzle games should check this one out as it is right up their alley.

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