Puzzles and challenges are a natural part of most games, but Seven Doors by Indigo Studios dares to be a little different. It is not a game where you are chosen to save the world or even unravel some great mystery. Instead, you are presented with a door and a message stating that seven challenges lie beyond. These challenges are specifically designed to test your skills and by stepping through the last door you will succeed in your quest.
From there you are free to step through the first door and face your first puzzle. Things start easy enough, but as the game progresses the puzzle not only become more convoluted, but also more dangerous. In fact, one of the rooms is a test of your ability to avoid deadly traps while another requires you to use your perception to navigate a spooky gauntlet. Indigo Studios even managed to cleverly incorporate artwork into one puzzle as well as combine an Egyptian maze with a decryption challenge. All in all, Seven Doors offers a very enjoyable experience that fans of puzzle games will relish completing. Unfortunately, with only seven “rooms” to conquer it is a game that can be completed in one or two sittings, depending on how good your problem-solving skills are. The other issue is that not everyone enjoys it when games mix puzzle solving with reflex-based sections, so “The Hall of Tragic Fate” might annoy some players.
The version of Seven Doors reviewed here is version 1.0.3 from itch.io, and unfortunately, it did not feature any type of “Options” menu to adjust any settings. We did get in touch with Indigo Studios and they stated that this feature, as well as some small revisions, will be made for the Steam version of the game that will be out soon. However, even without being able to tweak any settings, Seven Doors is still a very decent looking game. It was made with Unreal Engine 4 and behind each door, you will find very different rooms. From the tranquility of “The Gallery of Framed Dreams” to the eeriness of “The Museum of Soulless Men” the game manages to fit in a lot of variety. Those looking for rough edges will still find some if they examine everything up close, but overall the visuals are impressive for a small indie team.
Seven Doors also managed to impress us with some really good music. The atmosphere for each room in the game differs wildly and the soundtrack plays an equally important role. There were even a few times where we lingered a little longer in a room where we managed to solve a puzzle quickly just so that we could soak in more of the soundtrack. The sound effects are pretty solid too and even the little bit of voice acting found in the game doesn’t sound too bad.
Since Seven Doors is viewed in the first person it features the usual tried and tested control scheme for navigating the environments. In addition to looking around with the mouse and moving with the WASD keys, players can pick up and drop items with a click. There are also books or notes that can be read while jumping with the spacebar is required for one of the rooms. The game autosaves between rooms, but there’s no way to manually save. This isn’t really an issue as once you figure out the solution to a puzzle it can be completed very quickly. It is possible to get killed in the game, and the first time it happened to us was quite a surprise, but this just places players back at the start of the room. We did have to take notes for a few of the puzzles and it helped that someone on our team is chess expert, but all in all, there’s nothing in this game that is too obscure or hard to figure out.
The best thing about Seven Doors is that we never knew what to expect next and it was genuinely interesting to see what lies beyond each new door. We would have loved to see a few more rooms added to the mix, but all things considered, the reasonable price makes up for the short length of the game. A lot of puzzle games offer a compelling storyline or unique narrative to keep perplexed players invested, but in Seven Doors it’s just you and the challenges. Don’t expect any replay value either as once you have completed the game you will have seen everything it had to offer.
If you are looking for a game that will provide a couple of hours of challenging and engrossing puzzle solving, then Seven Doors is definitely worth your while. There’s nothing earth-shattering about its concept, but it’s enjoyable, and solving the various puzzles is quite gratifying. Players looking for a big-budget AAA extravaganza can steer clear, but indie fans who love puzzle games should definitely take a look.
- OS: Windows 10 64-bit
- Processor: Intel Core i5 3470, (3.20 Ghz) or AMD FX-8350, (4.00 Ghz)
- Memory: 8 GB RAM
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 4GB or AMD Radeon R9 280X 3GB
- DirectX: Version 11
- Storage: 8 GB of available space
- Additional notes: 32-bit operating systems will not be supported