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The classic game: Device 6

A most textcellent adventure that reimagined what games could be on mobile devices

Our latest classic game was one of the most innovative of its day – to the degree that nothing quite like it has ever appeared in the decade since.

Device 6

What was Device 6?

An adventure. And also a book. And a puzzle game. Sort of all three. After a splashy and stylish movie-style intro, the story starts with Anna waking on an island, not knowing how she got there. The words of her story become the map you explore to help her escape, with text fashioning itself into corridors, steps and ladders. Nestled within are all kinds of devious puzzles, which force you to interact and engage with your device in new and clever ways.

Why was it a classic?

It was, in many ways, the perfect touchscreen game. On iPad in particular, it still shines. (The game is brilliant on iPhone, mind – just slightly less so because of the smaller screen.) The story effortlessly shifts between unsettling mystery and moments of humor, underpinned by a meta-narrative that has you question ideas of technology, control and self. The audio is superb. The writing is excellent. But it’s the combination of all these things that really hits home, and at the time hinted at what touchscreen gaming could be. Sadly, Device 6 almost sits alone – unmemory coming closest to replicating its beguiling mix of narrative and puzzling. But as good as that game is, Device 6 is on another level.

Where is it now?

Alas, Simogo quit mobile gaming in 2017, citing issues with Apple as the reason. The company did eventually return to the App Store (on Apple Arcade) with Sayonara Wild Hearts, although it’s fair to say that wasn’t developed as a mobile-first game. Fortunately, Device 6 lives on. And while it’s not been updated in over two years, it still works on modern Apple devices – of any number.

Visit the Device 6 website or get Device 6 ($3.99/£3.99) from the App Store.

Device 6 thumb