Seven


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DanTheArcherSevenWhen baking a platformer, there are certain ingredients an enterprising game chef has to include, or else the dough just isn't gonna rise. A world in upheaval is a good place to start, promptly followed by one cup of levels. But make sure to sprinkle in a dash of collectibles into those stages, and you simply must add at least a quart of puzzles for flavor. Now any game chef worth their salt knows that stashed away in every kitchen, in the darkest corner of the darkest cabinet, lies a green bottle, marked by a label that reads "XXX: Yoose At Yur Own Rizzk" with a picture of a freakish smiley face, flashing a lunatic grin of pointed teeth. It's daring you to uncork it, to pour in even the slightest dollop, just to see what happens. Of course, most gourmets aren't going to ever take it out of the cupboard, because it's got X's on the label and they told you not to use it in culinary school, and let's be honest, the thing's kind of scary.

Now imagine that one team of chefs went right for that bottle the minute they walked into the kitchen, sniffed it gingerly as they popped it open, and then proceeded to pour in every last drop. What came out of the oven was Seven, the latest offering from Makibishi Inc.

You're dropped unceremoniously into a world gone absolutely loony. As it turns out, stars are the cogs by which time ticks in this universe, and as fate would have it (as it often does), those stars have been scattered to the ends of the earth. Your avatar, a fearless yellow blockhead, must gather up the missing stars in hopes of setting things right in the world again, or at least as right as things get in that place. Which isn't very right at all.

The arrow keys will navigate your plucky little hero, including the up arrow for jumps. [C] changes the camera perspective by some degrees, and the [H] key provides help via pictorial clues that look like they were scrawled on a bathroom wall. Even those controls are subject to change from level to level, as gravity is reversed, or removed, or taken to Kalamazoo. Your quest will send you careening into the strangest delusions you can imagine, including a couple that you actually can't.

Describing the in-stage objectives is like reading a seven-year-old's bucket list. "And I wanna ride in a hot-air balloon, and slay a dragon, and... and... and I wanna go into space, because space is awesome! Yeah!" The goal in every level is the same, however: procure the star, and you come one step closer to... something. Occasionally, what exactly you're supposed to do to get that star is a little murky, but remember, there's always the [H] key to help you out. If you're truly in a pickle, the levels can be played in any order (with a single exception), so take a break from the dragon to go spelunking, or spacefaring, or wherever else the green bottle takes you.

Analysis: The first thing anyone will notice about this game is the absolute insanity of it all. It's not a malevolent madness, and it's not very frightening either; more of a trickster spirit's irreverence, where you can almost hear the game's tittering laughter every time you misinterpret a puzzle or lose a level yet again. Fortunately, there's no real penalty for death, which is good, because that's something you're going to be doing a lot of.

SevenThere's a bit of clumsiness to the platforming, which doesn't seem to be that much of an issue until you arrive at the levels that hinge so sharply on the acrobatics. Your character doesn't always jump when he's supposed to, resulting in that infamous "I SWEAR I hit jump before I walked off that ledge" phenomenon. Also, jumping into a wall will sometimes result in a brief stickiness that half the time can yield a second jump, and half the time won't. Again, these complaints are for the most part insignificant until you hit the platforming-heavy levels, so they shouldn't haunt you for most of the game.

The game wears the trappings of a bigger platformer than it is, like the hooligan trying to get into the R-rated move with a glasses-and-mustache combo. While there's a lengthy intro cutscene and a lively stage select screen, the game feels a bit short once you're done with it. Some of the stages may take you less than a minute to navigate, while others (I'm looking at you, Stage 6) might keep you busy for a while. It all depends on how soon things click, how adroit your fingers are, and how often you make use of the [H] key.

With all that said, the game is wildly entertaining, in the same sort of way that you play with your action figures every once in a while when no one's in the room. (Or is that just me? Man, this is awkward...) It appeals to the inner child in all of us, and not just ANY inner child, I'm talking about the off-the-walls critter who dreamed of becoming either a superhero or a movie star, depending on when the radioactive spider bite happened.

Where does the appeal come from? For one, the art is fantastic, and refined palates will detect aftertastes of the green bottle in more than one place (the moon in Stage 2, for instance). The music and sound might be irritating to some, but I found them just as amusing as the rest of the package. And when it's all said and done, no matter how many times you fall in battle, that indomitable gamer zeal of "Okay, I'm gonna get it this time" spurs you on. Is it because we want to see the end cutscene? (And there IS one.) Do we need to get all the stars to prove something to ourselves, after we didn't get all 120 in Super Mario 64?

If I had to guess, it's the green bottle at work again. It's the whirlwind of delirium that, once it swirls about you, doesn't deposit you back on the ground until you close your browser window. There's something random, and hilarious, and just downright fun about it, and you'll constantly want to see what oddity awaits you around the next corner. Which, in a sense, is really another ingredient that all platformers are supposed to have, but don't always.

So here's hoping that Seven inspires other designers to add just a little bit of the green stuff. I mean, I wouldn't want them to throw the entire bottle in. I hear that's dangerous.

Play Seven

Walkthrough Guide


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20th place WOOOT!
Complete Walkthrough:

Level 1

Move the crate that drops as far to the right as it will go. Jump on the crate and then jump over thje wall. go through the house and jump into the balloon basket. wait till the basket gets past the roof and then jump out onto the roof and get the star

Level 2

The dragon slams down twice in each direction, if you get it on the second he will turn and you will fall off. so go on the first. stay a little bit back from the tail and wait for the boxes to pop out of the ground then use them to propel yourself up (you might have to jump too) then jump quickly up his back to get the star

Level 3

Get the red planet (mars) to the farthest hand on the left. Get the orange planet (saturn) to the blue and green planet's hand (earth) and put earth in between those two. don't do anything to the one closest to the right(Mercury). the hand that was holding the star will put the star on the blob on the right (The Sun)

Level 4

Avoid all the gunk but crates and apples are okay. at some point they will drop the star and all you have to do is avoid and get it

Level 5

Roll the boulder into the water and ride it past the rock sticking out and then jump onto the red guy's hand and quickly get up to his other hand and onto the platform with the star

Level 6

Okay this one is really hard to explain so i'll try to as best as i can
Jump onto the red and black block
then to the blue and green block
then to the other red and black block
then to the green and purple block
then to the yellowish and green block
then to the yellow and pink block
Now take a leap of faith to the left onto the blue block
Then to the Black and green block
now jump just before the red block deissapears onto the orange then do the same for the red and black block
then to the other orange block
then to the blue block
then to the darker blue block
and then while the green one is on the other side jump onto the black black
when the green block comes near you jump onto it then walk with it the magenta block and onto the multicolored and go straight on down (up) to the star

Level 7

This one really doesn't take strategy but more luck
jump onto the flower on the left
then jump into the cannon
adjust the cannon to be aimed at the sky.
keep trying untill you land on a bird with the star.


Congrats you just beat Seven

36 Comments

Hey! I have no money left in last level so I can't use the canon!

What should I do? Is it the "ending bug"?

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Really fun and surprisingly good for an internet game! Reminded me a tiny bit of Super Mario 64. I'm stuck on...

The upside down level. Every bit that I climb comes to a dead end. Where do you go?

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Ahhh, ok, I completed it now :D I got rank 38 :)

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The underground-bounce-on-a-ball-and-start-all-over-again-every-time-you-jump-one-pixel-too-late level was jut too much for me. The game ide is allright, but i don't like it when i feel the developer hates players and wants to punish them - I know, of course, that it's not at all the case, but that level gave me the feeling :(

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Gryphon78 Author Profile Page August 1, 2009 7:55 AM

Dan, I love your review. I am infinitely glad that the JIG team added you. Keep up the great work!

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Level 6 took me twelve minutes and made me hate the whole world, mostly due to the controls -- it feels like the floors are covered in oil sometimes! But otherwise, it's a very fun game. And I do like how the authors promise to take me any way I want...

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It's a good game, with bugs, is my impression. For example, the rock's too heavy for me to push up the slope.

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cluddles Author Profile Page August 1, 2009 8:51 AM

This didn't really fit my definition of fun. The earlier levels were so trivial that I felt I was spending longer looking at the loading screen than actually playing the game, and the platforming aspect was so clunky that the latter levels were utterly infuriating. I gave up on the ride-on-top-of-the-rolling-boulder level after umpteen "I swear I pressed jump" moments - I even glitched through the boulder once.

Just to add insult to injury, I now have the level select music stuck in my head :)

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ThemePark Author Profile Page August 1, 2009 9:06 AM

Lukex115, care to share how you did it? Cause I'm stuck at that very point.

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Themepark:

Make a leap of faith to the left.

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Can anyone help on how to complete level 6? I'm stuck.

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I liked it. It was quite original, all in all.

Boulder level:

The speed with which you push the boulder matters. You won't be able to knock it out, but, you can try letting it gain a little momentum to the left before pushing. If you are able to push hard, the boulder will have more speed in the water.

Upside down part:

IIRC do not jump all the way to the "top" (bottom in this case) before jumping to the left. There's a brick that exists before going all the way to the "top". Jump left from there. I considered turning the monitor upside down, but this is a laptop. :D

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It took me 25 minutes to beat the upside down level. GRRRR.

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i liked this, except for level 6. the controls really need to be tightened. i slipped off the first three blocks about a hundred times.

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20th place WOOOT!
Complete Walkthrough:

Level 1

Move the crate that drops as far to the right as it will go. Jump on the crate and then jump over thje wall. go through the house and jump into the balloon basket. wait till the basket gets past the roof and then jump out onto the roof and get the star

Level 2

The dragon slams down twice in each direction, if you get it on the second he will turn and you will fall off. so go on the first. stay a little bit back from the tail and wait for the boxes to pop out of the ground then use them to propel yourself up (you might have to jump too) then jump quickly up his back to get the star

Level 3

Get the red planet (mars) to the farthest hand on the left. Get the orange planet (saturn) to the blue and green planet's hand (earth) and put earth in between those two. don't do anything to the one closest to the right(Mercury). the hand that was holding the star will put the star on the blob on the right (The Sun)

Level 4

Avoid all the gunk but crates and apples are okay. at some point they will drop the star and all you have to do is avoid and get it

Level 5

Roll the boulder into the water and ride it past the rock sticking out and then jump onto the red guy's hand and quickly get up to his other hand and onto the platform with the star

Level 6

Okay this one is really hard to explain so i'll try to as best as i can
Jump onto the red and black block
then to the blue and green block
then to the other red and black block
then to the green and purple block
then to the yellowish and green block
then to the yellow and pink block
Now take a leap of faith to the left onto the blue block
Then to the Black and green block
now jump just before the red block deissapears onto the orange then do the same for the red and black block
then to the other orange block
then to the blue block
then to the darker blue block
and then while the green one is on the other side jump onto the black black
when the green block comes near you jump onto it then walk with it the magenta block and onto the multicolored and go straight on down (up) to the star

Level 7

This one really doesn't take strategy but more luck
jump onto the flower on the left
then jump into the cannon
adjust the cannon to be aimed at the sky.
keep trying untill you land on a bird with the star.


Congrats you just beat Seven

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The ending cutscene:

Wow, that was a little heavy. Especially after such a whimsical adventure. Thoughts, anyone?

I'm trying to see some cohesiveness between it and the rest of the game. It almost seems like it was tossed in there. I don't know.

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Black Drazon Author Profile Page August 1, 2009 2:33 PM

Twelve minutes. There is nothing good about Stage 6. Level design is terrible, play control is terrible, and the music UGH the two and a half-second loop every two and a half-seconds for the past twelve and a quarter minutes. I swear at one point my character just got pushed off an empty platform but then later managed to make a jump he should have missed. And not moving when standing on moving platforms made sense in Level 5 when the platform was rolling, but here? And I may have just spent all that talking about play control and music but I'd like to come back and take another shot at level design: you can barely jump the simple jumps half the time. Abysmal. The other six levels are fine.

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Closed the game on level 6.. controls are way too frustrating...

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What awful play control and, at times, level design. Very pretty, though.

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Aggggh, I ran out of money on the cannon level and no matter how many times I restart the level or kill myself I can't get more money. Is it impossible for me to beat the game? I spent so much time on the upside-down level that this just feels like a slap in the face.

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I spent the entirety of level six screaming "I HATE THIS GAME" but I couldn't stop playing.

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The only way to get more money is:

On level 4, the guys throwing stuff above, also throw wads of cash. Collecting them gives you $200. I think the apples might also give you money, but I'm not sure. However, you have to collect the star in that level for your money to count. All of your gained money goes away when you die or restart the level.

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Anonymous August 1, 2009 5:45 PM

In reply to Toto, no. You can go back to one of the earlier levels to earn money.

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This game is so frustrating because it has such potential but I just couldn't get past the glitchy controls. But then again, what do you want out of a free, visually amazing platformer online?

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The only problem I had was the somewhat unresponsive jump button. Level 6 didn't seem so bad once I figured out the path. That being said, it still took me 10 minutes to beat. Did the hardest level really have to be completely plaid? Eugh. Some of the levels were pretty stylish though.

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That was way too short! I mean, I spent more time watching the loading screens than actually playing the levels. Also, the difficulty was set too low, none of the levels provided a real challenge, or anything even close to that. I don't think I'll be coming back for this one very soon.

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For the person who wrote the walkthrough, it's not saturn on the planet level it's venus. That makes the ordering easier to explain

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cajuncook Author Profile Page August 2, 2009 7:41 PM

This game gave me a headache, but it wasn't awful. If you have okay platformer-reflexes and can get over the poor design choice in not having your character move when a platform is moving, it's not so bad.

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First off, agreed on a great review. About the game, it was indeed so bizarre and intriguing as to keep me interested to see what was next. Which is brilliant on the designers' part as it really isn't that complex of a game. Not that it isn't challenging; it is. Stage 6 is just too much, though. Yes, like anything, it gets easier the more times you do it. And I had do it many times before I nailed it. Then more times before I got a satisfactory score.

Nevertheless, regarding the comment about the lack of difficulty: Hey, if you whizzed through it, then bully for you. But to refuse to acknowledge that stage 6 is "anything even close" to a challenge? Especially without knowing what to do before playing? Well... that's just poseur posturing.

The times I played, I couldn't go back to get more cash if I ran out in the last stage. I had to restart the entire game. I finally ended up with something like 12 minutes, but it was not good enough to gain a place on the board.

Definitely a creatively presented game. Definitely different.

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The control was too awful to enjoy.

After more than 10 minutes at the upside down level, I just gave up. I absolutely hate puzzle-like games where the challenge isn't figuring out how to do it, but in successfully repeating the same sections over-and-over because the process of doing it is difficult, and difficult merely due to the sloppy controls.

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Anonymous August 4, 2009 10:12 AM

I really reealy reeeally want to like this game, but there are too many instances when jumping wrong sends you back to the beginning, or the game glitches and sends you back to the beginning of the level.

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oh man, that plaid level is going to give me nightmares

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What is with that pig? It's just...turning...

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Anonymous February 7, 2010 7:07 PM

BEST. GAME. EVERRRR!!! Except the stupid plaid block level

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i think Seven is similar to the new agme Cordy in its graphics. Those two are my top two favourite platform games.

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The game is gone :

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