Steam Game Review – Session Seven

Session Seven is a completely free escape-the-room point-and-click game. Players alternate between a basement scene where Ryan has been trapped, and a therapy session between Ryan and his psychiatrist. In the basement players find out secrets about the family, while in therapy these are expanded with dialog options.

Release Date: March 1st, 2019
Developer: Session Seven Team
Publisher: Session Seven Team
Format: PC Game
First playthrough time: 1 hour

ryan lies on the floor of a basement with a bloody hand. around him is a workbench, desk, shelves, and a guitar case

The escape begins

Major Pros:

  • Interesting story
  • Good level of difficulty

Minor Pros:

  • Dialog options
Ryan says to self: this bulletin board is covered in reminders for meetings with the realtor, the bank, and Landon's teachers, as well as an alphabetized shopping list of Cynthia's.

Find clues about Ryan’s family, and secrets…

Major Cons:

  • Questionable depiction of mental illness

Minor Cons:

  • Some interaction options aren’t used
ryan says to therapist: not knowing what was going to happen next, or who was going to be waiting for me... not know what would happen to me, or my family...

Ryan discusses his experiences with his therapist

Session Seven focuses on the story of Ryan’s family and how he came to be trapped in his basement. The story unravels slowly, keeping the player engaged while searching around the basement for tools to help them escape. Most of the story is told through the therapy session scenes, which provide the player with dialog options to characterize Ryan their own way and affect the story. In the basement Ryan finds secrets about his family which lead into discussions in therapy.

3 dialog options: first option, I just lost it. I was terrified. second option, I got frustrated. I tried to remember what I was doing before it all started. third option, I stayed calm. I wasn't going to give up.

Dialog options with the therapist can affect the story

I found the level of difficulty to be spot on for this game. It was able to provide me with a challenge in solving the puzzles without the answers being obvious or requiring clicking repeatedly on combinations of items in frustration. Often I saw how items went together and was enticed forward to find the missing components. After having completed the game however, I was disappointed to find some of the interactions (not items) went unused. It felt like a tease.

ryan holds a pair of scissors and a cloth bandage in his inventory. interaction options are: give, open, close, pick up, look, talk to, use, push, and pull

I found that not all of these interaction options were used

Part of the story of Session Seven describes a character with mental illness. I was disappointed in how this character was labeled and portrayed. The mental illness ascribed to them did not match the symptoms they showed, and I felt it reflected poorly on real individuals with that diagnosis and made them seem dangerous. While I acknowledge the fictional nature of the story and setting, I felt it was in poor taste to have a character depicted as a medical professional providing and agreeing with such a depiction of another mentally ill character.

therapist says to ryan: is that true? you're taking your medications regularly? ryan looks grumpy.

Even a fictional medical professional has weight with the viewer

Overall I found Session Seven to be a fun and engaging escape the room game. I found the difficulty appropriate and the story engaging. While I wasn’t thrilled with some of the character depictions from a social perspective, I assume it was done for dramatic affect. The puzzles were fun and I liked that I was able to select dialog options. I recommend Session Seven to any fans of older point-and-click games and escape-the-room games.

Find this game at the publisher’s website or on Steam.

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