I Saw The Sign
From the creators of Seven Endgame, The Sign is an interactive ghost story in which the player must use hacking software on their phone to unravel the truth. Paying homage to The Ring, anyone who watches a strange video will die in seven days. Of course, you just must watch it and now you have seven days to live unless you can figure out what’s causing the phenomena and stop it. Sounds compelling right? Unfortunately, The Sign doesn’t live up to it’s inspiration.
It all starts when your friend reveals in the class group chat that she watched a strange video seven days ago. Since then, she’s been having hallucinations and believes she is going to die tonight.
Gameplay largely consists of “text messaging” friends and family. Sometimes you’ll have multiple options for how to respond. Depending on your dialog choices you can improve or worsen your relationship with the character you’re conversing with. It isn’t always obvious which answer will upset someone, so good luck.
Hack It Up
After, stupidly, in my opinion, watching the “death video” the player character reaches out to their friend Wolf, who will download hacking software onto their phone. Players will then need to earn stars by completing match-3 style levels. Once you’ve earned enough stars, you’ll be able to progress in the game. Hacking is simple. It’s really just matching symbols but to be honest there’s nothing compelling about it.
The Sign is free to play, kind of. Technically you can play through the game without spending a dime, but if you want access to all content, including videos sent to the player characters’ phone which enhance the story, you’ll have to pay a whopping $8.99. This really sucks when you must respond to a video you were sent but can’t watch the video. I’m sure a lot of hard work went into the game, but the title is not compelling enough to warrant such a high price. I would get adding in-app purchases for extra content, or having to watch an ad, but locking players out of content involving the main storyline seems harsh.
The Sign is a slow burn, and I mean slow. There were too many times starting out that I was tempted to put down my phone and turn on Netflix. The beginning is especially dull. Yes, you know you are building to something, but the conversations bored me, and even with typing set to the fastest speed it still took way too long for the NPC’s to respond. If you have more patience than I, however, you may enjoy the slow-building tension.
I really wish I enjoyed this title. The premise is so promising. However, The Sign fails to immerse its players. The hacking mini-game simply isn’t engaging, and the storyline takes to long to get interesting. Combine that with the fact that certain content is locked unless you pay, and the scariest thing about The Sign is how underwhelming it is.
Is It Hardcore?
The Sign doesn’t manage to be engaging. Altogether, it’s underwhelming.