It’s not always easy to make a transition from mobile to more traditional platforms, or vice versa. While Fallout Shelter found a home on iOS and Android before making a strong leap to PC and consoles, the same can’t be said for fellow Bethesda stablemate The Elder Scrolls: Blades. The latest game to attempt this transition is 7 Years From Now, from developers Hiraya-Space, room 6, and fumi.
7 Years From Now is a slice of life narrative adventure game about a young man returning to the place he grew up. However, there are secrets to uncover, conspiracies to expose, and lost relationships to reveal. The initial release in 2017 was a big success for Android and iOS devices, winning awards and gaining millions of downloads, and now it’s available for PC and Nintendo Switch.
Narrative-based games often have a central hook to get players involved, and 7 Years From Now uses amnesia as its initial story conceit. Main character Haruto was adopted, and cannot remember anything of his life seven years ago. All he has is a memory of making a promise to a young girl, to meet again in seven years, and his return to his old home starts bringing back more memories.
Before too long, however, more than just this promise is revealed. The town he is now in has a secret about an explosion at the hospital, and a cover-up revolving around the treatment of a deadly illness called LMD. There’s something else going on, though: a time travel story tied up in interpersonal relationships that span generations.
There’s a lot going on in 7 Years From Now and although some elements work well, particularly its emotional core of characters, it does become quite convoluted. For every impressive section, such as a fantastic chapter later in the game that delves into the historic relationship between two young patients in an old ward, there’s another that becomes too melodramatic for comfort. Although there’s a solid central story, it may well be too meandering for some, especially as it does into the intricacies of how the time loop works.
It doesn’t help that 7 Years From Now has very limited gameplay, with the player essentially only able to move around its its isometric maps and tapping through dialogue. It’s really more of a visual novel than anything else, and indeed the title may have been better suited by having a more traditional visual novel experience than the stilted backtracking of its open world. It’s very much on rails in spite of its apparent freedom.
This also feeds through to issues with the game’s controls. 7 Years From Now does feel a little odd and limited with its character movements, and this is potentially down to the title’s mobile roots. After all, it is a game from 2017 for mobile devices, and so porting it over to PC and Switch was always going to be a challenge given the versatility of its new platforms.
Visually, at least, 7 Years From Now holds up extremely well. Its voxel graphics still have the timeless charm that the art style consistently brings, and it certainly makes it stand out from other visual novel-esque releases. However, some elements don’t work so well, such as trees that look more like paper cutouts rather than as part of the wider world.
Overall, 7 Years From Now is a mixed bag. The game stood out brightly on mobile devices because it was a unique and refreshing title on a set of platforms that are still not known for their narrative strength or overall quality. When making the step to Switch and PC, however, 7 Years From Now faces different challenges that it cannot quite overcome, with its decent if not fantastic story held back by the restrictions of its previous form.
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7 Years From Now is out now for PC, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices. Screen Rant was provided with a Switch download code for the purposes of this review.