Seven Bullets is a Twine game that feels more like the Choose Your Own Adventure books of my childhood than any other Twine game I have played before. Unlike most Twine games that utilize a linear progression, Seven Bullets opts for tons of branching paths that will require multiple playthroughs to experience. Even the theming, modern day assassins, is a bit odd compared to the majority of Twine games

The first aspect of Seven Bullets that stuck out to me was the use of an RPG system. Certain actions will earn experience points or increase stats such as Infamy or Luck. These actions are underlined in blue and will tell you much you have earned but there isn’t any character sheet where you can track your progress. It isn’t until you finish the game that your stats will be revealed to you. Unfortunately, I don’t believe these stats influence player choice, so I’m not sure they have any function in game. It would have been great if narrative options were unlocked after attaining certain stats thresholds

In Seven Bullets, you play as an assassin who has decided to retire. Your boss isn’t happy about this and decides to kidnap your sister. This is pretty generic as far as plots go, even using the tired damsel in distress trope. We are given no or little background information about anybody and simply get thrown into this story with one objective. My first game caught me off guard with the story it told. Without spoiling too much, it turned into a sci-fi adventure and then I visited Hell. Every expectation I had was subverted and, while I was bored with the initial setup, I became more invested the deeper I read. This was the longest playthrough I had, sitting in at 12,000+ words according to my ending stats. My second playthrough was much shorter, only around 1,000 words, and it stuck with the initial narrative without any side stories. I found out later that Seven Bullets consists of 280,000 words and over 80 endings. The game is huge, much larger than your typical Twine game. Despite having played twice with an accumulated game time around four hours I had barely scratched the surface.

Also unique to most Twine game is the inclusion achievements. Aside from the obvious use as a way to promote replaying the game, each achievement unlocks bonus content. Four types of commentaries are unlockable as well as outlines, deleted scenes, companion text, and character bios as well as tons of other content that flesh out the universe of the game. Just for context, there is an additional 75,000 words in the bonus content. I just want to point out again how large the scope of this game is

Seven Bullets isn’t perfect though. The writing itself is simple, both to its benefit and its detriment. The story is easy to read, allowing practically anyone to play, but lacks in most of the descriptive passages. Enough information is given to create an idea of the world but not enough to be engrossed in it. This writing style works in the beginning but the unfamiliar locales and time period would benefit greatly from more description. For better or worse, the story borrows from action games with most decisions revolving around violence, usually tasking the player with killing or subduing other individuals. There aren’t any introspective passages nor will any aspect be thought provoking. I’m not taking points off for this, since it isn’t the purpose of Seven Bullets, but I am pointing it out because Twine games rarely take the form of blockbuster action games. In fact, this is the first Twine game I have played that feels inspired by AAA games

I would recommend Seven Bullets to anyone who loves the adventure RPG books of the past. It evokes a lot of the same feelings of exploration. The sheer size of the game is impressive and the large amount of endings and unlockables makes the game immensely replayable. Due to its influences and content, Seven Bullets acts as the perfect bridge between mainstreaming gaming and Twine and would definitely be my introductory Twine game for anybody who enjoys actions games.

Review: Seven Bullets
Pros
  • High Replayability
  • Tons of Unlocks
  • Easy to Read
Cons
  • Stats are only used for flavor
  • Writing could be more detailed
8Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
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About The Author

Contributor

Bryan is fascinated with the potential of video games as a story telling medium, both through narrative and mechanics. He loves playing games with deep systems and mechanics, giving players lots of room to tinker in the games in search of optimization. This has led him to favor fighting games and RPG though he has a soft spot for fast paced FPS titles and their twitchy, reaction based skill set. Outside of video games he enjoys programming, fiction writing, and music composition and performance.

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