Following the success of 5 Days a Stranger, Yahtzee decided that, no! A one hit wonder just wouldn’t do! He had more horror tropes to nod to, more space to cover! And speaking of space that became the setting of the futuristic sequel 7 Days a Skeptic. Most flawed of the series from a narrative standpoint, it might be, however the most horrorific of them.
Skipping a few centuries right into the the year 2385, 7 Days (a game awfully ominous when referred to like this) is played through Jonathan Somerset, experienced psychiatrist of spaceship Mephistopheles. On exploration duty for the Earth Federation, the ship’s crew of Jonathan and five others find a sealed metal box adrift in space. Upon inspection, they find that it contains the remains of John DeFoe, character of some importance to the first game as players might recall. As the crew returns to their assigned duties, leaving the box unopened, Dr. Somerset realizes things start to grow veeeery eerieeee.
With a premise and aesthetical style reminiscent of sci-fi horror movies, particularly Alien, 7 Days is a nice shift while still retaining the characteristics that made its prequel scary. The isolation and inability to run away makes sense when away means out in the vacuum of outer space. Dream sequences still mix into reality, giving it an ethereal feel at times. And it further expands the tales of the series’ supernatural killer, giving him a more active role this time, which makes some parts really fucking scary.
It may sounds ridiculous and hamfisted at first to go from modern to futuristic in one game while still keeping the same themes, but it’s a title that does so unpretentiously. 7 Days a Skeptic is enjoyable and very very creepy and you should play it just for that. And if you don’t do it for the cold spike you feel while being chased by an insane murderer, play it for its sequels because, boy, it’s worth it. And I’ll get to that soon.