Being unable to understand a language, while being around people only speak it, is a powerless feeling. To be so lost and unable to comprehend what’s going on, and not even be able to voice that and properly ask for assistance, can be terrifying. Compound that with being an amnesiac and trapped in a small home with a stranger, and you’re left in a haunting and intimidating situation. That’s 7 Days to End with You, an indie from Lizardry newly available on the Nintendo Switch. And yes, it’s as unsettling as you might imagine.
Initially, it maybe doesn’t seem that bad. The person here with you isn’t hostile. She seems willing to talk to you. She’ll follow you around the home as you explore together. If you use the point-and-click interface to call attention to objects, she’ll say some words you can use to help figure out what she calls them. You can cobble together a rudimentary understanding of sorts. It’s even possible to assist with chores each day, by helping to cook meals or tend flowers. Cooking is a bit more difficult, since you need to first figure out the words for colors and certain sorts of items and liquids. But gardening involves pictures and words, which helps with figuring out actions.
But even so, there’s something that just doesn’t seem right in 7 Days to End with You. It sneaks up on you. When you first leave the room and head into the hall, there’s a mirror. I figured, “Great! A way to learn new words!” Or that maybe when I’d see myself and point at it, the woman accompanying me would say my name. Maybe it’d even trigger something and unlock a memory? But it’s shattered. I can tell I’m a person, but nothing more. Strikingly, it seems like it was done in such a way that someone purposely smashed it. Like they punched or attacked the mirror, rather than some accident that caused it to fall down.
Then, there’s the upstairs. There’s a study. But… something is off. Initially, it seems like it could be some normal, scientific endeavors. Sure, there’s a huge vial with some liquid over a burner. There are books and materials, including a large one on a stand. However, there’s also a spine on the floor. Unidentifiable objects, perhaps creatures, seem to be preserved in formaldehyde. But also, the person with me doesn’t seem upset when I go there? She doesn’t react the way she does when I attempt to leave the house. So maybe I’m overreacting. Maybe alchemy is No Big Deal in the world of 7 Days to End with You. Perhaps a house ain’t a home unless you got some human remains?
Oh, but I did gloss over the times when this new partner does show emotion in 7 Days to End with You. You can go anywhere in the house. Anywhere at all. But you can’t leave it. If you try, she forcibly stops you. But you can tell things aren’t dangerous outside. If you go to the window in the bedroom, you can see clean waters and a city. She even tells you that people live there. (At least, that’s what I’ve sussed out. There are still newspapers from varying periods of time, so civilization appears intact. But for some reason, I can’t leave. This woman won’t let me leave.
Of course, I’m leaving things out here. If I say too much, it’d spoil things. And while 7 Days to End with You is obtuse and difficult to work out at times, so much so that I turned to assistance from others to figure out a few words I couldn’t decipher on my own, it’s absolutely fascinating. Not to mention 7 Days to End with You maintains a haunting atmosphere throughout, especially on the Switch.
7 Days to End with You is available on the Switch and PC.