Sixit describes itself as "a cute narrative puzzle game," and I'm not too proud to admit that the adorable graphics are what made me choose to pick it up. Featuring adorable animal and plant-based characters in a lovely forest village, Sixit places you in the shoes of Pep, who might be a raccoon or something — you're never really sure.
Pep's village is in terrible danger from a sentient storm that seeks to destroy everything in its path. Years ago, the storm was defeated by your village's guardian dragon, Mitera, but the battle greatly taxed her and she's been sleeping ever since. Now the storm has reared its ugly head once again and you, as Pep, must collect six legendary artifacts to try and wake her back up and save your village from certain doom. This is definitely one of the better free games you can play on Android right now and it's probably also one of the best new Android games of 2021 so far.
The story is excellent in its own right, but the gameplay is one of the best facets of Sixit by virtue of its unique take on the roguelite genre. When you first start out on your path to help save this village, Pep has absolutely no abilities or moves beyond being able to walk to the left or right. That quickly changes once you discover the "Translation Conduit," which looks quite a lot like a megaphone. This megaphone allows you to talk to other critters in the village, opening up your first path forward. Here's the catch, though: you can only use the items in your inventory six times per run. Not six each, six total. Meaning that once you've talked to six villagers the first run, you'll have to return to the hub to recharge your actions back to six.
Save your village from certain doom by collecting six legendary artifacts.
With each new artifact discovered, your options for traversing the village and its surrounding areas improve a little bit more. Once you add the first couple of artifacts to your cache, you'll start to notice one of the fascinating game design choices that make Sixit truly unique. You can't just use your six artifacts six times in any order you please, either; you have to carefully pick them up from the hub room in the order that you plan to use them.
This is because Sixit forces you to use an action before you can move on to use the next one in your inventory. So let's say that you have the megaphone equipped first, then the axe, then the wings. That means that your next three moves must be talk, chop, jump. This gives Sixit a delightful extra layer of complexity and makes it crucial that you carefully observe and log the world around you.
Once you're out of moves, you've either accomplished the immediate goal you set out to complete or you forked it up real bad and now you have to use the handy-dandy reset button to take you back to the hub, thereby starting a new run that allows you to give it another go.
Sixit's writing and humor are what make it so charming, and talking to every last NPC is well worth your time.
However, that doesn't constrict the game so much as it encourages you to try new things. You may find that you can actually talk to a small tree using the megaphone rather than chopping it down with your axe, raising a whole new world of possibilities for how to traverse the next area. Additionally, every single NPC will react differently when you try to use new actions on them, so I would highly recommend that you give each one a try, even if only because you get a new interaction out of it.
You'll likely find with Sixit that you want to seek out new interactions with other villagers, not because you think it will necessarily gain you anything or get you anywhere, but because the game's writing and humor are so darn charming. Pep itself is simply described as "a mammal" and your only real qualifier for being the village's chosen savior is that you happen to have opposable thumbs. This kind of irreverent take on the whole chosen-one situation carries over into the rest of the game's writing, leading to some truly funny and endearing conversations.
Honestly, there's not much that I can say to critique Sixit. I liked pretty much everything about the game except for the soundtrack, which isn't bad, just not stellar. However, if puzzles aren't your jam, then this game may not be for you. The puzzles aren't especially challenging, but if you find yourself unsure of what to do next you may just need to use some random trial-and-error to see if your artifacts have any effect on the environment or NPCs that you haven't discovered yet.
That being said, Sixit is free to play, so you should absolutely give it a try. It doesn't even have intrusive ads or in-app purchases, unlike our last Game of the Week, Fishing Life, which could stand to take a page out of Sixit's book on this one. You can choose to make a one-time purchase of $1.99 to support the developer and remove all ads though, which I'm happy to pay just to support the team behind such a charming title.