The 7th Guest

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The 7th Guest

MSRP: $5.99

Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android

Release: 4/28/93


When I was a teenager, The 7th Guest was the most impressive video game I’d ever played.  There were puzzles and voice acting and parts of it even looked like a movie. But the years have not been kind and my nostalgia goggles aren’t powerful enough to push me to play it through a second time.

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Now, I really couldn’t tell you if it’s just my PC, the version that I bought from GOG or what, but it looks absolutely horrid.  I’ve seen plenty of screenshots which are at the very least somewhat clearer, but I could not find any options in the game to tweak anything. So trying to play it was a dark, dreary, and frustratingly slow experience.

I think that the slow movement and awkward controls were what was passed for immersion in the early nineties.  However, modern systems can handle far more than this game needs, and some optimization for PC would have been nice (especially since the edition released for Android was cleaned up when touch controls were added). This may be the first time I’ve ever regretted buying a game for my PC instead of my tablet.

If you do decide to do a play through, plan to spend immense amounts of time looking at the skeletal hand of nope – this is not a pixel hunter, and most of the scenery is just that.  In fact, you’re likely to find no more than one or two spots per room that are important.  Mostly, you’ll be wandering around and empty house, and scooping up tiny bits of story between puzzles that range from ridiculously simple to insanely hard.  Any experienced puzzle gamer is going to find very little that’s challenging without being frustrating.

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The story – what I remember of it – is convoluted, and just rewatching the prologue to the game reminded me of just how screwy it was from the get go. A drifter becomes murder becomes toymaker becomes murderer again – maybe – and then builds a big scary house and invites some people for a party and they’re never heard from again? This is like Clue on shrooms, friends.

The 7th Guest was absolutely groundbreaking at the time, and it’s the game I credit with getting me interesting in both horror and adventure games. That alone makes me want to recommend it. But if you have the ability to purchase it on Android rather than the other platforms, there’s a good chance that some of the worst features got edited out.  The story? Well, that’s still going to be a hot mess, but at least it’s an interesting hot mess.

One thought on “The 7th Guest

  1. […] the heyday of point-and-click horror adventure games – these were the days of Phantasmagoria, The 7th Guest, and the Gabriel Knight series – the past few years has seen indie developers trying to bring […]

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