The 7th Guest (PC) Review

By Ofisil 31.03.2018

Review for The 7th Guest on PC

Along with its more popular sibling, Myst, The 7th Guest helped in kickstarting the CD medium, which was not widely used back in the early '90s - in other words, it was a killer app. It looked and sounded as nothing else did, and that alone made people run to the store to try it out - even those who weren't adventure fans. Was the core experience any good, though, or was this dark and beautiful, Faustian ghost story just an overpriced tech demo? Is there any reason to try and unveil the mystery behind the fellow known as the seventh guest? Cubed3 visits 1993, and goes hunting to find out...

The "photorealistic" mansion isn't impressive anymore, but it doesn't matter, as everything looks pretty good despite the dated visuals. While, this isn't as scary as it used to, it is spooky nonetheless, and although not a true horror title, it looks pleasantly horror-esque. The 7th Guest had, and still has a pretty strong atmosphere, which is further enhanced by the strange "poltergeist" tunes, a variety of unsettling sound effects, the ghostly apparitions that appear out of nowhere, and, most importantly, that feeling of being alone, but not… completely.

This dark fairytale is a bizarre ghost story where the faceless protagonist, a ghost him/herself, must unveil the mystery behind the owner of this place, who goes by the name of Stauf (subtle anagrammatism…), a man who apparently made a pact with a certain evil entity, with the price involving the souls of little children. This charming fellow has invited six people from the nearby town, and has offered them the "ultimate prize" if they'll manage to find the titular seventh guest.

Screenshot for The 7th Guest on PC

It's important to note that that the events you'll witness actually belong in the past. The protagonist is basically a formless spirit that wanders inside the mansion that it's trapped in, and that gets to "meet" the rest of Stauf's guests, in all their ghostly, pixel-y, FMV glory, as they try to backstab each other while searching for this unfortunate sacrificial lamb. In other words, you're playing the role of a paranormal activity detective who is paranormal him/herself.

The plot, while good, is also sort of paper thin, as better storylines has seen the light of day, and the presentation, instead of decent-to-good like the plot, is just bad, as the performance of the actors is cringy beyond belief, giving this an, almost funny, Resident Evil-like, B-movie aura. Furthermore, these don't hold up visual-wise anymore, as their quality is inferior even when compared to other FMV cut-scenes of the era, like the ones in Myst, for example.

Screenshot for The 7th Guest on PC

The true flaw, though, is that the plot sort of takes a backseat here. While definitely an adventure game, it's not a traditional one - in fact, this almost feel as if this is mostly a collection of puzzles that feel out of place story-wise, again, unlike the ones in Myst, which are seamlessly weaved into the environment. So, instead of exploring around, or gathering items and clues, you'll just have to find those puzzles (mini-games, essentially) and complete them.

There's no reason to search around to get some help or find a key-item in older to solve any of the puzzles, as, once you discover one, it's just you, and it. At least, are these any good? Well, they are a mixed bunch. Some are nice and simple, some are very good, and some, usually the harder ones, are annoying, especially when they include slowly animated parts, making the whole process feel like a chore, even when you know the solution. Oh, and by the way, moving around is somewhat slow, too, as it's all animated, but at least that's better than the slideshow-like vibe of the Myst series.

Screenshot for The 7th Guest on PC

There's a certain book in the mansion that helps you with the puzzles, which can even be used to solve them completely, something that yours truly always does (like the lowly noob that he is) when having to solve an infuriatingly difficult version of the 'Infection' game. The way this item works further emphasises that The 7th Guest is more like a series of puzzles with a little bit of adventuring thrown in, instead of the other way around, and, to be honest, it could be a better series of puzzles, with a little more (and better) adventuring available.

In conclusion, there's a reason why people flocked to the stores to buy Myst and The 7th Guest, which is how awesome these looked back in the early '90s, but there's also a reason why Myst sort of endured and created a whole series of games while this didn't. Myst immersed you in a non-linear world that felt real, with a couple of fantastic puzzles to keep you company. The 7th Guest is a linear, mediocre array of puzzles, served along an okay-ish, eerie story.

Screenshot for The 7th Guest on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Unless willing to experience a, somewhat flawed, cult piece of adventure game history that oozes with spookiness, The 7th Guest is not really a big recommendation, especially after so many years, as it's basically a series of puzzle mini-games; mini-games that lack a "connection" to the game world, and which are of mixed quality.

Developer

Trilobyte

Publisher

Virgin

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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