The 11th Hour was actually the first game on my list, but I didn’t want to start off with a 20+ year old fmv game, which is also a sequel. You can read how well that turned out. Playing this directly after the 7th Guest I was relieved to see that the graphics had much improved by 1995. The pre-rendered sequences were much smoother, and more importantly, much faster. The videos like the charming 90s-tv-schlock looking intro movie were also less painful to watch. The other thing that seems to have changed is that the difficulty of the puzzles has been noticeably increased. It all takes place in the same old mansion, and Old Man Stauf seems to have become even more MEAN! over the years. He mocks me at every turn (because I’m shit at his puzzles).
If you’re into puzzle games, I think the game would still be worth playing today. I’m not into puzzle games, and I’m sick of being mocked.
The Horror – of early 90s FMV-game graphics! The 7th Guest stems from a time when the vast memory of CD-ROMs needed to be filled, and Full Motion Video did the job quite well. It did such a good job, that the videos had to be compressed a lot to actually fit on the medium. 24 years later they are rather hard on the eye. I remember reading in magazines (bundles of paper with words printed on them) about the game back in the day (I am old), but I never actually played it.
The 7th guest is a adventure/puzzle game in the horror genre. You are the seventh guest in a mansion haunted by the ghost of a mad man, who killed the six guests before you and forces you to do puzzles. You walk from room to room via slow pre-rendered videos, to then solve static puzzles, which open rooms with more puzzles. There are a lot of amateurish and very compressed looking ghost entering and exiting the screens.
Once you get used to the ugly graphics and blasting general midi soundtrack, there seems to be a decent puzzle game hidden beneath, but I won’t find out for certain, because I don’t care much for puzzle games or haunted mansions. Luckily enough I played far enough to stumble upon this beautiful poem from the game:
Old man Stauf built a house
and filled it with his toys.
Six guests were invited one night,
their screams the only noise.
Blood in the library,
blood right up the hall,
dripping down the attic stairs,
‘Hey Guests, try not to fall!’.
Nobody came out that night.
Not one was ever seen.
But old man Stauf is waiting there…
Crazy! Sick! and MEAN!
When you quit the game a voice screeches ‘Come baaaack!’. I won’t.
I don’t know anything about this game, apart from it being an adventure game with a cyberpunk theme. After a decent pixel-art intro and some 80s synths, I end up looking at a bedroom, that reminds me very much of Zack McKracken’s, one of the first point and click adventures I ever played. This kind of thing is so overdone in indie games. While I understand that it’s convenient for developers to go with this art-style, nowadays it just feels lazy and boring to me. I’m done wallowing in nostalgia all the time – and that’s coming from a guy who is very much into 80s stuff.
After accidentally clicking on a newspaper article on my in-game laptop (‘lappy’), I end up reading a much too long chunk of text via an interface that’s not suited for long chunks of text. I can feel boredom creeping in immediately. I’m supposed to write an article on a pair of headphones (boy, this is getting exciting). I play some music on them and after I try to use them on ‘lappy’ with cyberpunk-youtube, the whole game crashes to my desktop. I’m not sure I’ll give this another try.
I gave it another try and it crashed again. So far this journey is much worse than I imagined. I found some workaround in the steam forums. Last try.
OK, so I got around the bug and I realized that this is not a point and click adventure. It’s an interactive story. So far the story goes like this: I’m a failing writer in a crappy apartment. One night a condescending robot with a child’s voice (ugh) breaks into my flat and bores me with never ending dialog. I feel a definitive vibe of preachiness and pseudo-philosophical twaddle. Put this on top of the overdone cyberpunk theme of ‘what’s consciousness?’ and you got something that I don’t want to spent any time with.
After the prologue the informs me doesn’t have an auto-save function and that I should save frequently. Why doesn’t it have an auto-save feature? Could I at least have the nostalgia wallowing without the inconvenience of yore?
This is not for me. I can safely mark ‘2064 Read Only Memories’ as ‘done’.