Many, many years ago when I was about seven years old, I went on a trip with my mother to visit my uncle and aunt who lived in the countryside about an hour’s drive from us. Whilst we were there, my uncle told us about a new video game he had recently bought and we all ended up playing it on the TV in the living room. That game was The 7th Guest and it would come to haunt me for many years to come.
Released in 1993 by Trilobite and Virgin Games, The 7th Guest would become something of a classic. One of the first games ever to be released only on CD-ROM, it is credited with kick-starting gaming on that format. In fact the game was successful enough to spawn a sequel – The 11th Hour – of which more later.
The 7th Guest is a first person horror story in which you play the faceless character “Ego.” Unlike many other games in the horror genre, no fighting is involved; instead this is a puzzle game in which you move through a mansion figuring out puzzles and attempting to solve the mystery of what happened within. On its original release, The 7th Guest received lots of attention in the press for its innovative use of live action video clips which are used to progress the core storyline as you solve puzzles and unlock rooms – Bill Gates himself called it “the new standard in interactive entertainment.”
The 7th Guest was released on iOS in 2010 but I found playing the game on my iPhone difficult and didn’t spend much time with it, however last week both The 7th Guest and The 11th Hour were finally re-released for modern PCs via the DotEmu download service and I had the opportunity to play them again.