Technologically groundbreaking, but mentally frustrating.
The 7th Guest was amazing for its day. It may not have been the first multimedia title, but it defined the term and set the standard for many years. High-resolution video (albeit letterboxed), rich MIDI music score, and lavishly-detailed rendered scenes simply hadn't existed before 7th Guest--or if they did, certainly not all in the same title. (And certainly not working on a single-speed CDROM drive on a 386!)
7th Guest contained a system where you could bypass a puzzle if it was too hard. But doing so got you an "alternate" ending that wasn't as enjoyable as the original ending. To the victor go the spoils...
People tend to be more vocal about what is wrong with a game than what is right. Sadly, I'm no exception. Don't get me wrong: The 7th Guest is a great title that people owe it to themselves to play... it's just that there are some things that could have been improved that were completely un
related to the fact that it was a first-generation product:
- The acting. I don't know if Trilobyte was either short on cash, inexperienced, or simply didn't have a large cache of talent to pool from, but it shows.
- Insanely impossible puzzles. Just when you think you've got them all figured out, the microscope puzzle hits you. Based on the Ataxx/Othello game variant, this puzzle has the difficultly dialed way up. While that puzzle isn't required to finish the game, the Knights puzzle is. The Knights puzzle, I have concluded, is unsolvable by human intellects.
- Navigation. You are forced to watch the movement from location to location. It is completely possible, technologically, to simply include a full final frame of the animation and just jump there.
The Bottom Line
A must-play. You owe it to yourself to play the title that defined the 'multimedia' industry for years to come.