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The freeware horror-themed point-and-click adventure 5 Days a Stranger is the first part of the The Chzo mythos. It tells the story of a cat burglar named Trilby who sets out to steal the family valuables from the manor of the recently deceased Sir Roderick DeFoe. But once Trilby gets inside, all the doors and windows are locked, and he cannot get out.

Soon he realizes that four other people are trapped in the house as well and the house has a reason for keeping them there - a truly sinister one. Together with scavenger Philip Harty, TV reporter Simone Taylor, the youngster Jim, and the secretive AJ, Trilby has to delve into the family history to solve the secret the manor is hiding.

The game is controlled through five mouse-controlled actions: walk, look, use, and talk. These can be selected from the bottom of the interface, from the inventory screen, or by cycling through them with the space bar. The entire game takes place over the course of five days, introducing a whodunnit theme when some characters go missing. Most puzzles are inventory-based, but some also rely on conversations. It is also possible to die during certain sequences if the player does not react quickly.


5 Days a Stranger Windows The characters discuss their options in the living room.
5 Days a Stranger Windows Time to see what there is to steal
5 Days a Stranger Windows Someone has been digging in the garden, and not just to find a way out.
5 Days a Stranger Windows The hall with the inventory shown.

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Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

5 Hours a Fun Terrence Bosky (5463) 3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars
An AGS freeware adventure game BETTER than "todays" commercial adventure games! Indra was here (20887) 4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars
The Tale of DeFoe Manor vicrabb (7291) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
Adventure Horror At Its Best! Classic Nigel (150) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
Trilby. Rocks. Christina Nordlander (26) 3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars
Amateurish at its best Czar Husk Qi (39) 2.8 Stars2.8 Stars2.8 Stars2.8 Stars2.8 Stars
In the spirit of classic adventure games and survival horror games Ravenhoe (15) 3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars

Critic Reviews

Just Adventure May 09, 2007 A 100 Sep 26, 2004 87 out of 100 87
Abandonia Reloaded Mar 26, 2005 4.2 out of 5 84
The Retro Spirit Dec 21, 2010 5 out of 6 83 Aug 01, 2009 8 out of 10 80 Aug 07, 2004 8 out of 10 80
Adventure Lantern Oct, 2006 79 out of 100 79
AGS Ezine Jul 22, 2007 75 out of 100 75
Immoral Gamers Apr 04, 2009 6 out of 10 60


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July 28th

The later games of the DeFoe series occur on (at least in part) the date of July 28th frequently, as that is the date when the links between the real work and the world of magic are weakest (for a variety of reasons).

However, in 5 Days a Stranger the date for when this occurrence takes place is not July 28th but is instead June 28th!

This inconsistency is retconned in Trilby's Notes and 6 Days a Sacrifice, where John DeFoe's fate and the events of the first game are both respectively moved forward one month later to the proper date.


The lockpicks Trilby uses have the identical appearance as those used by Garrett in Thief: The Dark Project and Thief II: The Metal Age. These two games are among Croshaw's favourites.


The game's music is taken from RPG Maker 2000.


  • AGS Awards
    • 2003 - Best Game Created with AGS
    • 2003 - Best Gameplay in an AGS Game
    • 2003 - Best Dialogue Scripting in an AGS Game
    • 2003 - Best Puzzles in an AGS Game
    • 2003 - Best Scripting in an AGS Game

Additional information contributed by Jeremy Johnson and Sciere

Related Web Sites

Zack Green (1186) added 5 Days a Stranger (Windows) on Jan 22, 2004