Bad Old Games: The 7th Guest Is Unleashed Once More

By John Walker on February 9th, 2012 at 5:19 pm.

Oh just fuck off.

Everyone has at some point taken a pop at the first G of GOG’s acronym. Megarace? Postal 2? Alone In The Dark 4? Then just when you want to campaign they should just call it “Old Games”, they bring us a Syndicate, a Thief, a Deus Ex. So today’s announcement? Which way will it go? Up or down? Great or hate?

Pllrrrrrbbbbbbbbb. The 7th Bloody Guest.

People who like 7th Guest are like people who think Taco Bell is great Mexican food, because they’ve never eaten Mexican food. Or people who say instant coffee is fine, when they’ve never had Italian espresso. People who are idiots, is what I mean. It was such a stinking pile of crap, that people pretended was amazing because it contained FMV characters projected on a pre-rendered background. And sure, in 1993 those were new things, brought by the advent of the CD-ROM as a means of carrying a game. I remember getting it then, all my fifteen years so excited by the prospect of this new technology, and then being faced with a puzzle in which I had to CUT UP A SODDING CAKE.

Ooooh, but the cake was covered in gravestones! Spooooooky!

And the acting. Oh heavens, the acting. Well, take a look:

It’s a bunch of really crappy puzzles strung together with some of the most objectionably awful FMV and Myst-like swooping movement, that should be burned on a pyre, not re-released as a classic.

, , .

122 Comments »

Sponsored links by Taboola
  1. Unaco says:

    Not a fan then John?

    • Khemm says:

      I actually laughed, thanks.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      I dunno, John didn’t come across very clear on that.

    • InternetBatman says:

      He didn’t like it? I just looked at the pictures and video. It looks like a pretty good game.

  2. Meat Circus says:

    It’s not good. It’s barely a game.

    So today, they are just O.com

  3. pirxthepilot says:

    You’re tearing me apart, Lisa!

  4. Dogsbody says:

    don’t you dare hate on Megarace. that game’s worth it for the fake commercials and FMV spots alone. still got my CD of it somewhere.

    • circadianwolf says:

      Ditto. Megarace is fantastic and hilarious, especially the cutscenes. Also, it’s a great racing game for people who don’t like racing games, since you lose even if you get first place as long as there are still other racers alive. (Especially since you ran out of ammo quickly and had to learn to bash cars into the walls to destroy them without also destroying yourself. Such a weird game.)

    • TheBigBookOfTerror says:

      I loved Megarace too. I would like to see an update.

    • kemryl says:

      Lance Boyle single-handedly made Megarace one of the best games ever released.

  5. Inigo says:

    Isn’t this going to make the microscope puzzle completely unwinnable?

  6. Toasticus says:

    Megarace was amazing to me as a kid becase (a) it had 3D graphics! (b) it had fast cars and explosions! and, perhaps most importantly, (c) it came with our Packard Bell for free so I didn’t have to try pitching the sale to my parents at the time!

    It was no Jagged Alliance but I certainly wouldn’t consider it to sully the name of GoG, myself. I’m glad they have it. :)

    • LazyGit says:

      Yeah, Megarace came with our Tulip desktop and it was ‘the’ killer app. If we ever wanted to show off how amazing this 486 sx33 behemoth was we would load up Megarace and let everyone watch Lance Boyle witter on about whatever it was he went on about. I seem to remember it being funny.

  7. westyfield says:

    Instant coffee is so shit.

  8. ucfalumknight says:

    So, what you’re saying John, is that you want someone to gift you a copy?

    • Phantoon says:

      BRILLIANT! Inundate John with copies of the game until we destroy his very being, until he is nothing more than a shell of a man that cries randomly and mumbles “Seventh Guest” at funerals!

      Actually, that sounds rather not nice. Let’s not do that at all. Tea, anyone?

  9. nobody says:

    Aw, be nice to poor old 1993. I haven’t played it since then, and the video above clearly demonstrates that my teenage self had no idea what acting was, but I have fond memories of being so excited to come home with the newly purchased CD-ROM drive, at that time with the removable cartridges in which you’d delicately place the discs. It probably helped that I was a year younger than you (if my math is correct), and that I adored puzzles of all types. So to me the cake puzzle would have been a perfectly acceptable bit of fun, and the whole experience was infused with a sense of “Wow, they can do *that* with computers now?” (For what it’s worth, that same year I was carefully saving my game before each swooping pre-rendered bit of Return to Zork in case I wanted to experience those little videos again.)

    • Premium User Badge

      davidgilbert says:

      I never played 7th Guest when it first came out, instead being dragged into Rebel Assult (1st ever action arcade CD game), Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, Sam and Max and other “Talkie” adventgure game. I remember seeing 7th Guest being demonstrated at a computer shopper show (before the E3 days of journalists only) where consumers, reporters and suppliers melted together into a hotpot, and not being impressed.

      Having said that there were worse games, like the PC version of Lawnmower man for example.

    • Phantoon says:

      93 wasn’t a bad year, by any means! UFO: Enemy Unknown and Master of Orion were released that year. Simcity 2000 was released that year, and perhaps most importantly, so was Doom.

      Also, Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiidge Raaaaaaaaacer! Anyone remember that?

  10. Vinraith says:

    I recall enjoying it at the time, but I was a kid and didn’t know any better. I do recall, however, that at least the puzzles made some kind of halfway logical sense, unlike many of the inventory-puzzle based games where one must employ magical moon logic to move forward through the game.

    I’ve largely sworn off adventure games in general these days, as I simply can’t tolerate shit gameplay for the sake of plot or humor anymore. If anyone cares to suggest an adventure title with a worthwhile plot where the puzzles aren’t shit, however, I’m listening. I’ve heard tell Gemini Rue might fit this category.

    • partialcharge says:

      No lie, I just registered so I could comment here. I feel that strongly about Gemini Rue.

      There is certainly room for difference of opinion between reasonable adults, so don’t take this as Gospel Truth, but I do not understand why that game got so much love. I used to really enjoy adventure games as a kid, but I find that that style of gameplay has lost its luster, GR being no exception. I’ve heard it praised for forgoing a lot of the totally counter-intuitive puzzles, and while this is true to an extent, to me it just meant spending 90% of my time moving from one obvious click to the next while using the remaining 10% to search for the maddengingly small clickable spot to advance the story. Oh and about that story, and this is from someone who loves sci-fi, I found it silly, as well as being poorly written and voice-acted. I don’t want to say more, ’cause, you know, spoilers. FWIW, I did play it to completion. I find it hard to stop something once I start, even if I don’t like it.

      So yeah, give it a shot if some friends with trustworthy opinions recommend it. I just had to vent a little. Anyone else not like that game or am I a lone voice crying in the cyber wilderness here?

    • Hulk Handsome says:

      No, you’re not alone. I was really looking forward to playing it (and I LIKE adventure games), but couldn’t play it for more than a couple hours. The puzzles were either just not interesting or too obvious, and there are really tedious action bits. I kept dying over and over during a chase scene because I was solving a puzzle SLIGHTLY wrong. I finally stopped playing when I wasn’t sure where to go next and realised I didn’t care enough to figure it out.

      I really liked the world and the story looked like it might be okay, but it was just a chore/bore to play. Shame.

  11. WoundedBum says:

    Mr. Walker, this is slightly irrelevant, but in 2000 did you write a walkthrough for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade?

  12. Was Neurotic says:

    Walker you commie, pinko snob, Postal 2 is an excellent game. :p

    • Examiner2 says:

      I concur.

    • PJMendes says:

      +1. I don’t remember laughing as hard with a game as with Postal 2.

    • Archonsod says:

      Indeed. Not only an incredible FPS, but also responsible for the only Uwe Boll film to be nearly worth watching.

    • Valhuen says:

      I actually liked Rampage a fair bit, and I hate Uwe Boll, so make that two films he made worth watching.

    • cheeba says:

      The postal movie is awful, but entertainingly so. It certainly didn’t hit the mark Uwe seemed to be aiming for, but it’s fun regardless. Also educational – I now know where Dave Foley keeps his penis, for example.

      Rampage was genuinely good, really enjoyed that. It’s certainly flawed, but at the same time I’d happily watch it again. Yeah, I’ll defend that one.

    • Grape says:

      Oh, wow. John Walker doesn’t like “Postal 2″.

      What a cuntfucking surprise, eh? As always, I bow to his superior taste and intellect.

      (Rolls eyes.)

    • Lord Byte says:

      Portal 2 good? Finally some reviewer tells it as it is! A lacklustre shooter, that was made purely for shock value, no balance, no storyline worth mentioning. The peeing, the putting on fire, the puking, it’s all fun for the first 2 minutes, then it just gets boring.
      It had NO redeeming qualities.

  13. zerosociety says:

    Wow, I… that brings back horrible memories.

    Now if only they would get the rights to my 2 favourite FMV-loaded games: RIPPER and PRIVATEER 2.

    • Lord Byte says:

      Yes please, Privateer 2! The only game in my opinion with both an excellent storyline AND great to decent acting (Clive Owen, John Hurt, Christopher Walken,…)
      It made me believe that FMV could be a good thing (WC 3 & 4 sort of put it on the map, Privateer 2 knocked it out of the park).
      Still have a huge man-crush on Clive Owen due to this game!

  14. Dr I am a Doctor says:

    I, too, consider people who don’t eat mexican food idiots.

  15. Premium User Badge

    Anthile says:

    Wasn’t this the game where you play checkers(?) against the AI and the strength of it would be tied to your CPU speed?

  16. Gotem says:

    why do you hate so much a puzzle collection with nice music?

  17. Khemm says:

    Oh come on, there are people who firmly believe Oblivion and Skyrim are good RPGs, there are those who love junk food, there are those who consider Transformers films watchable and there are those who loved this game.

    To be fair, whether or not 7th Guest is solid or terrible is not for me to decide, because I’ve never played it – I was this close to buying it because of certain folks on GOG forums raving about it, however. Your article makes me confused, John.

    • Ragnar says:

      Hey, the 1st Transformers movie is perfectly watchable. While I probably wouldn’t chose it over other action movies, if you handed me a beer and some popcorn and sat me down in front of it, I would not object. Transformers 2, on the other hand…

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      There are also people who think Ubisoft’s customer policies aren’t that bad…

      >_>

  18. Premium User Badge

    PoulWrist says:

    Postal 2 is excellent!

    Anyway, why shouldn’t they sell it? Archiving it is important for posterity. If nothing else then to show what not to make.

  19. BobbyKotickIsTheAntichrist says:

    Yeah, this is the “The Room” of computer games.

  20. wiper says:

    I was with you, right up until the point where you tried to use espresso, Italian or not, as an example of something good. Dear god, man! That vile creation has been the cause of countless inexcusable queues in caf├ęs since its invention, turning every attempt to grab a quick drink or snack before catching a train into a heart-rending experience of terror the likes of which no man should have to face as person after person ahead of you asks for a sodding espresso, and the time of your departure edges ever closer…

    And then, to top it all off, it’s fucking disgusting.

    Espresso. Just say no.

    • BobbyKotickIsTheAntichrist says:

      Coffee, Espresso…it’s all gnat’s piss to me. :-P

    • Shooop says:

      Like any type of coffee, when it’s good, it’s good. But when it’s bad, it’s shit in a cup.

    • Shih Tzu says:

      You should be in a car, anyway, instead of living as a slave to train schedules! That way you can dash out of the cafe, race down city streets, run a few red lights, and then get delayed anyway because of an impenetrable backup on the highway.

      …I’ve been in L.A. too long.

    • The white guar says:

      Wiper, sir, I cannot stay idle while you dare make such a statement! The quality of an espresso depends greatly on the ability of who makes it; moreover, “espresso” means “quick”, as in “promptly made”, so, if you say espressoes are the cause of long queues, I must assume your bartender is a bit clumsy.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Espresso is what happens if you make coffee wrong (for example, by using boiling water) and turn it into burnt, bitter crap.

    • Premium User Badge

      jrodman says:

      If the espresso is more bitter than other coffee, it is definitely done wrong.

    • sinister agent says:

      so, if you say espressoes are the cause of long queues, I must assume your bartender is a bit clumsy.

      More likely that the machine they’re using takes a long time to strain enough espresso through the filter into the cup, as it’s better optimised for thinner liquid.

      I think the “quick” thing comes more from the gulping it down fast idea than from the making. Of it.

      I didn’t mind doing espressos in my time. Lattes were the ones that really pissed me off. Bloody poncing about with foam and that. Just order milk, you giant baby.

    • Archonsod says:

      What kind of idiot would drink coffee in the first place, when tea is readily available?

    • Premium User Badge

      jrodman says:

      @Archonsod: I like to switch up how I satisfy my addiction. I keep a cadence going.. like.. formosa oolong, 9 bend black dragon, sumatra black drip, lung ching, espresso shot, sencha, lapsang souchong.

      Yes I am depraved.

    • The white guar says:

      I don’t think it’s of any interest really-not on rps anyway- but where i come from “espresso” is an adjective you can use with any meal that is made from scratch after you ask for it, so it really means “promptly made”.
      There. I had to say that, couldn’t help it, sorry :D

  21. Doubler says:

    This is a game we used to play as a family when I was much younger. Someone’d play the game, maybe someone else would stop by and help, take over, some puzzles (or ‘puzzles’) would get solved and that’s how we progressed. I definitely enjoyed that experience.

    Though it ended once we reached the microscope puzzle/game. I spent so much time on that horrible thing, even after everyone else had given up :P

  22. Culby says:

    Looking back on it is a nightmare, but as a kid it was awesome. I still have the strategy guide in my bookcase (that includes the original script).

    And “clicking the bed” was the best it got in the pre-Internet age.

  23. Javier-de-Ass says:

    really. 7th guest is the game you’re going to have this go at? when they very recently released actually FACTUALLY one of the worst games ever made, the expansion pack to gothic 3, gothic 3 forsaken gods. fucking hell man. not to mention a game from the CONFLICT series last week. real terrible games.

  24. caddyB says:

    Hey at least I’ve bought Age of Wonders 2 Shadow Magic while I was there. My cdrom refused to work anyway.

  25. Red_Avatar says:

    7th Guest is still a classic – no, it’s not the best game but it’s still very interesting considering its age. You can still have fun with it if you enjoy puzzles – it’s a lot better than Myst and its ilk because it’s less abstract.

    By the way, John W, I was reading an old PC Gamer issue from back in 1999 and happened upon a writer’s review of Outcast with your name, slamming it because it didn’t use your graphics card. Wouldn’t happen to be written by you, would it? :p

    • Mad Hamish says:

      ah that pissed me off too. Didn’t stop the game being great though. I believe it was because of the voxels, the 3d cards couldn’t do anything with them or something.

    • Red_Avatar says:

      I had bought a brand new PC at the time of its release and Outcast was the first game I tried. I didn’t really care it didn’t use my brand new TNT2 – the game looked amazing. It did things that other games could only do several years later with pixel shading (like rippling water). I did find it funny why you’d slam a game for not using every bit of hardware when the technology it uses leads to some brilliant graphics you couldn’t achieve with the full technology. Delta Force later tried to merge voxel and polygon technology but I honestly think Outcast is the only game to really use voxels in such a way that trumped polygons.

  26. PearlChoco says:

    But what about the music? The soundtrack from The Fat Man was phenomenal and is after all those years still one of the best game soundtracks ever released.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I can’t take a breath
      Without seeing Mister Death

    • faelnor says:

      Skeletons in my Closet is one of the first game songs that touched me in such a way that I played it whenever I could on my stereo for weeks. Granted, I was 8 at the time and easily influenced, but I don’t remember such impressive use of a real band in a game before.

      Love that soundtrack!

    • mwoody says:

      Agreed wholeheartedly. You can pick up a remixed collection of the soundtracks to both the 7th Guest and the 11th hour under the name “7-11.” I think it was on Amazon a few years ago last I checked.

    • Jerakal says:

      I can’t do the disco. Mr. Death… Will dance on my foot.

  27. Premium User Badge

    phlebas says:

    red balloon.
    RED BALLOON!

  28. Duffin says:

    OMG RP$ have sold out again. Another great advert… sorry article. GG RP$ GG

  29. Ganabul says:

    Stick around to the last moments of the video, though, and you can see some tiny subliminal fragment of bioshock.

  30. Frosty840 says:

    I notice that http://www.og.com is available, now that they’ve pissed away their old name…

  31. Teddy Leach says:

    You ponce.

  32. sinister agent says:

    I love the way they have high quality sound for the voices, and still have horrible early 90s PC warbling crap-o-music.

  33. djbriandamage says:

    Sorry but I’m using this as my own personal brag space. Behold the bounteous splendour that arrived in my mailbox this very week – a copy of 7/11 (remastered soundtrack selections from The 7th Guest and The 11th Hour) and a Team Fat comic book signed by the one and only George Sanger aka The Fat Man!!!

    https://twitter.com/#!/djbriandamage/status/165205455524728834/photo/1

    By the way, check out his book (for like $350 in print or $10 for the Kindle ebook) which is just about the most awesome gonzo prose book I’ve eve read. It’s dripping with charm and wit, tells a hundred amusing stories, and gallivants around topics like science fiction, sound cards, Elvis’ personal tailor, and saving someone’s life at E3.
    http://www.amazon.com/Tasty-Morsels-Sonic-Goodness-ebook/dp/B006P7S2QG

  34. Stevostin says:

    The music was nice.

  35. Shadram says:

    At least it’s better than The 11th Hour…

  36. vodkarn says:

    THE SKY IS RUDDY
    YOUR FATE IS BLOODY

    • Premium User Badge

      Jackablade says:

      Shy gypsy slyly, spryly trysts by my crypt.

      Say what you will about this game, it does tend to stick in the memory.

  37. Roshin says:

    Bad Old Games and no one has made the BOG joke yet. For shame, RPS.

  38. Premium User Badge

    Rikard Peterson says:

    Cake covered in gravestones? I guess that the cake isn’t alive then?

  39. mcdonis says:

    It was a game of its time for sure. Not one of my favorites

  40. Baf says:

    True story: This game is the source of a bit of slang among fans of Interactive Fiction (that is, text adventures). Back in 1996, one Russ Bryan, in a Usenet discussion, asked in reference to a particular puzzle in T7G: “What the hell kind of villain thwarts the hero’s progress with soup cans?” To this day, the term “soup cans” is used as shorthand for “self-contained puzzles that have no logical connection to their fictional contexts”.

  41. olemars says:

    Wonderful. Now I’m just waiting for the GoG release of Burn:Cycle.

  42. Eclipse says:

    hey! Megarace was great, how you dare? I’m shocked! shocked! Especially Megarace 2, that game is a truly epic masterpiece, even better than P.O.D. (and it’s much older too).

  43. noodlecake says:

    Who drinks coffee for the taste? It would be like smoking crack for the aroma.

    (I don’t really smoke crack! I was going to say skunk but I thought it would be less amusing)

  44. mwoody says:

    Wow, taken totally aback by this story. I LOVED 7th guest. Nearly 2 decades later and I still have the soundtrack (well, 7-11) in my car changer right now.

    Yeah, it was hokey at parts. It was also what it was supposed to be: genuinely terrifying, with a story that turned in unexpected and intensely creepy ways.

  45. Bahoxu says:

    I have weirdly positive memories of this game.

    I’m not sure why. I never finished it despite many attempts including one with a walkthrough. I dislike puzzle games and the acting is really bad.

    Maybe its because i was a kid when i played it. Or the music. The music is just fine.

  46. Commander Gun says:

    I loved this game as well, together with Under a Killing Moon (which was quite a bit later, but they are still combined in my memory).
    It’s funny how some puzzles are instantly remembered by reading the title ‘7th guest’ though:
    Sly gypsy slyly spryly thyrst by my crypt. Or something similair?

    • Bahoxu says:

      SHY GYPSY
      SLYLY SPRYLY
      TRYST BY MY CRYPT

      Memories indeed.
      Possibly the worst puzzle ever in computer game history. But it stick in my memory anyway :)

  47. Remnant says:

    I’m an idiot, but in my defence, I was like 7 when I played this game. I could be scared by the goddamn Rancor.

  48. Laephis says:

    The 7th Guest? It’s fine.

  49. Jerakal says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7Y_piL2GRw

    You are now remembering the 11th hour.

  50. Eukatheude says:

    Hey, some people enjoy bad games just as they enjoy bad movies or bad movies. I do.
    Also, italian espresso is horrible, and i’m saying this from italy.