You Should Have Played This: The 7th Guest

Written by on July 5, 2013 in [, , , , ]

The 7th Guest came out in 1993, and in that year it scared the living crap out of me. It didn’t hurt that I was 11 at the time. While a few of the games I’ve talked about here have been less successful, The 7th Guest sold more than 2 million copies in a time period where the CD-i was still a thing and years before the Virtual Boy was going to seem like a great idea for about ten minutes. The 7th Guest bears remembering because its part of video games figuring out what they were, and its kind of fascinating to come back to.

I don’t care what you say. This clown is still terrifying.

From a gamplay perspective The 7th Guest is less complex than some phone games; in fact it was ported to iOS in 2010 (you can get it for $5 in the app store). The core of the gameplay is wandering around the game world and solving the occasional logic puzzle. It’s the most rote of point and click adventures, but its used to tell a great, creepy haunted house story. Although not necessarily one that still holds up.

The 7th Guest is a FMV game, and when it was released its collection of prerendered visuals and live video made it incredibly impressive. Remember, this was six months before Doom existed. Now it’s all too easy to look at the community theater quality acting and the overly simplistic mansion design and think of the game as something less than it was. In context The 7th Guest was kind of mindblowing. Exploring the mansion is still fun, and the dialogue that advances the story is still great. And while The 7th Guest may have lost some of its thrills in light of games like Amnesia and Cry of Fear, that FMV sequence with the clown is still freaking terrifying. Others are…less so. I’ll just let the first video sequence stand for itself.


Maybe The 7th Guest is just a product of its time. The longer this piece goes off the harder it becomes to justify this to a modern audience. There are better adventure games out there, and plenty of puzzle games that are less patently ridiculous. There’s still something special about The 7th Guest, though. Maybe its in the weird quality the midi soundtrack has in comparison to a modern game. Or the alien landscape of the house. Or the same dumb appeal that leads me to watch a dozen Friday the 13th movies. Regardless, The 7th Guest is cool as a piece of history, and if nothing else makes for a good laugh.



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Author: Zach Snell View all posts by
Hi there. If you're reading this you've probably read some material of mine. If you want more go here and read my stories about a guy who punches wizards.

2 Comments on "You Should Have Played This: The 7th Guest"

  1. Holy Goalie July 5, 2013 at 8:13 am -

    I had it on pc way backin the day. I don’t think I ever finished it. But my pc had a hard time running it from what I remember. I should pick it up and finish the darn thing.

  2. Kelly Brown July 8, 2013 at 8:02 am -

    Sounds like maybe I should learn how to play some PC games and pick this one up.