The Purple Parade is marching in full stride to the beat of that 'other' drum we all hear, but generally ignore. ;)

Main Menu

Review - Clandestiny, 7th Guest, 11th Hour (PC)

Started by Nightcrawler, January 05, 2014, 08:13:13 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


Review - FMV Puzzlers (Clandestiny, 7th Guest, 11th Hour)

After I got a new job this summer, free time blocks were very small, so I started dusting off some old games I had, but never completed. These were games that would lend themselves well to play in small increments and be completable in only a handful of hours.

The FMV puzzler type game pretty much started with 7th Guest. It was iconic at the time as CD-ROMs were new and computers advanced enough to play full motion video. There were of course plenty of FMV games, but these three were heavy on puzzles

The 7th Guest

I was a teenager when I first got this game and I probably still had my old 486. I didn't get all that far in it. It was too hard for me and I abandoned it. I thought now being a college educated adult, and another decade of engineering experience, I would fare much better. Well, I did fare better, but not all that much!

I think some of the puzzles are just dumb. As an engineer, I solve problems for a living. But that's just it. I need a problem in order to solve one! This game had a bad habit of throwing me into puzzles giving me no idea as to exactly what the puzzle WAS. Sometimes you could figure out what the puzzle was with some tinkering. Occasionally Stauf's cryptic clue might actually make some sense. However, other times I was left frustrated not having any idea what the puzzle was. I would have quit again writing this game off. However, we live in the modern age and with GameFAQs, I could easily surmise both the problem and the solution, and move on to the next!

Using a walkthrough, I was able to quickly pass parts of the game that I found too dumb or too frustrating. Eventually, I completed the game. But unfortunately, the game still left me scratching my head. I had seen all the scenes. I had watched some of them more than once. Yet, the story just didn't make any sense. I understood who the 7th guest was, but I couldn't make much sense out of the rest of the events that transpired throughout the game, nor the ending. Thankfully, some kind soul wrote a guide to understanding the story. It helped piece some things together, but some of the story just doesn't make any sense period.

I was let down big time by this game. Perhaps I'm just too dumb for this game? I seem to excel in other intellectual challenging areas of life though. Then again, maybe it's not me and it's just a poorly designed game!

While the beginning was interesting, and some of the puzzles were enjoyable, everything else wasn't. I think needing a walkthrough to partly comprehend the story speaks volumes about the game design. Oh well. I have owned this game for so many years, so I just wanted to see it to completion and be done with it. I did just that and don't plan on ever revisiting it again!

Stay away from this. If you're curious enough, watch a play through on YouTube!

The 11th Hour

You'd think after the punishment I received from The 7th Guest, I'd steer far away from this sequel. I was lured in by the fact that this game had a full length feature-film made for it, the moving around the mansion was sped up, and help for the puzzles was much better. That really went quite a distance to fixing many of the problems I had with the original. Enough so that it lured me in to give it a try.

I enjoyed the story much more in this one, although the acting left plenty to be desired. I don't mind B movies though. Stauf was actually pretty good and entertaining. Years after the events of The 7th Guest, a reporter was investigating recent new incidents at the abandoned Stauf mansion. She goes missing and her boyfriend/producer goes to the mansion looking for her.

The story unfolds with flashbacks as to what happened along the way intermixed with current events going on with Carl. Each puzzle gives you a small out-of-order clip and at the end of each 'hour', they're all played in chronological order with extended footage. Between puzzles, you needed to hunt for objects as the answer to anagram littered riddle clues. Most of these were so beyond me, I ran out of patience and cheated my way to victory.

The puzzles themselves didn't improve much in design either, however this time there was a built-in help system to give you the objective and some clues on how to do it. It would even solve them if you were really stuck (this did technically exist in The 7th Guest, but was very cumbersome to utilize). I think this was a saving grace. I solved the ones I could myself, tried others until they were too frustrating and just passed them. The 'boss' puzzle battles you had to do against Stauf every hour however were extremely difficult. In one of the final ones, you played a connect four type game against him. I did not find any way possible to win other than to fill up every space on the entire board and never make a single mistake. Otherwise, he had perfect defense for every single move you could possibly make. That's not fun at all.

Overall, I would have been better off simply watching the compiled feature length film on YouTube. The ending was a little bit wacky doodle though. Make sure you watch all three if you do!


I've also had this game for many years and never completed it. When I bought it, I didn't realize it was by the same company that made The 7th Guest (even though I noticed it looked and played similarly in many ways). So, after my disappointing plays of The 7th Guest and The 11th Hour, I almost didn't start this one. I'm glad I did however because this one was much better than the other two.

In addition to all of the enhancements in The 11th hour such as the help system and solving it for you, you were also able to select a difficulty level in general for the puzzles. The difficulties ranged from baby simple to frustratingly hard. I would have liked to see more than just three choices as easiest was too easy and the hardest was too hard. The middle choice was pretty good and made the puzzles much more enjoyable to me over the last two games. However, still there were some frustrating puzzles that I cheated my way to victory on. If I were able to tweak the difficulty a little finer, perhaps they all would have been fun.

Riddles must be solved in order to enter each room. Some of them were challenging, while others were again too much for me. I guess I don't like these brain teasers as much as I thought I did! haha! I have much less patience these days I guess.

The story was pretty fun. Andrew McPhile inherited the Scottish McPhile castle. It turns out his family is a long line of cursed misfits. He goes there with his fiancee. The game unfolds meeting various ghosts of his past relatives while a few others are out to get him. Later on, you are looking for a treasure and a way to end the curse. It is very humorous. I had a number of laugh-out-loud moments, my favorite of which was the scene were his fiancee catches him hypnotized by a siren-like female ghost. The animation and voice acting were also top notch enhancing the presentation. - The central hub of the ROM hacking community.