Tuesday 31 May 2022

7th Guest - Verbal Logic and Another Maze

Written by Reiko

Last time I solved the first few puzzles and got some disjointed bits of story. I'm still not really sure what's going on, but it seems to have something to do with the mysterious boy, Tad. I'm starting to run out of available puzzles, though. At the moment, there's one more room on the top floor that I can access. This one isn't a bedroom; it looks more like a game room, with a pool table in the middle and a chessboard set up near one wall.

Here the fireplace isn’t a secret passage, but the pool table is.

When I walk in, Temple appears (so clearly these are out of order and I should have come here first before the previous bedroom). He calls this "the mad man's play room" and challenges Stauf to show him some real magic. Maybe Temple is some kind of stage magician but he wants the real thing?

This passage was a half-baked idea.

Saturday 28 May 2022

Return of the Phantom - Knowing the Future (Request for Assistance)

Written by Morpheus Kitami

Yes, up and down all those flights of stairs

Before I returned to Madame Giry, I thought it best to check out the dressing rooms, since I haven't been there yet in this time period. Unfortunately nobody's there yet. I'm almost glad there haven't been many real puzzles yet, because having to navigate across this game is tedious.

I don't feel like this is the kind of game that should be giving sly 
nods towards the conventions of the genre

After returning to Giry, she tells me to refer to the colored frames as "good luck charms", before opening box no. 5 with a flourish. Inside, there's a note from the Opera Ghost, telling me to leave Miss Daae alone or I will suffer a great malady. What's next isn't a mystery, I already found the secret door; In the left column, which I thought was a clue. No, I just got lucky, there's a right column too. All I need is a key.

Monday 16 May 2022

7th Guest - Ghosts and Mazes

Written by Reiko

In the introduction to the game, we saw Stauf’s origins, met his guests at the front door, and experienced some of the ambiance of the creepy house. Now I’m ready to start solving some puzzles.
What garish wallpaper. And those chair backs look like spiderwebs.
As I face the stairs on the first floor, I decide to start on the left and examine the left-most room, which appears to be unconnected to anything else. When I go through the door, I find myself in an ugly dining room with a large cake on a raised cake platter in the middle of the table.

Friday 13 May 2022

Return of the Phantom - Traveller in Time

 Written by Morpheus Kitami

This session in a nutshell

Oh, so close to a title drop!

I didn't save last time, because I didn't need to, so I talk to M. Brie again. Imagine my shock when he tells me this is a copycat crime. This is one of those games where information that should be important is only revealed if you select the proper dialog options. Sure, the back of the box and the manual makes no secret that we're here to stop the Phantom, who has returned, but this is fairly important information for us to be told, and it's entirely optional. I hate having to savescum my way through the dialog.

There are a surprising number of people in the music world back then who have such a vague death date

Hang on, there's a ton of info being said here! I thought I was only missing where to find the damn stage manager! (It's an adventure game, not Morrowind, I don't need directions...I shouldn't need directions) A lot of the stage staff was sent home, and if I were here to do an actual investigation, I would check all of them out first before deciding to look for ghosts. But I've seen the phantom in a cutscene and the game isn't going to have an actual twist like that. Also, minor dialog quibble, I question a Frenchman describing a famous opera house being built as a thing. Feels like something I would say, not someone who is presumably a bit snooty.

Wednesday 11 May 2022

Simon the Sorcerer - Rules of Enchantment

 Written by Will Moczarski

And so it's on. Simon the Sorcerer begins with a very long opening sequence which is reminiscent of the one in Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge. First, there’s the opening credits. They’re accompanied by Simon pulling things – and the actual credits – out of his hat, accompanied by his wry comments. The animations look a lot like those in Monkey Island 2 as well.

The second part of the opening sequence begins in Simon’s attic where his dog opens a mysterious chest and gets trapped in it. Simon leaves his bedroom and climbs up into the attic, frees his dog and finds a strange book inside the chest. When he drops it he accidentally opens up a portal to another world. 

Wednesday 4 May 2022

Missed Classic: La Abadía del Crimen (1987) - Adventures in Speedrunning

Written by Mariano Falzone

Sir Sean Connery judging my poor murder-solving skills

And So I Go Again

You could say that last time I didn’t make much progress. I barely got to the morning of Day 3, and didn’t do most of what was supposed to be done by that point. But, in any case, I got used to the layout of the abbey, learned a bit how to play this thing. This is one of those games that has to be played repeatedly from the beginning just to understand what you’re doing, let alone beat it. Or, like me, you can save early and save often, and end up with dozens of save states.

I’ve read that the Big Bad Bug the game has is that you need to have the scroll, the one in the Scriptorium, by Day 4 or the game won’t progress anymore. Somewhere else I read that, more specifically, you need to get it by the night of Day 3. Some clarification here: as the days are divided in canonical hours, night is the first of those hours, so the night of Day 3 comes at the end of Day 2 and before the rest of Day 3.

So I decided to try something. I would get the scroll when everyone is either called to eat or to church, hoping Berengario, the monk at the Scriptorium that threatens to tell the Abbot if I pick up the scroll, would follow suit and rush off too. First time I try, we’re called to church, but Berengario just decides to stay put in his place, still not letting me take the scroll. Some double standards, hey, Abbot? Why is Berengario not scolded?

Anyway, I let this day end and decide to try again during Day 3. After all, maybe I still can get the scroll during that day? But after being called to church in the morning, the game just stops progressing. The Abbot is at the altar, Adso is there, and another monk too. But my guess is one monk is missing, and several minutes pass by and he never comes. He must have gotten stuck somewhere. I still use the opportunity to rush off to the Scriptorium, but when I get there, the scroll and the book are nowhere to be seen. And the Abbot eventually shows up and tells me I haven’t obeyed his rules, game over, all that jazz.

So I load back to Day 2, and this time wait to be called to lunch just in front of the scroll, under the vigilant watch of Berengario. And sure enough, we’re called, and Berengario rushes off to eat. I get the scroll and he doesn’t say anything. Yay!

Sunday 1 May 2022

Game 127: The 7th Guest - Introduction (1993)

Written by Reiko
PC front cover
Many of you will undoubtedly be familiar with The 7th Guest. From what I can tell, when it was released, it was an unprecedentedly huge multimedia-rich adventure puzzle game, doing for horror adventure what Myst did for mechanical puzzle adventure. Or at least, that's my general impression, knowing almost nothing about the game. Yes, you are getting as a reviewer someone who is going in almost completely blind to this classic game. I certainly played Myst back in the day, but I wasn't interested in horror, so I skipped over 7th Guest and never played it despite being very interested in puzzle games (for instance, you can see my definitely not-blind coverage of the first two Dr. Brain games here and here. I'm hopeful that as an adult, the horror aspects of the game won't bother me too much, and I'll be able to enjoy it more for its puzzle aspects.