Prowl in a horror house
Reviewed by MARGARET CHAN
The 7th Guest For Macintosh CD-ROM IF YOU have a penchant for puzzles and a burning desire to look at and listen to some impressive graphics, music and sound effects created for up-to-date CD-ROM games, The 7th Guest (T7G) is highly recommended.
Although T7G, designed for Virgin Games by Graeme Devine and Rob Landeros of Trilobyte Software, is classified as an adventure game, it is an interactive puzzle-based drama, a horror game whose traditional brain-teasers are woven together by the haunting story of the mysterious Henry Stauf, an expert toymaker.
In the world of T7G, you play an active and mysterious entity known only as Ego. Your role is to unravel the mysteries surrounding one fateful night in Stauf mansion.
There are 22 stunningly rendered, devilishly surprising 3-D rooms with about 20 or so brain-teasers, such as mazes, word games and chess puzzles.
Some parts of the house are out of bounds if you have not satisfied certain conditions. Solving a puzzle often unlocks a room or number of rooms so do explore the mansion door-to-door.
You can be clued into the available rooms by consulting a map from the Sphinx board. But be careful not to do so mid-puzzle as you will lose your place when you leave to consult the map.
If you are stuck several times, do not give up. Most of the puzzles can be solved by a trial-and-error method while others require a clear, quick mind and good analytical power.
Having a logical mind and a good memory will help you a lot.
T7G is not as good as Myst but remains a highly recommended full-motion adventure game which is viewed through a first-person perspective.
Unlike most first-person games which fade in and out of scenes, this game animates Ego's journey through the mansion with virtual realism.
One disadvantage is that the save function is weak. Every time you enter the Sphinx, the current puzzle is reset automatically to the original view in the current room and so you have to start all over again.
Players are restricted to saving only 10 games, each having no more than 13 letters; at the same time, no standard Mac command keys are supported.
Since T7G uses QuickTime extensively, it is recommended that the game should run on any Macintosh with 68040 32 MHz or faster processor, eight megabytes of RAM and, of course, a CD-ROM drive with a 300Kbps transfer rate.
MEGAHINT: To pass the blocks puzzle, move the second column up and the third column down one space each; then move the top row once right and the last row once left; move the middle column up and the right column down one; finally, move the middle row left and the last row right.
MEGAHINT: The magic words for the can puzzle are: ''Shy Gypsy Slyly Spryly Tryst By My Crypt''.
MEGAHINT: Before you can enter the access door to the attic, you must go back to the ground floor. At the base of the stairs there is a rug and you should notice a set of chattering teeth there when you are facing the stairs. Click it and you will be transferred into a detached room - the gallery.
MEGAHINT: ''There is no possible way'' to solve the telescope puzzle! MEGAHINT: To beat the computer in the microscope puzzle, never leave a hole of odd dimensions but force the computer to do so. Near the end of the game, the last few moves can gain tens of men on the computer if you can jump into a single blank hole.
MEGAHINT: When playing puzzles, like the block and ''labyrinth'' during which you hear a cold, thrilling voice saying ''feeling lonely'' when you come to a dead end, you should get some blank paper and jot down notes for reference.
MEGAHINT: Every time you are stuck, go to the library and click the book lying open on the coffee table for clues.
Your third visit to the book will automatically help you solve the puzzle but no solution will be shown to you.