Old Man Stauf is looking for a new 7th Guest.
Originally released in 1993, The 7th Guest was a chilling tale of old man Stauf, a famed toy and puzzle maker with a bit of a fiendish side. It featured full-motion video, as was all the rage back then, wickedly obtuse puzzles and irritating taunts, and yet in spite of all that it’s very fondly remembered by an awful lot of old-timers. The 1995 sequel The 11th Hour didn’t fare nearly so well but now, 20 years later, the team at Trilobyte Games wants to give it another shot.
The 7th Guest 3: The Collector, which appeared today on Kickstarter, will take players back to Stauf mansion, where 20 puzzles (and possibly more, if stretch goals are met) await. All must be solved to reveal the madman’s secret – but the mansion itself is a puzzle too, and only by unlocking its riddles will players make their escape.
The plan is to make the new 7th Guest much like the old 7th Guest in most meaningful ways, including the use of FMV with real actors, but the team also noted that the evolution of videogames as a medium will allow it to do things it couldn’t even think about back in the 90s. “No more tiptoeing along the edges of PG. We’re adults, you’re adults, and Stauf, who is no bluenose goodie two-shoes, has been fooling around on his tool bench for absolutely ages,” the Kickstarter states. “Third time’s a charmer, don’t you know; we’re going to lift the curtain and give you views you’ve not seen in previous visits to Henry’s world. Deep within Stauf’s workshop, you’ll discover that Stauf Toys® are NOT just for kids.”
The project is being headed by original Trilobyte co-founder Rob Landeros, and written and directed by 11th Hour director David Wheeler. More importantly, it will see the return of Robert Hirschboeck, the actor who portrayed Henry Stauf in the first two games, in the starring role. The developers have even brought a “puzzle consultant” on board: Oskar van Deventer, a mechanical puzzle maker whose 17x17x17 Rubik’s Cube earned him a Guinness World Record.
The team is seeking $435,000 for The 7th Guest 3, with stretch goals that will result in a bigger, better game. I’m obligated to caution you about the whole “buyer beware” thing, but I also don’t mind saying that I really hope this one happens.