Anthony's Film Review
The 11th Hour
(Video Game, 1995)
The 11th Hour is a very disappointing sequel and one of the worst computer games ever...
The 11th Hour is the sequel to the 1992 game The 7th Guest. It's no surprise that it was made given the success of its predecessor. But I'm going to say this now. The 11th Hour is a horrible game. I literally felt like wasting time as I got through it with the aid of a game walkthrough on the Internet. The story and puzzles, which I thought were decent in The 7th Guest, are so bad in The 11th Hour. If you're even thinking about playing this game, don't. If you don't believe me, let me explain.
The story is not a bad idea. It takes place in the present day, decades after the events in The 7th Guest. Carl Denning is a TV reporter working with producer Robin Morales. They investigate strange occurrences that are possibly linked to an old abandoned mansion once owned by someone named Henry Stauf. One day, Robin disappears and Carl receives a handheld device called a Gamebook in the mail. It is unclear who sent it, but Carl thinks it's related to the mansion. He drives there to check it out.
As Carl, you navigate the same mansion featured in The 7th Guest. Although the layout hasn't changed, the overall condition certainly has. Instead of a beautifully designed house, the mansion appears very neglected. There are breaks in the doors, walls, and floors as well as a ton of junk lying everywhere. Like The 7th Guest, The 11th Hour presents the scenery from a first-person perspective and captures your movement from one spot to another.
The 11th Hour is also like its predecessor by presenting cerebral puzzles to solve. But there's another type of puzzle in the game, and this is where the game truly suffers. After each cerebral puzzle, the Gamebook displays a clue. Obviously, you have to decipher it. But it's not easy. In fact, it's so hard that very few players could beat the game without hints or walkthroughs. Basically, unraveling these clues involve anagrams and distant word associations that you would unlikely consider. Also, each clue refers to an object lying in the mansion, and even after you decipher the clue, you still have to search the whole mansion for that one item lying amidst the junk.
Even the story is crap. Yes, it is somewhat interesting as additional facts to the mystery are presented. Even so, the acting is pathetic and I could care less about many of the characters and events. A lot of times, it feels like watching a cheap pornographic film. In fact, I think the writers of the game focused too much on sex and violence and not much on plot and characters. And don't even remind me of the terrible ending. The part that makes it awful is how Henry Stauf, once he finally reveals himself, is an unbelievably comic character, not the horrifying man he was in The 7th Guest.
Like I said, The 11th Hour is truly a waste of time. Everything I've described pretty much sums it up. If you are a die-hard fan of The 7th Guest and are still curious about The 11th Hour, go ahead and play it. Just don't be surprised if you find yourself unimpressed by the story and characters and frustrated by the puzzles. Because of this and some technical issues that some people may have had at the time of release, the company that made this game, Trilobyte, eventually closed down. It's a sad way to go, but after this awful game, it's probably better that way.
For more information about The 11th Hour, visit the Internet Movie Database and Moby Games.
In addition, check out my review of The 7th Guest.