The Guest Review
The Guest Review
Excellent puzzle design and atmosphere. Worth checking out despite its short length.
Posted: 04/15/16 | Category: Review | Developer: Team Gotham | Publisher: 505 Games | Platform: Windows

Genre: Mystery Adventure
Release date: March 10, 2016

Something strange is happening to Dr. Leonov. He awakens in a gloomy hotel room with no idea how he got there and with no way to get out. Visions plague his mind, and secrets lie hidden in the depths of the mysterious room. Thus begins The Guest, a mystery adventure game by Madrid-based Team Gotham. The Guest is a great first-person adventure game that tantalizes players with complex puzzles and fantastic visuals. If you’re an adventure game fan The Guest is definitely worth checking out.

Riddles in the Shadows
 

The Guest is a great-looking adventure game. The hotel that Dr. Leonov finds himself in is beautiful, with great care and attention going into every aspect of the room, from the lighting -- which is appropriately moody, with dark shadows looming on the walls -- to the furniture. But where the game truly shines is in its puzzle design. One puzzle forced me to switch off the lights, and the atmosphere of the hotel became incredibly claustrophobic and hostile.

In addition to the look and feel of the puzzles being excellent, they all feel unique. Some of the puzzles are beautiful and ornate, while some are harsh and have an underlying technological overtone. One puzzle involved a series of golden rings and intricate patterns, while another had me selecting and deselecting neon lights. But excellent visuals wouldn’t make a difference if the puzzles themselves were poorly made or overly complex. Team Gotham has skillfully struck a balance between complexity and approachability that makes the puzzles feel genuinely rewarding to solve without being obtuse.

Feeling Light
 

The only real criticism I can level against The Guest is its length. While the game is enjoyable and well-crafted, the experience ends far too quickly. It took me about two hours to get to the end of the game, which was disappointing. I can’t fault a small team for a short game, but the quality of what is there makes me wish there was more to experience. That says a lot about the quality of the game, and I hope Team Gotham is able to flesh out their next game a bit more.

The story is also somewhat inconsequential, although there are enough tantalizing clues to keep a player guessing. Newspaper clippings reveal a dark fate happening in the world outside, while hastily scrawled messages tell a deeper story that begs to be answered. However, whether it was due to my missing small aspects of the game or bypassing a section, the story never really resolved itself in a way that felt satisfying. It was adequately done, but I was hoping for just a bit more than I got.

Conclusion
 

The Guest is a solid adventure game that features excellent puzzle design and atmosphere, but falters in its storytelling and length. By the time the credits rolled, I was sad to see it end as I was having so much fun solving the puzzles. However, despite its flaws, The Guest is an excellent debut adventure game from Team Gotham and shouldn't be missed by fans of the genre.

Grade: B+
Excellent Puzzle Design
Engaging Visuals
 
Too Short
 Logo
 
 
Trailer:
 
 
 
System Requirements
 
MINIMUM PC:
OS: Windows XP or Higher (32-bit or higher)
Processor: Core 2 Duo E6750 (Dual Core) 2.66 GHz or better
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT, ATI Radeon 4800 or Higher
DirectX: Version 9.0
 
 
Specials from Digital Download
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