WELCOME TO MY HOUSE!
The 11th Hour: sequel to The 7th Guest takes place in Harley on the Hudson, N.Y. 70 years after Henry Stauf's evil rein was put to an end in The 7th Guest. Now a new darkness has arisen and it's up to you, Carl Denning, to find out what's going on. Your ex-girlfriend, Robin Morales, has disappeared from the house as well. She was investigating the mysterious, evil, happenings for the television program "Case Unsolved". While in your upstate Connecticut home, a bizarre package containing a GameBook computer is left at your door. When you open it up, Robin's face appears begging for help. You hop on your motorcycle and head for Harley to save the day.
I must admit, when I opened the box to The 11th Hour, I was already rather taken. I thought to myself, "Now that's some fantastic packaging!!!" The game disks are encased in an archaic-looking book. Each page has a little window with an icon showing from one of the four CDs. So I hurried to install the game. The opening graphics and sound are reason enough to buy it. Also, if your computer is powerful enough, you'll be shocked at how well done the opening videos are. When the game began, I was overcome by the realistic computer imagery. The sound effects were perfect! I was instantly creeped out by the billowing wind and creaking doors.
In The 11th Hour, you must solve puzzle after puzzle as you explore each room of the haunted house. The game is played over a five hours, from 7 p.m. to midnight. With each successful resolution, a clue is revealed to an object in the house. When you discover the object, a high-resolution video clip is played bestowing vital information to an event from the past. Use this information to piece together exactly what has happened to Robin and eventually win the game.
The game controls are simple. There is a bony "Beckoning Hand" which you control with the mouse telling the player which direction you may move in. "The Wagging Hand" tells you that no action may be performed. "The Grabbing Hand" allows you to select certain objects in the house. "The Throbbing Brain" indicates the presence of active puzzles and games. "The Rolling Eyeball" lets you select puzzle or game pieces for movement. "The Pulsing Eyeball" appears during a puzzle or game play when there is more than one possible move. The "GameBook" is used to receive video messages and playback old ones. It will also give you the options of HELP, MAP, SAVE, LOAD, and POWER which will shut down the game.
With all this, you'd expect The 11th Hour to be one of the hottest games on the market. Well, be forewarned; you'd better hone your puzzle solving skills to a fine edge! Each of the confusing, yet beautiful games is enough to make you burst your spinal cord in a fit of frustration. They are well thought out and most were very original. Luckily you have a psychic friend to give you clues. But in the longrun the more you use her power, the less helpful she gets (she gets drained or something). And then Stauf's voice becomes overly annoying after you've clicked the wrong clues too many times...
Overall, I found that The 11th Hour turned out to be more frustrating than it was worth. Although I'm a graphics and media whore, I wasn't very patient with the puzzles that seem unrelated to the storyline of the game. If you're like me, avoid this one. However, if you are one of those people who can't wait for the challenge of an enigma to be solved, BUY IT IMMEDIATELY!!! I promise, you won't be disappointed. The creators put a lot of work into this one; four years to be exact, and they deserve a lot of credit. The 11th Hour is probably the best game of it's type. Advanced graphics, a phenomenal music soundtrack, more than challenging puzzles, and extremely well done, high-tech, digitized video clips. Although the storyline could use some work. This game won't scare you, but it will keep you perplexed for hours!