The Guest – a psychological adventure

[Originally published at Ghetto Gamer]

I purchased The Guest on Steam for around $7.00. That’s a decent price for a regular gamer. But for a ghetto gamer? That’s still pretty good. Let’s get details.

As you all know, I don’t like paying big bucks for games. When Steam started really nurturing the indie scene, it was a major breakthrough for me. Indie games are made for the art, not as a contrived means of profit. They are typically easier on my computer, easier on my wallet and very often of quality equal to that of high-dollar major releases.

The Guest is a short adventure game from Team Gotham, built with the Unity engine.

I won’t pretend to know much about game development. I know it’s tough. And it’s even tougher to create an original and handsome game experience on an indie budget. However, Team Gotham managed to git ‘er done.

The Plot (No spoilers)

The game itself reminds me of classic adventure puzzlers. There is no interaction with other characters. Rather, you collect items (most of them do nothing) and learn the plot through clippings and the like. You play as an European scientist in Boston to give a talk at a scientist thingy. You are a guest (The Guest) in a hotel. But – without giving anything away – things are weird. Things are . . . puzzley.

There is a fairly interesting story here, but don’t expect a story-driven game. The Guest is all about puzzles. I don’t play a lot of puzzle games because I’m impatient. But once in a while I enjoy them. The puzzles here are mostly good. They make sense when you give them adequate thought, but aren’t so easy you will be bored for long. I got stuck twice and had to refer to walkthroughs, but I’m a puzzle-sissy and more interested in progressing the story.

Game Play

While the game only consists of a handful of small areas, each area is lovingly crafted with detailed junk piles, thoughtful lighting and textures pretty enough to please my eyes without breaking my laptop. The visual ambiance is sufficiently gloomy and mysterious to capture players.

The sound effects are great. The music score sets the mood perfectly. No complaints at all in that department. Good job team!

Most players reviewing this game got about 3 hours of gameplay. I usually play much slower than my contemporaries, and I managed to squeeze about 4 hours of play. My ghettomath prefers less than a dollar per hour. And that $7 is the sale price. Retail will be around $10. I can’t say I would pay that much for this game. It’s just too short. Very good quality. But short.

My Take

This is a quality production. It’s a lot like me, really: smart, polished, handsome and slick.  I found one bug in which I could not open a first-aid kit. It worked fine when I quit and reloaded the game. Other than that, the game played flawlessly. The only reason I might balk at the price tag is the brevity of the game. Three or Four hours is very short indeed for $7. If you don’t mind spending that, by all means get this game while it’s still on sale. But if you’re truly a ghetto gamer, maybe not so much.

Hey Devs!

You did a really good job on this one. My suggestion is to put out some DLC ASAP. Your puzzles worked very well, and I know you can’t just crank them out. The amount of work you put into The Guest really shows. With that said, the top complaint about this game is how short it is. If you put out a small expansion for a small price, perhaps one that picks up where this one leaves off, gamers would complete the game feeling satisfied.

Many fun times,

The Ghetto Gamer

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