I’ll admit, I will always consider The 7th Guest to be one of the most genuinely frightening things I’ve ever experienced. Set in the mansion of the devilishly mad toymaker Stauf, the old PC game tormented its players with wicked puzzles, creepy visuals, and a fascinating story. So I’m both pleased and unnerved to break the news about The 13th Doll.
Players of The 7th Guest will remember that Stauf invited six people to his home for a party, at which he stole their souls. The eponymous seventh guest was Tad, a boy who sneaked into the house. The game was well received, notable for being one of the first to use live actors and full motion video. Post-success, developer Trilobyte made a sequel titled The 11th Hour, but unfortunately went out of business shortly thereafter. In recent years, a group of fans joined together and formed Attic Door Productions in order to create a freeware sequel called The 13th Doll. In a surprise twist, Attic Door was contacted by the reformed Trilobyte, and they reached an agreement which will allow Attic Door to sell their game as a retail product. (It’s not often fan-made game sequels get commercialized and legitimized by the original creators.)
Tad is now grown, but he has never recovered from his experiences in Stauf’s haunted house, and is confined to a mental hospital. When a new physician, Dr. Richmond, joins the asylum staff and meets Tad, he feels that Tad should return to the mansion and confront his demons in order to get well. Players then choose to adventure as either Tad or Dr. Richmond, each of whom get a unique storyline and puzzles. High-definition visuals with live actors are intertwined with five possible endings, as both Tad and Dr. Richmond soon discover that the mystery is much larger than either of them imagined.
Attic Door has launched a Kickstarter to help with the funding needed to make The 13th Doll even better than its predecessor; as of this writing they are over halfway to their goal. It will initially be available for PC and Mac, with console versions planned for the future. Horror gamers will want to check out the fundraiser, and keep tabs on development via Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube; there is always a campaign underway on Steam Greenlight.