The year is 1993, and PC gamers across the nation are getting swept up in the bevy of capabilities promised by a new piece of hardware called the CD-ROM. This mysterious little contraption was able to read huge amounts of data stored on optical discs, and spoke to the rise of a new era of electronic entertainment. And even before Myst came and solidified the compact disc's hold on the home computer market, developer Trilobyte released a horror adventure called The 7th Guest, a title widely believed to have significantly bolstered what would later become the widespread adoption of the CD format.
Now, nearly 15 years later, Trilobyte's live-action video and 3D-backdrop-filled classic has been made available entirely for free on iOS devices.
Even though a considerable amount of time has passed since the original version of The 7th Guest released, the game still has plenty of surprises in store. Taking on the role of an amnesiac protagonist named Henry Stauf who's stuck in an unsettling mansion, players must solve a number of puzzles and unlock various video cutscenes detailing the nature of Henry's affliction and entrapment within the dubious estate.
Sure, the game might feel pretty dated by modern standards, but The 7th Guest is still a piece of gaming history, not only for its then-mesmerizing use of prerendered backgrounds, but for the path it paved with regard to optical media, which continues to be a dominant technology in PC and console gaming to this day. At a few bucks it's still a solid experience, but for free, it can be considered a must-own title.
For those who prefer gaming on a PC or any other screen larger than those of mobile phones, The 7th Guest is still available via Steam, where it currently runs for a standard price of $5.99. Do note as well that the current iOS promotion does not apply to The 7th Guest: Infection, which currently runs for $0.99 over on Apple's mobile storefront, nor does it apply to the Remastered version of the game that currently costs $5.99 over on the Google Play Store. Though these games certainly give the same kind of base vibe that the original 7th Guest offers, it's hard to argue with a zero dollar price tag. Mobile players can pick up the free version of The 7th Guest by scooping it up from the Apple App Store.