What would you do if you suddenly found yourself in a hotel room with no memory of how you got there? What would you do if you were trapped in this room with no way to escape aside from the clues thrown around? Now, what would you do if you had no means of communication and may be suffering from hallucinations? What if everything may or may not be a figment of your imagination? Then again, someone could really be after you and keeping you in this room is your first clue.
Say hello to The Guest, Team Gotham Madrid’s new and chilling first person immersive exploration game filled with puzzles, secrets and riddles. Your task is simple: find various clues to help you unveil your past, find the answer to why you’re trapped in a hotel room, and figure out how to escape. Your environment is your map: a piece of paper could hold a hidden number, a number that could unlock combinations. Light bulbs will not only brighten the darkened room, but could be used a tool to open a door. Everything around you leads to another piece of the puzzle.
The Guest is a slow burn based on the unknown that thrives in an atmospheric environment. As you walk around your room, heavy rain pours outside, and there’s barely any light representing the mystery that waits. Searching for a flashlight or keys to open a lock only adds to the intensity of the experience.
The demo starts off by having you awaken in a strange hotel room. Throughout the room are a litany of personal items: medicine bottles, flight tickets, written numbers. Separately, they don’t make any sense, but together they are a playground of valuable information. The goal was to figure out a way to open a locked door. Something rather simple becomes complicated when there’s no way to pick the lock, break down the door, or simply make a phone call. This is the 1980’s after all.
What helps separates this game from others is the possible underlining mental illness which can strike at any moment. This is when the game starts to pick up. As images flicker across the screen, you can’t help wonder whether this is all in the protagonist’s head. Maybe you’re in this room for your own safety or just maybe someone could be out to kill you.
The Guest is described as a labor of love. Family and friends pitched in to get this game developed. While it’s an independent game, it feels like a studio release. It’s well polished, the graphics are crisp, the sound is engrossing and the gameplay is simple. While getting control of the menu screens can be a bit confusing at first, the more you play, the easier it becomes. The laid back feel of the gameplay coupled with the mysterious yet horrific images keep you glued to the game.
The Guest thrives on the player’s intelligence. You’ll laugh at yourself for missing certain clues and when you overthink certain puzzles. You can spend seconds solving one clue or drive yourself crazy trying to figure another. This is where the fun shines through; a weird haunting kind of fun that will take you time to get to the bottom of what’s really going on.