A haunting we will go
This is the sequel to the massively successful puzzle adventure, The 7th Guest, but unlike its predecessor, this one falls a little flat in a few departments. It's not a terrible game by any stretch of the imagination, but coming after the groundbreaking original, this was always going to be a tough sell. Like the earlier game, this one is a spooky adventure, which sees you in the role of the boyfriend of a reporter who has gone missing under mysterious circumstances. It's up to you to venture into a supremely creepy old mansion in search of your beau, and if you're clever and lucky, you might both end up getting out alive. In terms of gameplay, this is very similar to the first game and other titles like Myst, and mostly involves solving a lot of fairly complex and challenging puzzles. You'll explore the house, watch lots of cutscenes and then try your hand at the puzzles, which are mostly of the logic-based variety, and which certainly offer a good range of styles and difficulties. If take as a puzzle game, then The 11th Hour is undeniably a decent effort. There's plenty here to keep even hardened genre veterans challenged for some time, and you may even have to resort to the hint system on more than a few occasions. The game is also pretty impressive visually, with some excellent set design which gives it a wonderfully dark atmosphere. The biggest problem here is one which plagues many interactive adventures from the period, and that's the fact that there isn't much actual interactivity, beyond the puzzles themselves, which also suffer from not being well connected to the story. However, it's still well worth a look when you want to exercise the little grey cells.