7 Days a Skeptic
7 Days a Skeptic is a videogame.
7 Days a Skeptic is a point and click adventure game designed by Ben Croshaw. It was published in 2004, and it was built with AGS (Adventure Game Studio). It is a sequel to the critically acclaimed game 5 Days a Stranger, although it it not necessary to have played 5 Days in order to complete 7 Days a Skeptic. 7 Days a Skeptic is part two of a four game series.
7 Days a Skeptic takes place roughly 400 years after the events in 5 Days a Stranger. The setting is the ship Mephistopheles, on its way to map the Carcus galaxy. The player takes the role of Dr. Jonathan Somerset, the ship's counsellor. The ship scans a nearby object floating in deep space and checks it out, hoping for first contact. They discover what appears to just be an ordinary locker, with the word "DeFoe" scratched in the front.
WARNING: 7 Days a Skeptic is a gory and disturbing game. It is much more graphic than its predecessor.
A Review for Those New to the Game
If you have not played 5 Days a Stranger, consider playing through it before tackeling 7 Days a Skeptic. Although you will not need any information in order to beat 7 Days, you will be more inclined to believe and understand the plot revealed in the last stages of the game. Also, there are a few parallels that are fun to note.
If you have played through 5 Days a Stranger, then you're in for a real treat. You will find 7 Days is a more polished and more thorough game.
Ben Croshaw has improved in his ability to generate scenes and locations since 5 Days a Stranger, but the game's graphics haven't drastically improved. If you could barely stand the graphics of 5 Days a Stranger, you will not be pleased with this game's graphics, which hover between King's Quest 4 and King's Quest 5.
If you are a picky player who will only enjoy a game with graphics better or equal to games like Unreal, The Longest Journey, Warcraft III, etc, then this is not the game for you. I found that the graphics did not hinder the story nor the atmosphere of this game, but I have a greater tolerance for poor graphics than most. I am of the opinion that graphics can ruin a game by providing distracting "eye candy" if they're not implemented correctly, and I have noticed that they commonly take the place of plot and character development.
The user interface for 7 Days a Skeptic has been redesigned since 5 Days a Stranger. I found that the interface is easier to learn, but a little slower in practice. It is different than the Sierra games and the Lucas Arts games - every action you can do is access by right clicking populate
The puzzles have seen a great deal of improvement since 5 Days a Stranger. There aren't really any nonsense puzzles, and there are few clickfests. A reason for the improvement is the maturity of the author as a designer. He didn't paint himself into a corner like he did in 5 Days a Stranger when he clears the player's inventory, but you still need objects to finish the game.
Like 5 Days a Stranger, there is no way that you can get to a point in the game where it is unwinnable and your character is alive. However, you are in a very dangerous environment with paranormal events. It is possible to die in numerous locations in this game, whereas it was very limited in 5 Days a Stranger.
The plot of 7 Days a Skeptic is more sound than that of its predecessor. It doesn't start off with the same momentum as the previous game (remember Day 2, after your dream?), but it will definitely keep you captivated.
Like 5 Days a Stranger, this aspect is where this game truly shines. 7 Days a Skeptic is a game of confusion and terror. Croshaw takes elements of the movies horror movies like Event Horizon and Kubrick's 2001 and places them in the Mephistopheles. The game allows you to get used to the idea of your job as a counsellor, then quickly throws you into a chaotic and hectic world, leaderless and disturbing.
A Review for Those Who Have Finished the Game
Caution! Spoilers ahead!
Upon playing both games, the player immediately will notice the stark difference between 5 Days a Stranger and 7 Days a Skeptic - the later is polished and refined. Although the location of the first episode allows the player to connect with Trilby better than the location of the second, the puzzles in the second game allow for a smoother telling of the story. In particular, I noted that 5 Days a Stranger had bigger ups and downs, while 7 Days was a more consistent ride. Very little could compete with the scene where Trilby awakes to find all of his friends brutally murdered in the foyer. When we see the killer enter the room, we desperately try to get Trilby to flee. When the killer is unmasked, we are shocked - but nowhere near as horrified as we become after talking with Simone.
While playing 7 Days, I began to feel like I was trapped in the movie Event Horizon, and that was the effect that Croshaw went after with both of his games.
Far From the End
Ben Croshaw released two additional games which flesh out the universe that 7 Days is a part of.