Archive for Infocom

Games 6: A mind forever voyaging, 7: Trinity

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2011 by chachisays

Slowly but surely we are conquering this adventure! I fell asleep on friday night after playing 6 different text adventures to find out that you can dream in text adventures and it is just as frustrating……

Anyhow here are games 6 and 7. i grouped these two together for a couple of reasons. I didnt want the last post to be any longer, god knows it was long as hell. also, these two games are similar, moreso than being text adventures i mean in storyline themes. Both released by Infocom in 1985 and 1986 respectively.

Game 6: A Mind Forever Voyaging.

The story for this one:

The player controls PRISM, the world’s first sentient computer, in the year 2031. The economy of the United States of North America (USNA) is failing. Great numbers of youths are turning to “Joybooths” (a device which directly stimulates the sensory input of the brain) and committing suicide by overstimulation. A new arms race involving nuclear weapons no larger than the size of a common pack of cigarettes threatens to turn the USNA into a police state.

However after playing the game for a while you realize that you are no more than a test subject, testing a plan to revitalize the way the goverment and industry are behaving. Able to record instances and view them later. All being used to determine if this plan will save the way of life as they know it. Pretty deep political stuff huh?

No screen shot for once again as on par with infocom it was white on black. but being an infocom game they included bonuses!

heres the packaged goods!

  • A printed copy of Dakota Online Magazine from April, 2031, featuring an article about “Perry Simm”/PRISM
  • An advertisement presented by the “Joybooth Manufacturers of North America” arguing that “Joybooths are not the problem”
  • A “PRISM Project Facility Class One Security Mode Access Decoder”, a paper wheel device that provided access codes needed in-game
  • A map of Rockvil, “Jewel of the Quad-State Area” (the quad-state area consisting of South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming)
  • A ballpoint pen from QUAD Mutual Insurance. (“From seafarms to spacelabs, you’re covered by QUAD.”)

Game 7: Trinity

This game also white on black focuses on the Nuclear Arms development a hot topic for the time.

As the game begins, the player’s character is spending a final day of a London vacation in the Kensington Gardens. The evening flight back to the United States is looking increasingly unlikely for a number of unusual reasons. Hordes of nannies are blocking all exits from the Gardens, and the grass actively resists efforts to be walked upon. Worst of all, a gleam on the horizon soon heralds the unwelcome arrival of a Soviet nuclear missile. Time begins to slow as the missile approaches, and with some ingenuity the player’s character finds an incongruous door hovering in mid-air. There’s no telling where it may lead, but it can’t possibly be worse than the alternative of being at ground zero of a nuclear detonation.

You spend time in a alternate space time continuum visiting all the nuclear test sites moments before the bomb drops, literally. Until you realize that something is going to go wrong at test site alpha. ( Trinity, New Mexico 1945) This game includes Fictional and Historical bomb testing sites for your exploration.

The bonuses included for this game were as such:

  • A map of the Trinity site
  • A cardboard sundial marked with odd symbols
  • The Illustrated Story of the Atom Bomb, an “educational” comic book laden with ironic statements regarding the feelings of patriotism, idealism, and jingoism surrounding the production of atomic weaponry
  • Instructions on how to fold an origamicrane (a reference to Sadako Sasaki)

Chachi Says: Only 1 more to go! Political themes to me are not as fun as the fantasy realm given to me by the others but definitely worth 30 minutes of your time or more!

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Games three, four, and Five.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2011 by chachisays

And we are back! More games that i’ve played with more history and reports to lay out for you!

As i stated i would group together so here are games 3-5. No particular order.

Game 3: The Hobbit.

As you guessed this game is based upon the classic novel by J. R. R. Tolkien.

Released in 1982 by Sinclair sold 100,000 in the first 2 years of release and went on to sell over a million copies by the late 80s. This was huge in those days. This game i found to be more innovative then most of the genre at the time. It allowed you to type in complex sentences with multiple commands that it was able to understand. Not only that but in the event of a  no command or interaction, the game would update itself. telling you that “Time passes, you wait.”.  Also, offering up a Pause command that would stop everything until a key was pressed. Not being a big fan of the Rings books or most of what Tolkien did, i can still respect the story and the game playing enjoyment it brought to the table. Not only that but check out these colors!

So bright and pretty.

Game 4: PlanetFall

Each of the games in this category provided something unseen in the others at the time in release. This time once again released by Infocom in 1983. The game required the player to follow natural actions. Sleeping and eating were necessary imposing a semblance of advancing time and not ignoring the day/night eating/sleeping aspects of real life.

The story for this one was as such:

“The game starts with the user assuming the role of a lowly Ensign Seventh Class on the S.P.S. Feinstein, a starship of the Stellar Patrol. Overbearing superior Ensign First Class Blather assigns the player to mop decks, not exactly the glorious adventures promised by the recruiters on Gallium. But a sudden series of explosions aboard the ship sends the player scrambling for an escape pod, which eventually crash-lands on a nearby planet. There are signs of civilization, but curiously no traces of the beings that once lived there. Eventually encountering a helpful but childlike robot named Floyd, the player must unravel the mysteries of the single deserted structure on the planet, Resida, and find a way to get back home. As the fate of the planet’s former inhabitants becomes clearer, a time limit also imposes itself.”

No screenshot of this one as it was just the white text on a black background. But not only did it implement new aspects as the rest of them did but imposing a time limit to complete the goal is innovative and new.

Game 5: MUD

Multi-User Dungeon. i could probably do an entire post on this game. i wont. it would be repetitive and boring after a while. However it deserves one. Let me break it down for you. If you play or have played an MMORPG or Multiplayer online Role playing game of any type, shelling out money to a company for high graphics and a never ending story due to upgrades and enhancements, You can thank this game. Hands down. This is the game that caused it all. This game is the godfather of the MMORPG. Programmed in 1978 by Roy Trubshaw and Richard Bartle in england this game was the game to be played in its time. No subscription fees, no cost to play. Essex University limited the play time though. It was only available to play on the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network between 2 am and 7 am. At first it was a highly popular best kept secret then it exploded. Players from all over the world would connect and interact with each other, the game and the environment, basically getting together to play an online version of D&D. Nerds of the world unite!  Once again no need for a screen shot. White on Black once again. However you can still telnet…. Yes i said Telnet into the game right here for your playing pleasure.  http://www.british-legends.com/otherplay.html

Chachi Says: unless you sit down and analyze all these games separately they will seem like yet another boring text adventure. appreciation takes experience.  Stay tuned for two more posts with games 6,7, and 8 and the conclusion of the text based adventure posts!

Game 2: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2011 by chachisays

Hiya folks!

Back with a another game review for you! That makes 2 of 1001. woo progress!!!!

So surprisingly, There are actually 8 different text based adventure games in this book of 1001. The original plan was to do a post for all 1001 games, however i think it would be repetitive and unnecessary to do 8 posts on these games at this point. Unless they stand out in some knock your socks off kind of way games 3-8 will be covered in one post. So stay tuned.

Game Number 2 is one that you will all recognize but probably never played.

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Ready for a mind blowing screen shot? Brace yourself!

BOOM! MIND BLOWN!

Well as you have guessed its based on the series of books. Released in 1984 by ready for this? Boom, Infocom.  (notice a pattern here?) It was released for the Apple II, Macintosh, Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST and the IBM PC.

Your goal for this game? Follow the story line. This game seldomly gives the player no actual goals. You are there mainly to react to situations.  Although, if you pay attention to the inventory, you’ll notice one lingering problem. You are constantly plagued by a line that says “No Tea”. Get Arthur some fricking tea!

Now, this game however was a pain in the ass that required constant new beginnings. Devious were the coders on this one. There are certain points in the game that if you do not complete correctly, you cannot beat the game. You will not die from these, and the game will continue but you will not win. Period.

Here is one of the parts: “Perhaps the most notorious of these involved getting a Babel Fish out of a dispenser in the hold of the Vogon ship. This extremely tricky puzzle appeared very early in the game, required the player to use a variety of obscure items in a very specific fashion, and had to be “solved” within a limited number of turns. Failure to “solve” the Babel Fish puzzle did not kill the player, but rendered the remainder of the game unwinnable. That particular puzzle became so notorious for its difficulty that Infocom wound up selling T-shirts bearing the legend, “I got the Babel Fish!” ”

So yeah, if the company releases t-shirts celebrating the completion, you know it had to be a pain in the ass.

Also back then Infocom used to release novelty items to make the game seem more real and gave you something to laugh at. For this game they gave out the following:

  • A pin-on button with “Don’t Panic!” printed in large, friendly letters
  • A small plastic packet containing “pocket fluff” (a cottonball)
  • Order for destruction of Arthur Dent’s house
  • Order for destruction of Earth written in “Vogon” (actually an English cryptogram written in a thinly-disguised Cyrillic alphabet. The text was nearly identical to that of the English Order for Destruction, so it was not hard to solve.)
  • Official Microscopic Space Fleet (an empty plastic bag)
  • “Peril Sensitive Sunglasses” (a pair of opaque black cardboard “sunglasses”)
  • How Many Times Has This Happened to You?, an advertising brochure for the fictional guidebook/encyclopediaThe Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  • No tea

This game was later released with some graphics by the bbc for the 20th anniversary and to this day is still available for your playing pleasure over at Douglas Adams website right here enjoy!

Also, A new Chachi Says the vidcast celebrating the 25th birthday of The Legend of Zelda is up for your viewing pleasure!

so enjoy!

Chachi Says: Regardless of the repetitiveness of text adventures its still fun to play one you havent played for a half hour or so. Gives you a chance to appreciate the storyline for yourself. Wow, sometimes when i put my mind to it i can be a real blogger!