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Infocom Text Adventures

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@Gatekeeper:

I often feel that you’re in a very different adventure game universe. Do you feel that too? And a second serious question: Have you played any of the 15 text adventures on my list of favorites? BTW, only 4 of them are commercial ones.

     

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Karlok - 10 March 2021 06:00 AM

Lost Pig is a very funny, easy, short adventure. We had several community playthroughs of text adventures and Lost Pig was one of them. See Text Adventure Tangos in https://adventuregamers.com/forums/viewthread/2112/

If you haven’t played it already I recommend Legend’s Eric the Unready . Fun and not very hard. Anchorhead is a classic horror game.

The old commercial text adventures from Legend and Infocom are officially not free of course. But Lost Pig, Anchorhead, and 9 other games on the list in my previous post can be played online or downloaded at the Interactive Fiction Database: ifdb.org

PS: Everybody still interested in IF should play Spider and Web. You too, Luhr. Smile

Funnily enough (haha), Eric The Unready is one of the few that I have played. This was around 12 years ago. I remember really enjoying it, but for some reason never finished it. It’s on GOG now, so I’ll pick it up and try that. I will also try Spider and Web in the near future.
How do the Gateway games stack up? I had them as a clueless kid and tried them again a little later in life and remember enjoying them, but again, not completing them. Since then I have also read the books, which were pretty good, so I’m thinking of diving back into those at some point.

     

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Karlok - 10 March 2021 06:00 AM

PS: Everybody still interested in IF should play Spider and Web. You too, Luhr. Smile

Played it!  Content
...along with the others you recommended. Nice choices btw Laughing
Agreed with everything you recommended so far

     
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Karlok - 10 March 2021 06:00 AM

Here’s the post I deleted.

 

Really glad you put this back up, Karlok, because IF is a genre in which I’m woefully underexperienced and this looks like a great primer on the subject. Everything you say about the versatility of text as a medium is so true—really looking forward to trying some of these out.

     

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Karlok - 10 March 2021 06:00 AM

Lost Pig is a very funny, easy, short adventure. We had several community playthroughs of text adventures and Lost Pig was one of them. See Text Adventure Tangos in https://adventuregamers.com/forums/viewthread/2112/

The text adventure playthroughs lead by Oscar and Karlok were some of my fondest memories on the forum. Especially Lost Pig, Anchorhead and one I can’t seem to find anymore with a sister visiting her brother at a college in the 18th century?

Would there be people interested in doing this again? I’m a bit too busy with work on my side to lead (at least for the next couple of months, could do it after that) but would gladly play.

     
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Baron_Blubba - 10 March 2021 01:37 PM

How do the Gateway games stack up? I had them as a clueless kid and tried them again a little later in life and remember enjoying them, but again, not completing them. Since then I have also read the books, which were pretty good, so I’m thinking of diving back into those at some point.

The Gateway games were not my favorites, but nothing wrong with them. Except that it shows when you try to cram an entire book into a game. Don’t remember if I finished the second one, probably not. I do remember it has a great chase early in the game. You can listen to their walkie-talkies while they’re talking about you and closing in on you. Terrifying. And great fun trying to get away from them.

Luhr28 - 10 March 2021 04:16 PM

Played it!  Content
...along with the others you recommended. Nice choices btw Laughing
Agreed with everything you recommended so far

My flabbers have gasted again! Is it me missing posts you wrote or did you never let on you were an IF fan? So why don’t you recommend us some good text adventures. Smile

Cicerone53 - 10 March 2021 07:21 PM

Really glad you put this back up, Karlok, because IF is a genre in which I’m woefully underexperienced and this looks like a great primer on the subject. Everything you say about the versatility of text as a medium is so true—really looking forward to trying some of these out.

Great! Smile

If you decide to try a text adventure, please post about your experience, I’d be interested. And if you run into problems we’re always here to lend a helping hand, aren’t we, Luhr. Yes, we are.

giom - 11 March 2021 04:36 PM

The text adventure playthroughs lead by Oscar and Karlok were some of my fondest memories on the forum. Especially Lost Pig, Anchorhead and one I can’t seem to find anymore with a sister visiting her brother at a college in the 18th century?

Christminster. I guess TimovieMan never got around to adding a link. I didn’t like that one very much, but it was fun playing it together.

Would there be people interested in doing this again? I’m a bit too busy with work on my side to lead (at least for the next couple of months, could do it after that) but would gladly play.

I’d love to! Too bad Oscar left a couple of years ago. I’d be willing to lead a fairly short and easy game if *at least* 4 people are interested in participating. Luhr? Blubba? Cicerone? Adv_Lvr? TimovieMan?

PS: I played Vicious Cycles last year and liked it. Other suggestions for a CP are of course welcome.

     

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You led the CP for Thaumistry: In Charm’s Way in Dec. of 2017, Karlok, and I had a blast with it.  Did you ever play Future Boy?

     

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Count me in for a text adventure playthrough. Did you guys ever end up doing an Emily Short game? Her games always grace the lists of best ever IF so I’ve always been interested in checking one of them out.

     

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Karlok - 11 March 2021 06:43 PM

The Gateway games were not my favorites, but nothing wrong with them. Except that it shows when you try to cram an entire book into a game.

My recollection is that the games use the general setting from the books, but tell their own stories in it. But perhaps someone who’s read the books more recently than 20+ years ago could elaborate on that? (I vaguely recall something about the main character having to abandon his companion at the event horizon of a black hole, and that’s about it.)

As for the games, I mostly remember the first one. It was briefly available for free (as a promotion for the Lost Adventures of Legend collection, I believe), so that’s when I first played it. I enjoyed the setting, and the whole “here’s your ship and some coordinates to explore” thing made for a lot of variety. I don’t remember anything unnecessarily obnoxious or unfair about it.

My memory of the second one is a lot fuzzier. By that point in the story some of the mystery was gone of course, but I still remember enjoying it. When I think back on the Legend Entertainment parser games, the Gateway games are what mostly stand out in my mind. But I’ve been meaning to replay those games for years and it is of course very possible that my opinions have changed.

In either case, I think all of the Legend Entertainment adventure games are worth at least a look. (So isn’t it ironic that I’ve never had the chance to play Blackstone Chronicles?) Even if there are some (like Companions of Xanth) that I don’t enjoy as much myself.

Karlok - 11 March 2021 06:43 PM

PS: I played Vicious Cycles last year and liked it. Other suggestions for a CP are of course welcome.

I liked Hadean Lands a lot, but I don’t know how well it would work for something like this. (It’s a pretty hard game, I thought, but also very forgiving.)

     
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Karlok - 11 March 2021 06:43 PM

Great! Smile

If you decide to try a text adventure, please post about your experience, I’d be interested. And if you run into problems we’re always here to lend a helping hand, aren’t we, Luhr. Yes, we are.

I surely will! Thank you!

I’d be willing to lead a fairly short and easy game if *at least* 4 people are interested in participating. Luhr? Blubba? Cicerone? Adv_Lvr? TimovieMan?

More than happy to follow along, but I usually have my hands full covering at least one game for the site (I’m site writer Will Aickman for those who don’t know!) while also playing another from my own backlog, so I’d probably wind up as dead weight on everybody else if I tried to take part in a CPT. I always enjoy reading them though!

     

AG staff writer Will Aickman: https://adventuregamers.com/about/author/35144

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Karlok - 11 March 2021 06:43 PM

I’d love to! Too bad Oscar left a couple of years ago. I’d be willing to lead a fairly short and easy game if *at least* 4 people are interested in participating. Luhr? Blubba? Cicerone? Adv_Lvr? TimovieMan?

PS: I played Vicious Cycles last year and liked it. Other suggestions for a CP are of course welcome.

Yes, I miss Oscar and Wilco.. Wonder why they left..

Vicious Cycles looks fun, count me in!

Cicerone53 - 12 March 2021 02:38 AM

More than happy to follow along, but I usually have my hands full covering at least one game for the site (I’m site writer Will Aickman for those who don’t know!) while also playing another from my own backlog, so I’d probably wind up as dead weight on everybody else if I tried to take part in a CPT. I always enjoy reading them though!

I’ve enjoyed reading your reviews Will! Thanks!
Sometimes I wish there was a way to link the author of an article on the site to their forum persona, although I could get why some wouldn’t necessarily want that.

     
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Lady Kestrel - 11 March 2021 10:42 PM

You led the CP for Thaumistry: In Charm’s Way in Dec. of 2017, Karlok, and I had a blast with it.  Did you ever play Future Boy?

Future Boy! (2004) was a commercial text adventure, unfortunately no longer available. I liked it a lot but it’s not suitable for a CP. It has lots of non-interactive pics, some animations, music, sounds, and even voiceacting. Very atmospheric and still one hundred percent a text adventure. Smile With a nasty bug near the end that threatened to become a gamestopper, I had to replay parts. (The AG reviewer also mentions this problem.)

Thaumistry: In Charm’s Way was a normal CP. All other text adventures were played together here in the forum. Explanation for newbies: Only one person, the leader, actually plays the game. The participants provide the input (go west, talk to gnome, get candle). The leader executes the commands, copies, pastes, and posts the game’s reponses. It’s also their job to post map(s) as we progress in the game. A lot of work for the leader, who should preferably be familiar with the game. (Oscar had not played Spider and Web, but as the leader he played ahead of the rest of us.) So we need committed participants who check the CP daily and provide new input. 

eriktorbjorn - 12 March 2021 12:53 AM

In either case, I think all of the Legend Entertainment adventure games are worth at least a look.

Oh yes, definitely. I haven’t played all of them yet, which leaves me something to look forward too.

(So isn’t it ironic that I’ve never had the chance to play Blackstone Chronicles?)

In most aspects a great game. I finished it but couldn’t stomach the terrible cruelty and viciousness. Be prepared, it’s probably worse than you think.

I liked Hadean Lands a lot, but I don’t know how well it would work for something like this. (It’s a pretty hard game, I thought, but also very forgiving.)

I always appreciate your comments from the sideline but don’t you feel like participating for once?

Cicerone53 - 12 March 2021 02:38 AM

More than happy to follow along, but I usually have my hands full covering at least one game for the site (I’m site writer Will Aickman for those who don’t know!)

Aha, so you’re the reviewer of The Longing, one of my favorite games from last year. Smile

while also playing another from my own backlog, so I’d probably wind up as dead weight on everybody else if I tried to take part in a CPT. I always enjoy reading them though!

You can’t be a dead weight in a text adventure CP: you either post or you don’t post. See the above explanation.

     

Nothing but endless sea… no sign of America yet… unless it’s on the other side of the boat… is that how boats work? - Veronica, Overboard!

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giom - 12 March 2021 05:40 AM

Yes, I miss Oscar and Wilco.. Wonder why they left..

Wilco had real-life issues. Oscar got fed up with either the forum or the forumites, I don’t really know.

So far we have one leader (Karlok) and two participants (giom and Luhr).
Three suggestions:
Vicious Cycles
Hadean Lands
One of Emily Short’s text adventures

 

     

Nothing but endless sea… no sign of America yet… unless it’s on the other side of the boat… is that how boats work? - Veronica, Overboard!

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I tried Spider and Web during my lunchbreak at work today. It made my day a bit weirder and more enjoyable at the same time.

 

     

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Karlok - 12 March 2021 07:26 AM

In most aspects a great game. I finished it but couldn’t stomach the terrible cruelty and viciousness. Be prepared, it’s probably worse than you think.

I guess the main reason I haven’t tried it is that it’s usually fairly simple to get DOS games to run under Linux. Windows games can be a bit of a toss-up.

Karlok - 12 March 2021 07:26 AM

I always appreciate your comments from the sideline but don’t you feel like participating for once?

I might, if it’s a game that I haven’t played before and that looks interesting. And, of course, if I have any idea what to do in the game before someone else figures it out. But if it’s one I have played before, I wouldn’t want to spoil it.

Now, a game I have heard good things about that I’ve only played the beginning of (because I got thoroughly stuck) is Make It Good, by John Ingold. But I have a feeling that a murder mystery (that may be chock full of timed events) could make for a miserable community playthrough, so I’ll probably tackle it again on my own some day.

     

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