Archive for the ‘videogames’ Tag

Unreleased Infocom Game Unearthed (from 1986)   1 comment

Adam Sommerfield just announced on Twitter that he found, amidst the directories of the Infocom Hard Drive, an unreleased game. The author is unknown.

He managed to compile the source code into a playable game. The announcement video is here, which has a download link in the video description.

It seems to be just a test game of sorts, but it is genuinely playable. (I did get a crash — probably an “authentic” one — so beware of bugs.)

Posted December 4, 2019 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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Pyramid (1980)   14 comments

Rodger Olson returns, he of Deathship, Escape to Mars, and a parser system written for the Ohio Scientific brand of computers that only understands the first two letters of each word.

The sign says BRING TREASURE HERE. TYPE ‘SCORE’

The parser is a little better on this one; I’ll discuss that in a second, but first, you may be asking “wait, weren’t the previous games all text, why is there a picture?” Good question, Hypothetical Reader! While the original 1980 version of Pyramid is text-only, a later TRS-80 Color Computer version added pictures (and as far as I can tell so far, didn’t change anything else, but I’ll swap back and forth between the versions for a while to confirm).

While picking up items still doesn’t give any feedback, the game’s parser is now courteous enough to say if you didn’t pick something up correctly.

TELL ME WHAT TO DO? GET KNAPSACK

TELL ME WHAT TO DO? GET SIGN

CAN’T

Dramatic! But in all seriousness, even this alone makes playing the game more comfortable.

Also, you can LOOK KNAPSACK to see what is inside and GET each item individually.

LOOK KNAP

I SEE
TIN
PISTOL
FLASHLIGHT

TELL ME WHAT TO DO? GET FLASHLIGHT

TELL ME WHAT TO DO?

This may seem a bit underwhelming as a “feature” but compare to Escape from Mars where I literally had to test every verb in order to get at what was inside a pocket. Really, the game almost feels “normal” relative to 1980 now.

Also typical: a pyramid-themed game with a tricky opening where it’s easy to get stuck early. In addition to the starting items in the hut, I managed to find an AARDVARK, MONKEY, and BANANA in a desert as well as some VINES by a locked HEAVY DOOR at the front of the pyramid. I eventually was able to DIG to a new location:

To escape here I had to TAKE ROCKS, followed by PUT ROCKS; it asked

WHERE? STREAM

Doing so caused the cavern to flood; I was able to hop onto the boat and sail it south to an ancient cave. From there I headed up to an “Empty Treasure Room” with a SWORD and an ALTAR, and what appears to be the end of the road.

I can stand on the ALTAR and I assume there’s a secret lever or some such but I haven’t triggered anything yet. I am holding a SWORD, BANANAS, FLASHLIGHT, SHOVEL, AARDVARK, TIN, VINES and PISTOL. Also, I’m being followed around by the MONKEY although various permutations of FEED MONKEY or THROW BANANA do not yield any results.

The sword also says it is PROP. OF ALI BABBA. Anyone with an idea of what to do next?

(The C64 version of this is online, if you want an easy way to try it out.)

Posted November 21, 2019 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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