Adventure

Hello people! Sorry for dropping out on you. University has started again and it’s eating a lot of my time. I’m not promising to get up to schedule just yet, but perhaps clearing a few games will get me in the mood again. Let’s go.

Adventure (AKA Colossal Cave Adventure) is the famous first interactive fiction game ever written. Due to the game being open sourced from the start (although it predates the current understanding of the term “open source”), there are many versions of it to be found. The version I have is the rather uncommon 551 points version, classified by Rick Adams as Adventure 6. Different versions come with somewhat different puzzles and because I really, really suck at solving puzzles (and because there seems to be no walkthrough available for this version anywhere) I will review Graham Nelson’s Z-code port of the well-known Woods’ 350 points version. I choose this version because it comes with Twisty on the Android platform – nothing more fun than playing IF on your cell phone when on the train.

At End Of Road
You are standing at the end of a road before a small brick building. Around you is a forest. A small stream flows out of the building and down a gully.



Okay, so. It’s Adventure. The plot is fairly simple. You hunt a big cave complex for various treasures, while battling with deadly traps, creatures and puzzle frustration all the time. This is one serious old-school game, people. I honestly don’t have a clue how anyone ever managed to solve those puzzles in pre-Internet times.

A huge green fierce dragon bars the way!
The dragon is sprawled out on the Persian rug!

>kill dragon
With what? Your bare hands?

>yes
Congratulations! You have just vanquished a dragon with your bare hands! (Unbelievable, isn’t it?)

I’m happy IF has evolved way past this, into more realistic, humane and often even thoughtful games. It all had to start somewhere, I guess. Another thing I noticed is that the game description are often rather terse. At first, this annoyed me, because much of newer IF makes use of rich room or item descriptions to hide clues and solutions to puzzles. Adventure provides a somewhat different way of setting up puzzles. Objects subtly interact, you sometimes need illogical actions, and the map is pretty big. Also, there’s a time limit because your lamp only lasts for a finite number of turns. The very definition of evil.

There is a loud explosion, and a twenty-foot hole appears in the far wall, burying the dwarves in the rubble. You march through the hole and find yourself in the main office, where a cheering band of friendly elves carry the conquering adventurer off into the sunset.

*** You have won ***

Well, that’s that and I’m glad it’s over. Without hints, I’d say I got to about 25% of the game. With some more motivation for experimentation, I’d maybe have found 50% of it. So that determines the score: 5/10. Or 175/350.

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