Friday, November 05, 2010

Fun On Friday #89: A maze of twisty games all alike

The first computer game I ever played involved hitting a small white square from one side of the screen to another with a white rectangle. I loved it but it cost money to play and (as far as I knew) the nearest machine was at the airport - not exactly easy to get to.

I know that games nowadays are all about graphics and the current crop of of games machines have the processing power of half a dozen super computers but, for me, it has always been about the gameplay. This is why I loved the original Colossal Caves Adventure game. No graphics, typed commands, frustrating axe throwing dwarves and an extremely confusing maze of twisty little passages, all alike... but I spent hours on this game. (Hours I probably should have been spending on my numerical analysis notes!) No bells, no whistles but a game that sucked you in and kept you coming back for more.

I think my favourite bit was arriving at a room where the description took up the whole screen. There were no puzzles to solve, no treasure to find, just the following:
You are on the edge of a breath-taking view. Far below you is an active volcano, from which great gouts of molten lava come surging out, cascading back down into the depths. The glowing rock fills the farthest reaches of the cavern with a blood-red glare, giving every- thing an eerie, macabre appearance. The air is filled with flickering sparks of ash and a heavy smell of brimstone. The walls are hot to the touch, and the thundering of the volcano drowns out all other sounds. Embedded in the jagged roof far overhead are myriad twisted formations composed of pure white alabaster, which scatter the murky light into sinister apparitions upon the walls. To one side is a deep gorge, filled with a bizarre chaos of tortured rock which seems to have been crafted by the devil himself. An immense river of fire crashes out from the depths of the volcano, burns its way through the gorge, and plummets into a bottomless pit far off to your left. To the right, an immense geyser of blistering steam erupts continuously from a barren island in the center of a sulfurous lake, which bubbles ominously. The far right wall is aflame with an incandescence of its own, which lends an additional infernal splendor to the already hellish scene. A dark, foreboding passage exits to the south.
If, like me, you have fond memories of text based adventure games, or if you are just a young thing and wonder what on earth I'm talking about, the place to go is the iFiction site. Here you will find 264 classic games. And, of course, the first one you should check out is the Adventure game.

(Hint: If I were you, I'd go east first and if you are completely stumped about how to play, type help.)


Mosher said...

Well, that link just buggered up *any* chance I had of getting any lessons planned tonight.

David said...

Glad to be of service!

And, while I'm here, was it you that first told me about Apocalyptical? If so, did you see Free Download Friday #77? I'm sure I remember you directing me to a string based metal group but can't find the message/comment if you did.

Mosher said...

Apocalyptica? Yeah, I think it was. A friend of mine in Canada is a huge fan. In fact, she's leaving the country for the first time ever in June to see them in Finland!

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