Have you ever completed a text adventure?

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Nomad
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Re: Have you ever completed a text adventure?

Post by Nomad » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:38 am

The only text adventure I completed on the spectrum was The Hobbit. But I grinded that for the better part of 3 years. At that time I didn't know the strategy guide existed - If i had access to that back in the day it would have made things a whole bunch easer. But honestly today you can just use the game walk through online and avoid a lot of frustration. Plus the walkthrough is a lot more comprehensive than the strategy guide was.

That said I think a lot of the value of the text adventures was one could last you months/years and the satisfaction that you get from finally completing the game is just on a different level vs using a walkthrough.

For the PC I completed Seastalker (Infocom), Deadline (Infocom) and The Witness (Infocom). These took me 5 weeks for Seastalker (its one of the easiest of all the infocom games, to about 18 months for Deadline and 10-11 months for The Witness. Infidel (infocom) is one that I would like to complete when I get time.
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Wall_Axe
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Re: Have you ever completed a text adventure?

Post by Wall_Axe » Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:57 am

So do you think just going into the hobbit without a walkthru is too frustrating and obscure?
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Nomad
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Re: Have you ever completed a text adventure?

Post by Nomad » Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:30 am

Wall_Axe wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:57 am
So do you think just going into the hobbit without a walkthru is too frustrating and obscure?
Try it first without a walk through, when you hit the wall, then consult the hint book/strategy guide.

http://www.mocagh.org/tolkien/hobbit-hintbook.pdf

You get the help and hints, but if you want the straight answer they have encoded it in the guide so not to spoil it with casual reading. It is a nice book, and I wish I had this when I was playing as a kid it would have saved a lot of time.

If you still can't get over a problem then take a look at the walk through/the coded answers in the strategy guide.

Make a map, (or there are now some excellent maps of the hobbit on line but I think its better to make your own...) keep a note book for the game so you can record your strategy, ideas. That was a big part of the fun of doing those sort of games back in the day was mapping and working out how the thing worked.

Hobbit is a great game, it has its share of bugs and weirdness but it adds to the charm.

Looking back its a fairly small game world, but what they managed to put into it is stunning for the time. The programming skills that went into that were on another level for the time.

But part of the fun of playing text adventures is playing them how they were intended to be experienced - well, it is like a context thing. At the time the graphics were stunning, the way that the various NPCs would seemingly behave in a non-scripted way. So even if you had a system - you sometimes had situations where Gandalf or Thorin would do something totally mental/infuriating that borks the game.

Considering how much the game cost at launch people expected to spend a significant amount of time to get bang for the buck. With a walk through you can complete the whole game in one sitting. Part of the fun is figuring out how to overcome the puzzles on your jim jones.

What I am trying to say is if you want to play it as it was intended then don't use the walk through until your contemplating calling the Samaritans listening to U2 in a bathtub. There again, if you are limited for time to invest in a text adventure from the early 80s no harm from using the walk through.

Infocom games were much harsher and cryptic by comparison, there was no way I could have finished all but the easiest of them without the hint book.
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Mike Davies
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Re: Have you ever completed a text adventure?

Post by Mike Davies » Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:08 pm

Not many adventures made it as far as Pretoria back in the day. I remember playing a text adventure -- I thought it was Jack the Ripper or Dracula, it had Gothic type of font, where it (or maybe a specific part of it) -- started at a railway station, and you had to cross the bridge to the other platform to catch the correct train into London, otherwise the game ends, on a train going the wrong direction, with an encounter with a train conductor. -- Can someone tell me which adventure that was?

Sinclair User Megatape 13 introduced me to Escape, turns out to be by Tartan software (who had a 2-part type in listing for Adventure Builder System, as I recall, T.D.Frost). That's the first adventure I got stuck into and managed to solve on my own. Took me 2 or 3 days. It's silly word-play: shaking the calendar and the dates fall off, you pick them up and eat them. (https://spectrumcomputing.co.uk/index.p ... 96&id=6259)

Ah, and that Zenobi one-room text adventure "Behind Closed Doors" that appeared on Megatape 15. Only those two adventures I've completed by myself.

Recently, I spent a few hours toiling with the Atari ST version of Level 9's Lords of Time, and now I've successfully got a Gotek working, maybe I want to get stuck into Magnetic Scrolls' The Pawn.
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Re: Have you ever completed a text adventure?

Post by Wall_Axe » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:20 pm

thanks nomad, i'll try that approach
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