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The Infocom Project

Posted by , in Infocom 21 August 2014 · 730 views

Well, this may be of no interest to anyone, and certainly has little to do with my indie game development, but it's my blog, so there! A project I've been working on for decades has been to win all of the old text adventures by Infocom. These classic games were released during (and just before) my teenage years, and thus hold a special place of nostalgia for me. Wikipedia tells more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infocom, you can find a list of the games here: http://pdd.if-legends.org/infocom/fact-sheet.txt, and all the documentation here: http://infodoc.plover.net/.

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My copy of the games came from the "Lost Treasures of Infocom", volumes 1 and 2. I think I still have the floppy disks around somewhere. The official list of games has 35 canonical Infocom games. Right away I'm going to rule out three of the late games, Journey, Arthur, and Shogun, for a variety of semi-lame excuses:
  • They featured heavy illustration, rather than strictly text based (especially Journey, which apparently can be played without keyboard at all).
  • They aren't part of my Lost Treasures collections.
  • They are reviewed quite poorly (except for Journey).
  • I already have enough of these games to play!
I'm also going to rule out Sherlock, based on the "developed by Challenge Inc" tagline; Infocom was just the publisher.

So, that leaves me with 31 games. Prior to today, I had completed 13 of them. Let's make a list, in order of best to worst. I should note that this is a bit speculative (and very subjective!) as it has been decades since I played some of these, but based on memory:

Played Games, Best to Worst:
  • Enchanter
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  • Sorceror
  • Zork III
  • Zork II
  • Zork I
  • Planetfall
  • Wishbringer
  • Stationfall
  • Plundered Hearts
  • The Leather Goddesses of Phobos
  • Starcross
  • Seastalker
Games to Play:
  • Spellbreaker
  • Trinity
  • Beyond Zork
  • Zork Zero
  • Suspended
  • A Mind Forever Voyaging
  • Deadline
  • The Witness
  • Suspect
  • Ballyhoo
  • Moonmist
  • Infidel
  • Cutthroats
  • Hollywood Hijinx
  • Bureaucracy
  • Nord and Bert
  • The Lurking Horror
  • Border Zone
Next up, Infidel!

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy the Text adventure is a great game. I still have an original box copy of the game!

Good to see someone doing this.  I played some of the Infocom games back in the day, and had a blast.  I believe I got stuck somewhere in "Leather Goddess of Phobos" and never finished it, but, it was great to talk amongst friends to discuss possibly strategies to get around obstacles.

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