#7 Adventure

Posted: 10th April 2014 by Jeroen in Games
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321st played so far

Genre: Adventure
Platform: VCS
Year of Release: 1979
Developer: Atari Inc.
Publisher: Atari Inc.

I was actually already sort-of planning to follow Peter’s suggestion from Gradius, coming back to play games in order at least some of the time.

The next game in order is Adventure, the first adventure game (and predecessor of other genres like it). The version listed – and the one we played – is the graphically enhanced yet otherwise simplified Atari port.

Our Thoughts

The original Adventure (or officially Colossal Cave Adventure) is a text based adventure (owed a great debt by, for example and most notably, Eamon and Zork). It comes from the university mainframe times, an open source adventure expanded by successive contributions.

That didn’t end up on the list, despite – well, “maze of twisty little passages, all alike” is still quoted and xyzzy still one of the known password – being one of those early influential games that left its mark on early gamer conciousness.

What we have here, though, is what I suspect is one of the first remakes in gaming history. Taking bits of the aforementioned Adventure, Atari created a game vaguely based on it, tasking you with retrieving a chalice and returning it to your castle. During this, you’ll need to find swords and keys and be careful as you’re being chased by ducks dragons.

The end result is an adventure game that has puzzles that aren’t as tricky, but still gives a game with ample exploration and several nice actionny bits to run through. It also has some genuinely annoying mazes that took me ages to figure out. There’s a trick to bypassing parts of it (using a bridge. A large bridge), but even so it’s confusing. It’s a good maze for it though, especially with the constraints in place (each screen being mirrored).

The game is engaging in its simplicity. While it doesn’t have the depth its text-based parent must have had, the graphic interface adds a lot more challenge in the speed, making for an interesting different game.

Final Thoughts

I’ll be honest, I went into this game with far different expectations of what it’d be – expecting it to be closer to the text adventure, with some minimal graphics added.

Instead it was this minimal adventure game, focused on exploration and action without too much in the way of (more complicated) puzzles. It’s nothing that makes the game enjoyable – in fact, it’s still fun to play – but even though there are the multiple quest options, it’s just not enough to lure me back in now. But then, as we know, games have changed.