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Language: English (en)
Current Version: 1.80
Baf's Guide ID: 1
Abenteuer, by William Crowther, Don Woods, Graham Nelson, Toni ArnoldSpoofs:
Äventyr, by William Crowther and Donald Woods
Coke Is It!, by Lucian P. Smith, Adam Thornton, J. Robinson Wheeler, Michael Fessler, Dan Shiovitz, and David DyteFollowed by sequel Adventure Quest, by Mike Austin, Nick Austin, and Pete Austin
The Spelunker's Tremendous Cave Adventure, by Doug Harter
The Very Big Cave Adventure, by Anonymous
Referenced in Yon Astounding Castle! of some sort, by Tiberius Thingamus
Ignoring the profound historical significance for a moment, it's a treasure hunt in a cave, like most of the early adventures (including Zork). It has a verb-noun parser, minimal detail, two big annoying mazes, magic words, nonsense puzzles, and occasional death without warning. None of this matters. Download it anyway. You cannot consider yourself a true adventurer until you've played this game.
There are many different versions of this game, some of which include additions by later authors. The original gave a total of 350 points. Later additions usually award a higher final score.
-- Carl Muckenhoupt
[...] All in all, one might conclude from this that Adventure is the greatest Adventure game ever written, but this is not quite the case. It's continued popularity stems from a) its hauntingly compelling atmosphere, b) its colourful imagery, c) the fact that for many it was their first adventure game, and d) the fact that many people first played it 70's style. [...] (Graeme Cree)
[...] Overall, this is a great game. I recommend it to everyone who is interested in adventure games. [...] (Alex Freeman)
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Number of Reviews: 4
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Most Helpful Member Reviews
But I can't rate it against modern IF either, because Adventure is the one common source from which we derived, for a long time, what to do and what not to do (and if we abolished gratuitous hunger/light puzzles, it was because they were *everywhere* - but they were everywhere because they were part of "Adventure". Well, not the hunger puzzle, that just appeared as a variant of the light-puzzle, possibly for games with no reason to stay in dark places for long. But I digress). Also, we have hindsight, we have experience, and that's our basis for rating modern games. Adventure had none of those things.
So it must go unrated.
Now. What is Adventure?
"Adventure" is, simply put, a cave-crawl with a two-word parser. It has logical puzzles (the plant) and read-the-author's-mind puzzles (the rod) and puzzles that are extremely rewarding to solve (getting the plover's egg, as I recall). It has two mazes (two!). It has random enemies that attack you.
It is, in short, a collection of good, mediocre and bad puzzles and game-design (by today's standards, after decades of essays, innovations, and the infamous and eternal "game vs art" discussion, in which IF is uniquely placed by its very nature). It survives to this day mostly because the original author was himself an explorer of caverns, and his writing is, if not beautiful and lavished and prize-winning, then a reflection of his experiences - there is a real feeling of exploring an underground system of caverns.
Because so much has been written about this game, it's hard to add much to this review - but I couldn't NOT write a review on this game, for the same reason that an adventure gamer can't NOT play it, at least once. It's the one that started it all, and it's a great guide for what to do and what not to do. The conventions stemmed from here. The cardinal directions (a must for navigating underground) originated from here. Even the Carousel Room in Zork II originated here. Heck, even a little bit of parser trickery (the dragon).
Modern players will do well to check out the TADS version, though - it has a novice mode which, for 5 points, will make your lantern last 1000 turns, a welcome addittion for new-schoolers like myself. It's also worth trying to map and solve the game on your own... but don't feel ashamed to turn to the hints eventually. It's got design issues (by today's standards), and it's best to peek at a few hints and get on with the exploration. After all, this is the 21st century - it's not as though we haven't got thousands of other IF to play, games that are probably better suited to our modern sensibilities.
But you owe it to yourself to play this one, eventually. Just a taste. Just a sip. Maybe you'll like it so much you'll end up seeing it through.
And there are SO MANY different versions of it, that it hardly seems possible to review or score it, considering you probably played the sub-optimal version.
I've played the two-word paser version, and the inform update.
The inform update is full of bugs. You can carry any number of things in the wicker cage, allowing you to bypass puzzles that might not let you carry certain items up certain areas by putting them in the cage. The scoring is off too, because if you carry a treasure in the cage to the "base" you get penalized when you TAKE the item out of the cage, then get the points BACK when you drop the item, stopping you from geting proper points.
Anyway, version aside, the game has its plusses and minuses.
The game is a cave crawl puzzle fest, except that everything is totally random and the answers to the puzzles are totally arbitrary. Everything is under-implemented. I had trouble catching a particular bird, and then, i just caught it. I imagine it was turned away by something that was in my inventory then and not now, or vice versa, but regardless, I was able to catch it at one point and not at another point. And your use for the bird is rediculous and there's no reason to believe the bird can be used for its indended purpose.
It keeps going. You have your mazes of passages, rooms with exists not clearly defined, multiple paths going to the same place, and the reverse direction doesn't always take you back where you started. Random enemies show up and attack you, for what appears to be no reason, and never seem to hit you, making their presence appear useless and annoying.
Much like Zork, you are dropped in the middle of nowehere with no clue as to what's going on. Had I never played Zork, i never would have assumed you need to put the treasures in the house. But since I played zork, I tried it. Yep, it works. And it's relevant.
I can only imagine the nightmare of beating this game with a limited parser, considering how frustrated I've become with even newer versions (which allowed you to bypass inventory limits with a wicker cage!).
Okay, okay. Adventure gave us PLUGH and XYZZY. But Infocom gave us BLORB and FROTZ. Adventure gave us Sierra Online (as the creators made games because they coldn't find more games like adventure), but I guess this is one of those games where "you just had to be there". As it is, I am finding myself having little patience with limited inventory, drop items in the maze and map it, and perform any random action you can think of to see if THAT works. Yes it was the first IF game EVER, and for that, it deserves to be played and deserves to be respected. The site wouldn't be here without adventure.
But you need to be a die-hard IF fan AND IF history buff if you're going to get a lot out of this game today. The same can probably be said for the Zork series.
I gave this game 3 stars. Compared to current standards, it really is terrible. But back when it was written, it was the best there was (the only there was). It gave us so many IF conventions we take for granted today (such as the dark room, and using compass directions to move!, inventory and LOOK commands), and people really need to play it if they want to see IF roots- just be ready to take a while, and have hints on hand!
See All 4 Member Reviews
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