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Adventure

by William Crowther and Donald Woods

Cave crawl
1976

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(9)
4 star:
(17)
3 star:
(38)
2 star:
(9)
1 star:
(1)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 6
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1-6 of 6


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A New Version of an Old Version of the Original Text Adventure, October 30, 2015
by jgerrie (Cape Breton Island, Canada)
For Retrochallenge 2015 I ported Will Crowther's original Colossal Cave "Adventure" source code to Microsoft Micro Color Basic. The new basic source code should be easily shifted to other Basics. I elaborated a few uncompleted elements and areas and changed a few things to create some new challenges for old players.

I also added some new commands such as SCORE, which will tell you how you're doing and if you have won. HELP will provide some rudimentary aid. UNLOAD will perform the same function as the more standard "drop all" command of other adventures. QUIT not only exits but prompts whether you would like to save the progress you have made so far. You are prompted each time the program is run if you wish to load a previous game. The same file name "COLOSDAT" is used for each save, but in the emulator (VMC10.exe) you can save the resulting virtual cassette file to any file name you like in order to differentiate between different saves.

I re-coded the program from the Fortran source code and data file of Will Crowther's original version of "Advent" for the PDP-10 recently recovered from an old back-up tape by Dennis Jerz. This is not the classic "350 point" version modified by Don Woods. So if you are interested in playing a new version of the original version of the "original" text adventure, you can try this one out. My version contains all the room movement info in numeric form and most of the text descriptions of rooms and events. I had to wedge it into 20K of my favourite 8-bit the TRS-80 MC-10, so some of the descriptions got "edited" a little, but I was able to transfer the map info from the data file into Basic DATA statements, so it's a largely accurate rendition of the original map. I only made a very few tweaks where directions were quite clearly messed up or to eliminate a few NE, NW, SE and SW directions.

Using various descriptions from the Net of the puzzles and other game challenges and by examining Crowther's original source, I was able to recreate what I believe is a reasonably accurate presentation of all the original game elements. However, as I worked on the rooms in the Bedquilt (“Under Construction”) area of Crowther's original code I really could sense where his patience with the project petered out (sometime in 1975 or 1976) so I also ended up adding a few unique elements of my own to “complete” what is obviously an unfinished work just begging for elaboration. I can understand what tempted Don Woods to make his additions in 1977 to create the classic version.

That being said, I do not like some of the more surreal fantasy elements that Woods added. Crowther's version has a more austere set of locations, but they have a feel of realism that is absent from the classic version's chaotic hurly-burly of branches. Also, there is clearly a sense that Crowther's fantasy elements (Hall of the Mountain King, nasty little dwarfs, finding a cave in the woods) were drawn from a single classic narrative source, such as the story of Peer Gynt, rather than a hodgepodge of fantasy cliche's. I tried to respect this integrity in the few additions I made to fill out Crowther's obviously abandoned work.

Don Woods helped Crowther overcome the problem of the game's unfinished nature by significantly expanding the complexity of the cave and by adding improved scoring and completion routines. It's this latter version which is normally referred to as "the original adventure" or the "350 point" version. In homage to this latter title I have also made my re-coded version worth 350 points, although these points only represent six 50 point treasures. Only five of these treasures are present in Crowther's original. I have added one treasure and one puzzle and a few new threats. I have also slightly changed the operation of some of the magic of the original to prevent old hands from simply applying their prior knowledge.

The following file contains the Virtual MC-10 emulator and the program file COLOSSAL.C10 for loading and running in the emulator:
http://faculty.cbu.ca/jgerrie/Home/VMC10_073D.zip
Note: this review is based on older version of the game; this rating is not included in the game's average.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
The original, and one of the best depending on your likes, August 6, 2015
Adventure was the very first text adventure of all time. It inspired the genre and its name.

The point of the game is to gather a variety of treasures and bring them back to a small building. The game is pretty accurately based on the Mammoth Caves, which explains the mazes and the fact that exits and entrances sometimes don't match up exactly (i.e. going west and then east may not leave you where you started).

For me, the most enjoyable way to play this game was to keep it at a slow pace, going back to it time and again while playing other games. I kept a numbered list of every room with all of its exits to other rooms. This made the game much easier. After several weeks, I got to a point where I couldn't get any further for several days. I finally looked up a walkthrough for the last three or four puzzles.

Once you get all the treasures, there is an endgame that is surprisingly good; it seems more like a modern deconstruction of the game than the very first game of all.

I played the 350 point version, and I found the game incredibly enjoyable. I admit that I used the wicker cage bug (as mentioned in another review), where you can carry everything in the wicker cage. To get full points, you must remove the items from the cage outside of the building before placing them in there.

Every Interactive Fiction player should play this game because so many other games reference it heavily.

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
A classic, July 8, 2013
You really can't beat the classics, I say. I have an immense respect for Adventure, as it was really the first of its kind. However, I'd like to say that it's not the best of the classics. When you compare it to Zork, though, it doesn't seem nearly as great, but for being the first of its kind, Adventure is pretty good.

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
A Classic, September 5, 2011
by Deboriole (San Diego, CA)
Related reviews: Xyzzy, adventure, colossal
I used to play this on my Commodore 64 when I was a kid. I have many fond memories, and remembered most of the solutions even 30 years later! Most of the game is rewarding, although I find the mazes and the ending to be a little "out there." This is definitely one of my all-time favorite games because there are a lot of rewarding puzzles and even some humor mixed in. Remember to save often because treasures can be easily lost or broken.

Plugh!

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Adventure Into Your Head, April 22, 2011
by anthonyc (Florida)
This is an overly-simple game. Modern gaming gave us the overly-complicated video game, the game that is endless, with much too many objectives, places, and dungeons to explore. You could make a life out of those types of games (think World of Warcraft) and lose yourself entirely in them. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, it's up to you, but this helps bring one back to the simplicity of gaming; a short and sweet, hour long at most, game where there are no objectives, no missions, things to do, but nothing is mandatory. In fact, the game gave me the atmosphere of wanting you to enjoy it, but not too actually get stuck up in it.

Adventure is a true to heart text-based adventure game. You do what you want, when you want, but your options are very limited and there is very little to do. One could easily get bored of the game after just a play, like I did, although I did enjoy seeing what it was like for the people to play games in the past. The game isn't descriptive, it gives you the simple facts: there is a empty bottle, tasty food, set of keys, and an oil lamp. There is no story, more or less just events. Who you are, you are yourself. Are you human are you a another being? It's all a game based entirely on your imagination, giving you the things you could think of: You are in a valley with a river flowing past you. What does that river look like really? Is it thin or is it a massive, Mississippi River? How big is the valley, huge or a ditch? It all is deprived from your thoughts that you make in your head.

So try the game if your imagination is large enough, or if you are doing a history report or just want to dwell in the past. Not recommended for people who are just getting into text-based adventures, unless you truly want to see where it all began.


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Well, it was first., April 7, 2010
by tggdan3 (Michigan)
Yes, yes, I get it. Adventure was the game that started it all.

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!


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