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Sangraal.z5
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Sangraal
T/​SAL source code

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Quest for the Sangraal

by Jonathan Partington

Arthurian/Cave crawl/Satire/Surreal/Wordplay
1987

(based on 2 ratings)
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Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: 1.18
License: Freeware
Development System: T/SAL
Forgiveness Rating: Cruel
Baf's Guide ID: 456
IFIDs:  ZCODE-1-111115-5C59
ZCODE-1-990823-2946
TUID: htskkm315iyr9uga

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide


Written in the mid-80s at Cambridge University, published by Topologika, and recently ported to Inform, Quest for the Sangraal is on a distinctly different wavelength than most IF produced nowadays. In one sense, it's a puzzle-fest with only the slenderest strand of plot to bind it together, but the puzzles themselves are pretty unusual: many of them turn on puns, wordplay, and literary allusion to an extent largely unfamiliar to those who grew up on Infocom. The gameplay can be frustrating--the parser, true to the original, is limited to two words and doesn't recognize a lot of verbs that are now standard, notably EXAMINE. The saving grace is the literacy and intelligence that went into the writing of the game: the allusions are varied and sometimes rather subtle, and the writing is usually dryly funny. Sangraal is not an easy game, however--finishing it involves some major intuitive leaps--and the player is advised to seek help rather than trying to make all the leaps himself.

-- Duncan Stevens

SPAG
Sangraal occupies such an odd niche that it's hard to liken it to any recent work of IF. There's no plot, really--the initial premise (retrieving the Holy Grail) is entirely irrelevant, as with most fantasy quests--and neither is there anything binding the game's world together. (I.e., the world depicted feels less like a setting than an excuse for a lot of silly puzzles.) The puzzles have a way of disappearing once they're solved, and most of them either give the player a treasure-type object or simply award points; none, as far as I can recall, changed the game's landscape, and not many even opened up new territory to explore. No doubt this is a function of the memory limitations of the day, which made it difficult to code for both a solved and unsolved state of a puzzle, but the effect is to magnify the random-collection-of-puzzles feel.
-- Duncan Stevens
See the full review

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This is version 6 of this page, edited by Digger on 22 December 2015 at 1:24pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item