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A Mind Forever Voyaging

by Steve Meretzky

Science Fiction/Slice of Life

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Number of Ratings: 86
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Infocom at its finest., April 30, 2019
by deathbytroggles (Minneapolis, MN)
Lauded by critics and mostly ignored by the public, A Mind Forever Voyaging is more of a story than a game, being essentially puzzleless. But man, what a story. Taking place in the year 2031, America is doing poorly and some crackpot scientists have developed a sentient computer named PRISM. Its purpose: to enter a simulation of the future to see if popular conservative Senator Richard Ryder’s plan for renewed national purpose will lead to prosperity. You are PRISM.

If you can set aside the ridiculous notion that a simulation of the future would ever come close to being accurate (hell, we can’t even predict next weekend’s weather with certainty), then you should enjoy this entertaining look into Steve Meretzky’s political vision of a possible future. While your goal is to record evidence of what’s going down in the years to come (from banal activities like eating a meal in a restaurant to more charged activities like meeting with government officials), the real purpose and joy of the game is to simply explore. The town of Rockvil, South Dakota is vividly imagined and detailed, and one could complete the game without visiting 90% of what the town has to offer. And while the story’s progression is fairly predictable, it consistently remains a poignant and touching story of self-exploration throughout and boasts one of the best endings out there.

My only criticisms are that things can be a little repetitive at times and the NPCs are not as developed as I prefer (especially your simulated wife). But in the grand scheme these are mere trifle. More of an experience to be enjoyed than completed, A Mind Forever Voyaging should be at the top of any gamer’s list of classics to try.

- mils32k, January 7, 2019

- Zach Shifflett (VA, United States), December 11, 2018

- oscar-78, December 5, 2018

- Sergio (Trento, Italy), November 30, 2017

- Xavid, November 22, 2017

- lobespear, October 31, 2017

- jakomo, September 21, 2017

- sushabye, September 2, 2017

- nosferatu, July 5, 2017

- Laney Berry, June 11, 2017

- Kyriakos Sgarbas (Hellas (Greece)), May 25, 2017

- Denk, December 17, 2016

- leanbh, December 17, 2016

- Robin Johnson (Edinburgh, Scotland), March 9, 2016

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Explore a simulation of a giant city 10, 20, 30 and more years into the future, February 3, 2016
by MathBrush
Related reviews: Infocom
In this Infocom game, you play PRISM, a sentient computer who has been designed to simulate the future for planning purposes.

This game has no real puzzles until the end. You simply explore. First, you explore your interface, which is very large (having 30+ distinct files you can open). Then you explore the actual simulation, which is a large downtown city, with what felt like 30-50 locations. Once you explore it long enough, the simulation accumulates enough data to simulate another decade into the future.

You must record interesting events and places in the future to bring back for planning purposes. I somehow missed out on a simple mechanic, and got very stalled in the game. (This is not a spoiler, because it is not a puzzle or a surprise, more of a guess-the-verb): To present your recordings, you must tell people "look at recording".

The developer has stated that the game was intended as a criticism of Reagan's policy.

The game is fun. You need to explore; don't just rush through, trying to do what they say. You need to record a lot of each decade to win, so try and get a mental map of the game.

I played this game on the iPad's Lost Treasures of Infocom app, which provides most of Infocom's games (except Nord and Bert, and the already-free Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy).

- Yekrats (Indiana), October 9, 2015

- DrX, July 4, 2015

- chux, May 20, 2015

- Thrax, March 11, 2015

- Janice M. Eisen (Portland, Oregon), November 10, 2014

Adventure Gamers

Part of me is tempted to use the patronising cliché that A Mind Forever Voyaging is remarkably good “for a game.” There's no getting around the fact that the prose is mostly utilitarian, the characters are markedly thin, and the ideas presented often lack nuance. Infocom boldly compared the game to Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four, comparisons which only highlight these complaints further. But in the end, I feel its best aspects are in fact because it is a game. The great sense of exploration and non-linearity make you feel more like a historian researching for a book than a mere reader and player, curiously gathering evidence to evaluate The Plan for Renewed Purpose, all in a clearly-imagined and at times frightening world that seems more contemporary now than when it was written. For those who enjoy games heavy on exploration or with a political bent – or just want to experience a fascinating moment in gaming history – you should definitely check it out.
--Steven Watson

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Adventure Classic Gaming

There are no traditional puzzles until the endgame, and even then, they are innovative, requiring you as the player to think like the machine you are supposed to represent. Rather, A Mind Forever Voyaging is about watching the life of a singular individual as it is effected by global changes and about observing a city's descent into mismanagement, neglect, and despair.

Yet, it is because of its innovative premise that A Mind Forever Voyaging ultimately falls short. The story that it casts is too simplistic, with few shades of grey. Like too many works of science fiction, it tells of a socialistic government obsessed with order and security that lapses into totalitarianism, a techno church that can preach only wacky space babble and a medieval strain of intolerance, and credit card breadlines that run dry. As well, the characters encountered tend to be as flat as a computer simulation in 1985—they have no personality.
-- Joseph Lindell

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- shornet (Bucharest), March 23, 2014

- Snave, March 7, 2014

- lynd, February 2, 2014

- E.K., January 15, 2014

- KidRisky (Connecticut, USA), December 19, 2013

- bigotitos, November 8, 2013

- N.C. Hunter Hayden, October 29, 2013

- Avrak, October 27, 2013

- The Custodian (The Cloud), April 10, 2013

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
All-time Favorite, February 22, 2013
by Pixel Fox 42 (San Francisco, CA)
Related reviews: Infocom
First of all, I'm biased, because this kind of story is right up my alley. I regard it as my all-time favorite because the story is masterfully written, the descriptions are robust and entertaining to read and overall, it makes you think, not so much about the puzzles, but about what is happening, both to your character and to the world around him. As Infocom stories go, this will remain one of the tops in my book.

- Stewjar (USA), January 29, 2013

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