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Want to play Zork I again for the nostalgia value, but you've already played that one so many times that it's no longer a challenge? Try The Adventurers' Museum. Twenty treasures have been stolen from the museum's trophy case, and it's up to you to get them back. There's some nice puzzles, the writing is acceptable, and the programming is clean. The game encourages exploration and experimentation, and it doesn't insult the player. Yes, Virginia, an old DOS cave crawl can still be fun.
Let me expand on that. Early on, you meet the curator of the museum who gives you the mission, and then he wanders about the museum's rooms. You can go outside, look through one of the windows and see the appropriate room, including the curator in the description if he wanders in. It's little things like that that help gain a player's trust, and I was suitably impressed.
Modern players will have to adjust their expectations, of course. This game is from the era of hunger, thirst, and lightsource puzzles. You have inventory limits. There's no SEARCH. No ASK/TELL. No NW/NE/SW/SE directions. No X for EXAMINE. And most annoying: no UNDO. But the game does recognize VERBOSE, IT, and G for AGAIN and Z for WAIT. More than once, you'll wonder why it was never ported to Inform.
Also note: I rate this game as "Cruel" under Andrew Plotkin's Cruelty Scale. It's quite easy to make the game unwinnable without warning. Some puzzles have alternate, but less ideal, solutions. Death is common, but you will get resurrected the first two times. Still, the player is advised to make liberal use of SAVE and RESTORE if he or she wants to win the game.
-- David Welbourn
A very nicely-put-together old-school trearure hunt in a cave. Shows much Zorkish influence, but with more of a Tolkien wannabe vibe. Fun and not too difficult, with multiple solutions to some puzzles. My only complaint is that the program lacks many of the conveniences of a modern interpreter, such as a command history and "undo" feature. Features hunger and thirst timers, but food and water are plentiful.
-- Carl Muckenhoupt
This game has it all; faultless spelling and grammar, fascinating locations, marvellous atmosphere, great plot (some would say "corny", but I'm sticking with "great"), and the ability to grab you right into a fantasy world and hold you there. [...] I particularly liked the many different ways of dealing with threatening or unco-operative characters; none of the usual "kill xxx with yyy" stuff, getting rid of troublesome creatures required a lot more subtlety than that. A few of the problems reminded me of classical old favourites like Zork 2, but that only added to the atmosphere, and gave me more nostalgia to wallow in.
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A fine bit of homebrew by JonathanCR
Most games here are written with Inform, TADS, or other custom IF-writing languages. Some, however, are written in more standard and less specialised languages, such as C++, Java, or even BASIC. These "homebrew parsers" usually lack the...
This is version 2 of this page, edited by Edward Lacey on 16 March 2013 at 9:21am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item