Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Inspector Gadget: Cooking with Secret Sauce

Written by Joe Pranevich

Go-go gadget retro-review! The manual has been read, the score-guesses have come in, and it’s time to actually play Inspector Gadget. This might seem silly, but I am struck first just by the question of what we should expect in an adventure for children. Some might argue (not incorrectly) that pretty much all adventure games are designed for children, even if some of those children are well into their thirties or beyond. With few exceptions, adventure games since the golden age have been all-ages affairs with puzzles and stories that would not be tremendously out of place for young people. So when I say “children”, I suppose I mean the younger ones. We at the Adventure Gamer don’t specialize in games for younger kids and I am not sure that we can review them fairly. I have personally reviewed only two so far, Dragon’s Keep (1982) and Winnie the Pooh (1985), while Aperama looked at Mixed Up Fairy Tales (1992). Trickster was famously uncertain about playing these adolescent adventure games, in large part because of how difficult it is to judge them on a scale that they never really aspired to. I will do what I can to be fair and to enjoy the games for what they are trying to do, rather than what an adult thinks they should do.
All that is to say that I do not know yet how I will cover this game. I’m just going to start playing and start typing and we’ll see what happens.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Quest for Glory III: Wages of War - Fricanan Wandering

by Alex

Yeah, that’s a picture of me fighting a dinosaur on the savannah with my paladin’s sword bathed in magical blue flame.

Read that sentence again: “ . . . fighting a dinosaur on the savannah with my paladin’s sword bathed in magical blue flame.”

Isn’t that just awesome?!

Now that I’m playing Wages of War for the first time in a while for The Adventure Gamer, the game’s vibe struck me:

It’s pulp. And that is a good thing.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Missed Classic 55: Red Moon (1985) - Introduction

By Ilmari

There are CRPG gamers and adventure gamers. And they are searching for different things.

Just to tease you all

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis – Final Rating

So. It's the moment of truth. Those who've been following along probably know that I've loved playing this game. But sometimes the scores of the PISSED system don't reflect the reviewer's own enjoyment. Will that be the case here? Will this be one of the highest rated games we've seen so far? Will I disappoint some fans of the game by giving a lower score than expected? Have you, like I usually do, already scrolled to the end to check out the final score before reading the actual post? Let's find out, shall we?

Fact: I was stumped in this game for a while and I only now noticed that if I looked at the back cover I'd have known that I needed a wheel for the Atlantean robot chest puzzle.

Monday, 16 April 2018

What's Your Story? - Biscuit

Introduction and captions by Ilmari

We've received a lot of new readers this year and some of your introductory stories have had to wait rather long for their publication. Here are finally answers from our reader known as Biscuit, and no, he's probably not a character in yet another law show.

His avatar has an oriental feeling to it

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Game 94: Inspector Gadget: Mission I: Global Terror - Introduction (1992)

Written by Joe Pranevich

Say what you will about 1992, but there were a lot of licensed games. We’ve already seen Sherlock Holmes, Indiana Jones, Gateway, Dune, Star Trek, L. A. Law, and Hook and we will have a few more before the year is out. Is this the peak year where everyone wanted to get in the boat of low-quality point-and-click adventures? Had technology and design-plagiarism finally reached the point where these sorts of adventures were easy wins? Or did that same technology advancement mean that designers could finally produce the tie-in games that they had always dreamed of? I have no idea. What I do know is that I have open on my laptop our first (and likely only) Inspector Gadget game. Are you excited?

This game, given the unwieldy title of Inspector Gadget: Mission I: Global Terror, will be another of those games of uncertain pedigree that I find so difficult to predict. We have seen virtually unknown designers do amazing things in the first Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes game, while similarly unknown designers came up shorter in Hook and Star Trek: 25th Anniversary. If this thing has one thing going for it, it is that Inspector Gadget is a pretty fun series and one of my favorites as a kid. If they manage to strike the right tone with a silly-but-interesting mystery with plenty for Penny and Brain to do, I could be pretty happy.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Quest for Glory III: Wages of War - Rumblings of War

by Alex

And so the Hero of Spielberg and Prince of Shapeir’s journey to Tarna begins! As Chet eloquently described in his initial Quest for Glory III post, this entire series is “tight.” Chet stole my thunder a little bit, as this is an aspect of game design I wanted to save for the final rating, but now is just as good a time as any to discuss it here, since I completely agree with him.

My preferred term is well-crafted. Playing a well-crafted game provides an experience that feels satisfying and complete. The polish put into games like this speaks of additional effort beyond the 90 percent required to make the game at all. It’s this last 10 percent that separates the decent from the good to great games.

Here are some characteristics of well-crafted games; feel free to add additional characteristics in the comments below:
  • There are few, or no, wasted screens or moments: every character and scene provides some kind of information to the player or something to do.
  • Characters don’t act in ways that contradict everything that has come before.
  • The game’s mechanics and game-world rules are well-explained and consistent throughout, both to the player and to the other characters.
  • The game’s story hangs together on its own internal logic.
  • There are few, if any, plot holes.
  • There is no deus ex machina.
  • Villains don’t just appear out of the blue.
  • The explanation for each puzzle can be found within the game as opposed to the use of brute force inventory testing.
  • The player is rarely, if ever, left wandering around bereft of direction.
There are more, but I think it’s safe to say that the Quest for Glory games meet these criteria. From personal experience, I contend that The Secret of Monkey Island provides an equally well-crafted experience. Conquests of the Longbow and King’s Quest VI are other games I can think of that uphold this ideal. Please let me know of others in the comments.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Missed Classic: Emerald Isle - Won! (With Final Rating)

By Ilmari

I have to admit that “winning” meant this time rather heavy use of hints. In hindsight, I probably could have solved most of these puzzles with a little bit of persistence, but I was getting a bit tired of the game in whole. Oh well, enough of the excuses, let’s get on with the game.

So long and thanks for all the fish!

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Let the Hero-U Month Begin!

By The TAG Team

A wise man once said, "Magic is the essence and soul of life, and the Wizard is her poet." Truer words have not been spoken, but in our world "magic" comes through the design of fantastic games, and those designers are the poets. Ever since Trickster played Hero’s Quest, The Adventure Gamer has had the pleasure of cooperating with the Coles, the legendary designer couple behind, among other things, the beloved Quest for Glory -series. The blog has especially benefited from the comments of Corey Cole, who has always had time to reveal insights about their adventure games and to recount experiences about working at Sierra.

With the happy coincidence of the combined playthrough of Quest for Glory III with CRPG Addict and the soon upcoming release of Hero-U, the long awaited new game from the Coles, the administrators of The Adventure Gamer have decided to dedicate the month to the past and future games of the Coles.

It's almost finished!

Friday, 6 April 2018

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis - WON!

Indiana Jones Journal Entry #6: I've now used the same ladder three times. It's starting to rival my ship rib for usefulness. Oh, and I also discovered Atlantis and threw a god in a fire.

This WON! post has been a while coming, so let's get right into it.

When we last left the game I'd explored most of the Atlantean canal section. The one place I hadn't explored yet was a doorway that presumably leads to the inner circle of Atlantis.

I bet there's something particularly exciting beyond this doorway.

Or perhaps, it just leads to a different doorway.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Game 95: Quest for Glory III: Wages of War (1992) - Introduction

by Alex

Is it an adventure game? Is it an RPG? Who put that peanut butter in my chocolate?

That’s right, it’s time for another Quest for Glory game to be featured on The Adventure Gamer. And I am humbled to be in the position of playing through one of my all-time favorite adventure games ever, Quest for Glory III: Wages of War.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Missed Classic: Emerald Isle - Jungle Fever

By Ilmari

Parks - recreation for dogs

I ended my previous post with a list of puzzles I intended to solve. It goes without saying that I eventually had to rely on the clue sheet to solve at least some of them. I did manage to make one discovery completely by myself. You see, I had found way back in the beginning a pan, but only a short while ago I got the idea that maybe it wasn’t a frying pan, but a pan for finding gold. I went to the only river in the map and discovered a gold nugget. Another treasure to go!

Friday, 30 March 2018

L.A. Law: The Computer Game – Final Rating

by Alex

Never before have I played a game that felt so much like work. Is this how cops felt when they first fired up Police Quest? Probably not, I’ll wager, reliance on the manual notwithstanding, because Police Quest, for all its faults, is actually a game. It has game-like elements and structure, with puzzles and a player character you can move around and do stuff with, and an actual sense of agency . . . unlike L.A. Law: The Computer Game, which is a glorified Choose Your Own Adventure story, but bad.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

L.A. Law: The Computer Game – Case #8: Becker’s Problem – WON!

by Alex

I did it, loyal TAG readers. I finished L.A. Law: The Computer Game. I hesitate to say “Won,” despite the title of this post (pre-established naming conventions, you know), because nobody wins when they play L.A. Law: The Computer Game. There is only a hollow sense of disappointment that, yes, I wasted close to six hours of my life playing this game. And you can too! I feel the need to share the pain, so I will wholeheartedly recommend that each and every one of you—yes, you in the back too!—go ahead and give this game a try. And then . . . then . . .

You know what? Nah. I’m perfectly content to be one of the, what, four people to ever play this game all the way through.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Missed Classic: Emerald Isle - Leaving on a Jet Plane

By Ilmari

“You can’t see any water.” And here I thought I was surrounded by an ocean

Last time I had just managed to find a lamp and make it shine with some carbide granules and water (amusingly, I had to be at the middle of ocean, before the game acknowledged there was any water around). My next task was clear.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis - Hungry Hungry Statues

Written by TBD.

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis Journal Entry #5: I spent most of my time in Atlantis running away from weak Nazis and putting things in statue's mouths. And if Sophia had been a bit more cooperative I would have rescued her too - maybe later.

Now that I've made my way to Atlantis three times, let's explore the lost underwater city.

After a submarine ride and a conversation with Sophia (TEAM), an underground Atlantean tram ride (WITS), or taking off my diving suit (FISTS) I stand at the entrance to Atlantis.

The room is dark in much the same way as the dig site in the Algerian desert, with the LOOK verb replaced by TOUCH.

Unsurprisingly, I touch everything I can see.

One of the things in the room objects to being touched.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Interview with Muriel Tramis

Introduction by Ilmari

Our first interview with a French adventure gaming legend

It has been almost a year, since we posted a call for questions for Muriel Tramis, a creative force behind many titles of Coktel Vision - a company that played a similar role as Sierra in French adventure gaming industry, and indeed, later merged with Sierra. We've covered many of her games in the past and we might already distinguish two central topics investigated in her games - her Caribbean heritage (as shown in Mewilo) and sexuality (for instance, in Geisha). The latest game with her involvement we've covered was Fascination and we still have plenty of her games to look forward. I am pleased to announce that we've finally received the answers, together with some exciting news concerning a crowd-funding campaign for remaking an old game of Muriel Tramis. Without further ado, let's begin the interview!

Saturday, 17 March 2018

L.A. Law: The Computer Game – Case #6: The Stolen House

by Alex

Sadly, an actual house doesn’t get stolen in this case, but how cool would that be? Instead, Brackman drops a matter on Victor that’s similar to the kinds of things that happen to lawyers in real life firms: He is asked to take a case pro bono for a firm employee’s family member. In this case, it’s one of the secretary’s aunts.

Brackman warns Victor not to take too much time on this case, as there probably is no case. But hey, Victor just made partner. He can win anything, right?

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis - Push slab. Push Slab! PUSH SLAB! PUUUUSHH SLAAAABBBB!

Indiana Jones Journal Entry 4: I spent most of the day killing Nazis and pushing stones. I even broke my ship rib by using it to push a stone. But I'll mourn later. Now, I have to rescue Sophia and/or explore Atlantis!

When we left off last time, I'd taken a barely-feasible balloon trip to Crete.


It had exactly enough gas to take me from Algeria, through Tunisia, Libya and the Mediterranean Sea and all the way to Crete. What luck!

Sunday, 11 March 2018

L.A. Law: The Computer Game – Case #5: The Knotted Stalking

by Alex

We’ve got an apparent suicide. We’ve got the D.A. going after the younger husband. And we’ve only got nine in-game hours until trial. You know the drill. Let’s do this thing.

“I’m ready!”

Friday, 9 March 2018

Missed Classic: Cutthroats - Won! Twice! And Final Rating

Written by Joe Pranevich

And it was such a nice dream, too...

Last week on Cutthroats, I lost. I successfully teamed up with my fellow treasure hunters, identified the location of the sunken cruise liner, solved a few underwater puzzles, and made it back to the surface with a priceless (and surprisingly dry) stamp collection. That sounds like the end, but then I was murdered in my sleep. Someone in our crew is a traitor, but who could it be? The Weasel? Pete the Rat? Johnny Red? This isn’t the most trustworthy crew and just about anyone could have done it.

At the beginning of last week’s session, I felt that the game was pedestrian. Now that I’ve found Berlyn’s “unexpected” twist, I am not so sure. I’ll have more thoughts about this once I unravel the mystery, but for now I am more annoyed than anything else. Let’s jump back in the game and discover the killer. Who could it be?

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis - A Fistful of Scholars

Indiana Jones Journal Entry #3: Enough writing. Time for action. Lets hit some Nazis in the face!

Well, I've reached Atlantis on the TEAM and WITS path, so it's time to backtrack again and try to get here by hitting things with my FISTS.

Hopefully the Nazis are equally as accomodating

As before, lets start by going to Monte Carlo – maybe if Trottier's being uncooperative he'll find out how hard I can punch.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

L.A. Law: The Computer Game – Case #4: The Hidden Assets

by Alex

After yet another victory, Victor Sifuentes is handed a divorce matter. Rebecca Stevens has hired McKenzie, Brackman to get a fair settlement in her divorce. And as Arnie Becker, the firm’s divorce guru, is busy, the duty falls on the new guy.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Missed Classic: Cutthroats - Lost!?

Written by Joe Pranevich

Our target: the Leviathan.

Welcome back! Last week in Cutthroats, the game began with my friend handing me a map to sunken treasure just moments before he was murdered. The following day, wholesome undersea explorers with names like “The Weasel” and “Pete the Rat” approached me to help them search for a treasure that “they” knew about, coincidentally one of the treasures that only I know the location for thanks to my new map. Even better, I have to pay not only a share of the boat, but also buy all of the provisions for the journey. I feel used! As I ended last time, I sat in the outfitters looking glumly at the cashier. I have a price list and some cash, but absolutely no idea what I will need to make my adventure a success. I suspect that picking incorrectly will mean a dead end and potentially hours of backtracking.

Thus far, I am surprised by how “normal” this game seems. Other than the suggestion in the manual that there are multiple shipwrecks, it has played very vanilla. We have neither the “asshole protagonist” of Infidel, nor the interface-bending antics of Suspended. This seems like a pretty normal game, albeit one set in the real world rather than a science-fiction or fantasy setting. The game is slow to get started, but we’ll see if that impression holds this week.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis - Comb Sweet Comb

Written by TBD

Indiana Jones Journal Entry #4: I've dealt with a bureaucratic official who's a stickler for the rules unless I give him a priceless artifact and had to deal with a Nazi guard who won't leave his post unless I make MYSELF a sandwich?!? I also spent time in a labyrinth regularly rubbing a scarf on a comb. It's been a weird day.

We left off last time with Indy on his way to Thera due to information we gathered from the likely concussed Mounsieur Trottier. So let's continue our WITS path journey to Atlantis.


Who do you think you are, Indy? The narrator?

On the dock, I find:
  • a crate that contains “One Standard Observation Balloon Bladder” - the port authority official won't let me take it without an invoice
  • a lightweight fishnet, which I take
  • a very large basket, that the official won't let me take


The official tells me he'll only let me take the basket if I give him a souvenir from the archaeological expedition in the mountains.

Monday, 26 February 2018

What's Your Story - Smartgenes

Answers: Smartgenes
Introduction and Captions: Ilmari

It's always a pleasure to find people who appreciate retrogaming and especially people who like to blog about their gaming experiences. Our next guest, known only by the alias Smartgenes, is a real professional in this matter, because he has been writing not just one, but two blogs on retrogaming. He is a special fan of the adventure game genre, so let's all give a warm welcome to him!

This is the best image I found of Smartgenes on the Internet. He resembles George Washington

Saturday, 24 February 2018

L.A. Law: The Computer Game – Case #3: The Battered Boy

by Alex

L.A. Law: The Computer Game might not be the worst computer game I’ve ever played, but it’s certainly the one that’s felt the most like work.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying this is a great game by any stretch of the imagination. And the jury’s still out (pun not intended) as to whether or not it’s an objectively good one. But man, L.A. Law embodies one of my least-favorite adventure-game design choices, if this can even be called an “adventure game”: trial and error.

And believe me, this pun was also not intended.

Let’s pick up this thread for a second though. Adventure games usually consist of things like inventory based puzzles, exploration, and an overarching story. L.A. Law has none of these things. Maybe it has an overarching story if you look at the career dreams of your player character of choice. But in general, this game seems pretty thin in the adventure game department. Still, my torture is your entertainment, so without further ado, recess is over and court is now in session!

Okay, these puns were intentional. And I’ll show myself to the door now . . .

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Missed Classic 53: Cutthroats - Introduction (1984)

Written by Joe Pranevich

In 1984, Infocom had a fantastic idea: let’s make two nautical-themed adventures in a row! More to the point, Infocom was working hard to keep each of their key developers working on a game to release this year: Steve Meretzky on Sorcerer and Hitchhiker’s Guide, Stu Galley on Seastalker, Mike Berlyn on Cutthroats, and Dave Lebling on Suspect. (Marc Blank even produced one: the Tutorial Game that I looked at in my last bonus post.) The nautical comparison isn’t quite fair: while Mr. Galley had produced a rolicking sci-fi adventure in a submarine, Mr. Berlyn was aiming for a modern-day tale of treasure hunting and piracy on the high seas. Still, it seems odd to have two superficially similar games in a row.

For this game, Mike Berlyn picked up an accomplice: Jerry Wolper. Mr. Wolper was an Infocom programmer who would work on the technical aspects of the production while Mr. Berlyn worked on the story. Berlyn had already proven himself more than capable of handling the technical side, but this freed him up to be more of a creative presence than before and was well-aligned with other creator/programmer pairings the company was experimenting with. Seastalker had been built the same way, and Hitchhiker’s Guide will follow the same model in just a few months. Will this change help Berlyn to write the best possible game? Possibly, although it could also suffer from having a less experienced programmer at the helm. I guess I’ll have to play to find out.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis - Jones in the Fast Lane

Written by TBD.

Indiana Jones Journal Entry #3: Sophia suggested we look for Atlantis together but I felt she'd just cramp my style. I'm using my own wits to find out if the place is real or the myth I've always thought.

Now that I've reached Atlantis on the TEAM path, it's time to backtrack and try to get here by WITS alone. So let's say goodbye to Sophia and use our wits in the fine city of Monte Carlo.

Thanks. Try not to get captured by Nazis while I'm gone.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

L.A. Law: The Computer Game – Case #2: The Blown Whistler

by Alex

Well, the people have spoken! The Adventure Gamer reading public actually liked the detailed, blow-by-blow account I gave of L.A. Law: The Computer Game’s first case. Here I thought it was too boring and dry, but the legal profession is all about upholding the process and the rules the people agree to! Who am I to argue? So instead of consolidating multiple cases together, I’ll go through one case per post. And since the boring basic stuff has already been taken care of, this should go a bit quicker than the last one.

First things first: in the comments to post one, Joe Pranevich wondered if the choice of character has any effect on gameplay:

“Do we know how the character selection impacts the game? Are there certain witnesses that one character is able to get more out of than another? Is one of the characters a superhero who can defeat difficult judges using the power of hypnotic suggestion?”

That would be fantastic, but I haven’t yet checked out other playable characters. Perhaps I will after I finish the game as Victor Sifuentes, but not until then, because this game is . . . hoo boy, we’ll get to that.

Continuing in the vein of Case #1, we’ll focus on L.A. Law’s two main aspects: Trial Prep and The Trial. In the meantime, there are two factors I want to keep in mind as a through-line for these posts:
  1. Does L.A. Law: The Computer Game work as a game?
  2. How well does L.A. Law: The Computer Game simulate actually being a lawyer?
Strap yourself in for some hardcore lawyering, because we’re about to find out!

Friday, 16 February 2018

Missed Classic 52: Infocom’s Tutorial Game (1984)

Written by Joe Pranevich

You might say that a guy who is trying to play every Infocom game in release order, plus read all of the tie-in books, is a bit of a completionist. If you then added that he was trying to do all this in a mad rush because he wants to be done before it’s time to review Return to Zork when we get to 1993, it’s probably best that I don’t know your opinion. If you asked my wife, she’s tell you that I like to do things in the correct order. I always try to read books in the order they were published, regardless of what the author says. I’ll probably never let my son watch the Star Wars prequels before the original films. The shared experience is important to me and my playing these games in order, I have a hope of understanding how the original players felt when these games came out, even if the average Infocom-purchaser wouldn’t have bought all of the games.

That leads me to this surprise. I had thought that Cutthroats was the next released game, and I’ve started playing it already, but while I was wrapping up the research I learned that I had been mistaken: there was one tiny Infocom release between Seastalker and Cutthroats. Around the summer of 1984, Infocom released two special advertising packages. The first of these, the so-called “Zork I demo” was a disk sent to computer stores. The intention, at least according to text in the demo itself, was that a customer in these fine establishments could sit at a computer terminal and play a few minutes of an Infocom game, become inspired, and leave with a handful. But while Zork I is a lot of fun, it wasn’t quite the perfect game to get players hooked. It didn’t hold players’ hands at all or even explain how you play interactive fiction. To remedy this, Infocom developed the Tutorial Game, a miniature adventure that would introduce the key concepts in a fun and lighthearted way.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis – My Big Fat Greek Dreading

Written by TBD

Indiana Jones Journal Entry #4: I'd previously used my ship rib to expose a mural of Atlantis' Greater Colony. This time I used my rib to dig for hidden Atlantean treasure and expose two secret doors. I love my trusty ship rib. Oh, and Sophia helped too.

Sophia Hapgood Journal Entry #2: Using our archaeology skills we found an Atlantean moonstone and entered the Greater Colony, which also seemed to be the basis for the story of the Minotaur in the Labyrinth. I made Indy admit that Nur-Ab-Sal was a mighty king and single-handedly found the map room. Oh, and Indy helped too.

When we last met our heroes Indy and Sophia, we had gotten ourselves an Atlantean Sunstone that, together with a Moonstone, would give us entry into Atlantis' Greater Colony, and we found evidence that the greater colony might be in Crete.


Apparently Crete's airport is a jetty

Monday, 12 February 2018

What's Your Story - Alex Romanov

Answers: Alex Romanov
Introduction and captions: Ilmari

It has been a pleasure reading the comments of Alex Romanov, who appears to have encyclopedic information on some of the games we've been playing. Just look at what he wrote about Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes or the effort he is now putting on analysing Fate of Atlantis! We finally get a chance to meet the man behind the comments in person.

I'd really like to find out if he's any relation to the Russian imperial family

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Missed Classic: Seastalker - Won! And Final Rating

Written by Joe Pranevich

Welcome to the Aquadome! Last week, I started into Seastalker and discovered that my father’s company's underwater base is under attack by a sea monster. I was able to finish work on my experimental sub, deal with two acts of sabotage, and navigate a busy and obstacle-filled harbor to finally arrive at the Aquadome. This game is fun so far, half adventure and half mystery, as we have to both save the base and uncover the saboteur. I have a theory who that is, but we’ll see what happens as we arrive at the base itself.

This week starts with a happy reunion as I dock my sub at the base’s docking tank, and emerge into a reception area. The whole station crew is gathered to meet us! Is one of them the saboteur?

Thursday, 8 February 2018

L.A. Law: The Computer Game – Case #1: The Wrathful Race

by Alex

In the comments to my first L.A. Law post, reader Lugh expressed his or her feelings about this game’s technical qualities:

“20. It's a Capstone game, so I'll be shocked if it even works.”

Well, the game worked, after a fashion, in that it loaded and I could choose my character—in this case, Victor Sifuentes as portrayed by Jimmy Smits—and get started at my first day at the prestigious firm of McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney and Kuzak!

As chosen by YOU, The Adventure Game readers!

Problem was, every time I tried to call someone on the damn phone, the game would freeze as I waited for the person on the other line to pick up. And since most of this game involves making phone calls, you can see how this could be a problem.

Imagine this . . . forever!

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis - By Balloon to the Sahara

Written by TBD

Indiana Jones Journal Entry #3 : I had to convince a Frenchman in Monte Carlo that I'm a ghost, and had to get a discount from a beggar in Algiers in order to take a balloon trip over the Sahara desert. It's been a strange day, but I have one of the stones I need and I know where to go next.

Sophia Hapgood Journal Entry #1: Indy reluctantly agreed that I'll be needed in the quest to find Atlantis. I got us a Sunstone with no help from Dr. Jones. I had knives thrown at me and fell down a hole with Indy exploring a digsite instead of using his whip to rescue me. I'm starting to understand why women leave him after a single adventure.

When we last met our heroes Indy and Sophia, we were given the option to continue with our WITS, FISTS or TEAM. On reading some comments on the last post I've decided to play each path in turn up until the point they converge. And to start off, I'll be playing the TEAM path. 

So let's get to it. Sophia has suggested meeting with her contacts in Monte Carlo and Algiers so let's first go to Monte Carlo.


Now, I'm not sure how big Monte Carlo is, but I'm confident Sophia's reasoning to come to this exact street and hotel contains a flaw.

OK, fair enough. This must clearly be the only place in Monte Carlo with bright lights...

... or not...

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Missed Classic 51: Seastalker - Introduction (1984)

Written by Joe Pranevich

Now, where was I? Oh yes, before I was distracted by the amazing Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes (plus a Christmas side trip), I had just completed Sorcerer, the first Infocom game of 1984. That game remains one of my favorites so far and has moved Steve Meretzky into my short list of awesome game designers. Three months later, Infocom followed it up with Seastalker, our first “junior” adventure. One of the key trends with Infocom as they entered into 1984 was a desire to connect traditional fiction writers with their new “interactive fiction” medium. We have already seen two games by Mike Berlyn, a science fiction author, in 1983, but this year will go even farther: three of their five games will be written by an established non-interactive author.

In order to ensure that their first adventure for a younger audience was successful, Infocom sought out Jim Lawrence, a 30-year veteran of middle-grade fiction, and paired him with Stu Galley. Mr. Galley had already proven that he could take another’s ideas and make them blossom when he wrote The Witness, this would be his chance to do so with an author that didn’t understand the medium. You probably have never heard of Mr. Lawrence, but in just the few weeks that I have been researching him, I have become a tremendous fan.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis - A Lot on Our Plato

Indiana Jones Journal Entry #2:  I'm now on the look out for the mythical Lost Dialogue of Plato, which supposedly leads to the mythical city of Atlantis. I'm sceptical that Atlantis or the Lost Dialogue even exists, despite having personally witnessed the magical powers of the mythical Ark of the Covenant, the mythical Sankara Stones and the mythical Holy Grail - hell, I've personally spoken to an 872 year old man!!! Anyway, I'm for some reason still sceptical of mythical historical objects and locations, and am only looking for one as an excuse to beat up some nazis. So far, my investigations at Iceland and New York have given me two clues - one that leads me to the Azores in Portugal and another that will take me to Tikal in Guatemala. And don't even ask how a journal written in 1939 contains Wikipedia weblinks???


Last time, Icelandic eel chiseler, Heimdall, told me to visit Costa in the Azores. The one location that the game takes me to in the Azores is Costa's front door.

I try to talk to him with Indy, but don't get very far. So I talk to Sophia and ask her to take over. Now in charge of Sophia, I try again. I get further, with Costa actually leaving the house instead of talking to me from the crack in the door.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Game 93: L.A. Law: The Computer Game (1992) – Introduction

by Alex

Video games, like any other form of entertainment, are meant to provide recreation.

Let’s look at the word “recreation” for a moment. It is made up of two separate parts, both Latin derived: the prefix “re,” meaning “again,” and the word “creare,” “to create, bring forth, beget.”

So taken together, through our leisure activity, we are being reborn.

This is why I have to chuckle when I, a lawyer by day, am playing a game like L.A. Law: The Computer Game.

As The Adventure Gamer’s resident legal eagle, I have already been tasked with playing two Police Quest games. And while those put the player in the shows of the street-level law enforcement officer, they touched a little bit on the law—I’m thinking of the first Police Quest’s reliance on proper police procedure in order to successfully make the bust, and make it stick, and Police Quest III’s oh-so thrilling paperwork puzzle. Police Quest I had you testify in court to keep a no-good perp in jail, and Police Quest III also had parts where you had to testify in traffic case and discuss evidence with a judge in order to get a warrant, so I’ve been in a virtual courtroom as a part of my duties on this blog before. But L.A. Law will be the first time the game is focused exclusively on being a lawyer.

Lucky me.