The other day, I was looking at my Scott Adams Gold Box Set and getting all nostalgic. (I’m talking about the Scott Adams who made Voodoo Castle, Mystery Fun House, Ghost Town, and Savage Island, not the guy who does Dilbert.) Man, I used to love playing those text adventures on my Atari 400. But, unfortunately, all the games in this box set come on 5 1/4 floppy, so its not like I can just whip them out and play them when I want to. So, thank god for Ludwig Kietzmann.
I just played a live text adventure with Ludwig over at Joystiq, and it was awesome. Everybody should play live text adventures with Ludwig. He’s really good at it.
P.S. Here is a helpful glossary for people under 38 who are reading, or trying to read, this post:
5 1/4 FLOPPY - Imagine if a CD were made out of video tape material—oh wait. You don’t know what video tape is either. Crap. Well, imagine if you had a CD, but instead of holding a bunch of songs, it could only hold a text file containing the lyrics to those songs. And imagine if you had to pay $800 to get a device to read it. And imagine thinking that this was awesome.
TEXT ADVENTURES - Games you played by typing and reading. Pretend you are text messaging with a friend, and your friend is stuck in a mysterious fantasy world, and they are also really dumb and don’t know what to do. You would text them instructions, and your friend would text back the results. But instead of using emoticons and text speak, the responses would come as thoughtfully-written, descriptive prose. And every once in a while, your friend would be killed without warning, and another friend would pick up their phone and continue, if you had been smart enough to have the first friend write down the location of the phone.
ATARI 400 - The greatest computer of its day, with a keyboard that was so comfortable to type on, they still use it on microwave ovens today. The Atari ate Apple IIs for breakfast, and for dinner it swallowed Commodore 64s whole. It usually skipped lunch, preferring to use that hour to beat up PCs. I’m not bitter, but if Atari had won instead of Apple, they would have made something better than the iPhone by now. Or at the very least, the iPhone would come with Star Raiders.
STAR RAIDERS - The best game on the Atari 400/800, ever. Many people will tell you this. Although, to be honest, few of us can really remember why we say it. We’ve just been saying it since 1980 and it’s a habit.