Archive for the ‘journey-to-atlantis’ Tag

Journey to Atlantis (1979)   3 comments

I’ve got something complicated next on the docket, so something simple to precede it seemed wise. “Simple” describes any Greg Hassett game we’ve seen so far, including Journey to Atlantis.

Remember, he wrote his works between the ages of 12 and 14. This one’s not in the Matter Hatter Catalog which suggests he wrote it fifth, published after all the games listed there. Except! There are two versions, one which states it is by Greg Hassett, and the other based on his pseudonym:

This suggests it might be an earlier game (from 1978) that didn’t get polished up for publication until a year later. It’s yet another treasure hunt, except this time everything is underwater!

Click the map to enlarge.

Most of the game is encapsulated above. There are no wandering or dynamic characters. There are no room descriptions and not much in the way of hidden actions. The enemies (marked with a star) do not move, and just prevent the player from taking any items in the room they are in.

I know a lot of y’all just zip by the maps I post, but for this one I’d like you to linger a moment. Imagine you are walking (or swimming) about, and try to “play through” for a bit. An entire story, albeit an implicit one with a variety of routes, is described via the map.

The thing that’s lacking in a “paper run” of this game is a knowledge of how to defeat the various enemies. For example, I have defeated the octopus, but the squid must take some other approach. That’s unclear without experimentation. Still, there’s not that many tools to muck about with, so I expect I’ll have this one finished by my next post.

This is from the manual for the game.

Posted June 1, 2017 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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Journey to Atlantis: Finished!   Leave a comment

Sometimes I try hard to find an “angle” on a game, pulling out some game design lesson. I’m just not seeing it here.

This really is one of the simplest adventures I’ve played. From the map on my last post, you can remove the enemies by a.) using a peanut butter cup, as shown above b.) yelling, which apparently works on squids underwater c.) throwing a spear, which works on octopi and minotaurs and d.) feeding the “paranhas” to a black manta, who swims away content.

Just a reminder that this was sold as commercial software. Presuming the same price as the other items from Greg Hassett, for $9.95. Accounting for inflation, that’s $32.00 in 2017 dollars.

I was too young and missed this era. Did anyone buy a new copy of a game like this at the time? Did you think it was worth the cost? Is there something about the novelty of it that made it not seem so absurd at the time?

(Isn’t this BBS great? This end screen is from the “Lensman” release — the Mad Hatter commercial version promotes their other games. I have not found references anywhere to “Eiyromancia”.)

Posted June 2, 2017 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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