Reviews by Denk

C64

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1-4 of 4


Suspended, by Michael Berlyn

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Great sci-fi puzzler, September 16, 2023
by Denk
Related reviews: ZIL, Infocom, C64

This game is among Infocom's finest. A sophisticated parser where you can order several robots around makes some original puzzles possible. It is hardcore sci-fi with only little human interaction, so that may not be everyone's cup of tea. But if you are into tough but logical puzzles, this is really good. According to sources, this game has the difficulty level "expert". I didn't find it so hard, unlike many other Infocom games, but that is probably because I like the genre. The game has very high replayability. It has two difficulty levels and for each level you will probably start out receiving a low rank, but by replaying, you can receive the best rank, i.e. rank 1. To reach the highest rank, you will to some extent have to optimize your moves, to have few casualties and to solve the game in few cycles. I regard this as a very good game.

Parser/Vocabulary (Rating: 9/10)
A very sophisticated parser where you can give orders to multiple "characters" (robots). Lacks modern synonyms like X, Z and g and you cannot "undo". A good thing is, that you do not need to type more than six characters of each word, which is a very suitable limit.

Atmosphere (Rating: 9/10)
Though you mainly interact with robots, they have different personalities, not least Poet, and when humans arrive their presence it adds a layer of time pressure.

Cruelty (Rating: Tough)
It quite quickly becomes obvious, that you are not going to solve the game the first time you try. And the first many games you play, it won't really make sense to save your progress, as you will learn something new almost every time, and to complete the game you will probably have to start over and optimize your moves some. But the time limits are obvious. Had there been no time limits it is possible but not very likely, that the game could become unwinnable.

Puzzles (Rating: 10/10)
Excellent puzzles that requires multiple play throughs to figure out in order to provide a challenge. I also like the meta-puzzle of minimizing casualties and the number of cycles taken to finish the game.

Overall (Rating: 10/10)
One of Infocom's best. Some tough but logical puzzles with well-hidden hints. Some might find the lack of human interaction a bit sterile but each robot has its own personality so it didn't bother me. And humans will appear at some point. Very good!

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8K Adventure, by Paul Allen Panks
C64 game written in BASIC, May 28, 2023
by Denk
Related reviews: BASIC, C64

This game should be played with a C64 emulator, then it is a very short and primitive but charming two-word parser game in the style of early 80s single load text adventures. The use of colors on C64 add to the charm so if you play the TADS port I think you can at least subtract one more star, so the TADS version is not really recommended.

There hardly is any story: "An important scepter has gone missing from the royal throne."

You simply have to find the scepter. There are a bit of randomized combat which is not everyone's cup of tea but works okay and your chances of winning has to do with the weapons you have and armour.

You don't have to solve all puzzles to complete the game and it can be completed in around 40 turns so it is very short. But if you enjoy small, primitive two-word parser games, this is an okay game for a short while.

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Alchemist's Gold, by Garry Francis

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Nice to play on C64 emulator, January 27, 2023
by Denk
Related reviews: Inform, punyinform, C64

In this game you are going to steal gold from an alchemist. This is a fun little game which experienced players can probably beat in less than an hour. It was written with PunyInform so I decided to play it with a C64-emulator (VICE) using the Ozmoo interpreter.

Parser:
There were responses to most commands and the parser was nudging me in the right direction if I should rephrase a command.

Atmosphere:
Nice writing (not too brief, not too verbose) and a nice setting gives a fine atmosphere.

Cruelty rating: Tough
The game can become unwinnable it seems but you are more or less told when it happens so you can load an earlier save.

Puzzles:
For experienced players this is an easy game. The map you find in the game was quite original, whereas most of the other puzzles were more standard.

Overall:
A short but entertaining game, though it is quite easy. And everything worked well with the Ozmoo interpreter including the ASCII-map.

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Amazon, by Michael Crichton

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Good game despite its age, April 16, 2019
by Denk
Related reviews: C64, Custom system, Telarium

This game was written by best-selling novelist Michael Crichton in 1983 and published by Telarium in 1984. Luckily the quality of this very old game is high. It is a two-word parser but I never felt that I had to guess-the-verb. However, the manual, which can be found online, contains a verb list which shows what verbs are accepted. It is recommended to read the manual before playing. More over, the game comes with a so-called N.S.R.T.Field map which is required to complete the game. This map can also be found online.

Since there are no modern interpreters for Telariums games, you will need to download an emulator. The game is available for Apple II, Apple Macintosh, Atari ST, Commodore 64 and MS-DOS. I chose to play with a commodore 64 emulator. The other machines are probably faster but I just ran the emulator at approximately 5 times normal speed and so, the game ran at a decent speed.

As the title implies, you are going to the Amazon jungle. The purpose is to find treasure within the lost city of Chak. All puzzles were fair and you quickly stumble upon a humorous sidekick NPC, which helps you on your way. The game has some primitive but still atmospheric graphics and sound effects. Some people may find the game too easy. There are however 3 difficulty levels. I am not the strongest player so I took the easiest difficulty level (novice). As a consequence, I only needed to consult a walkthrough once and I completed the game in about 5-6 hours.

This is the first Telarium game I have played and it was a very positive experience so I am looking forward to try the other seven Telarium games.

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