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About the Story
In Escape from SSADB you are a government agent captured by the North Koreans and taken to a secret base hidden somewhere in the United States. While you are there you learn of Kim Jong Un’s plans to fire a nuclear missile from inside the US and make it look like an inside job, thus prompting a Russian counter attack. You must save the US from nuclear attack by getting out of your cell, finding proof about the missiles and escape the Top-Secret base. If you succeed you will be a national hero; if you fail the world is doomed.
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Escape from S.S.A.D.B. is a very primitive adventure game in every respect: prose, story, puzzles, parser. Although it is a very small game with maybe a dozen locations and only a handful of puzzles, it is easy to get stuck because of the unhelpful descriptions and many guess-the-command situations. For example, the very first puzzle is perhaps the most clichéd of all adventure puzzles: retrieving a key that is in the keyhole on the other side of the door, using nothing but a newspaper. However, due to a very unclear description of the situation and an unhelpful parser, I had to resort to the walkthrough to solve it.
It seems that the parser understands only one and two word commands. Okay, I guess you can work around that. But the parser will happily act as if it understood the entire command. So you may write "put X in Y", and the game says "okay", but actually it has only acted on "put X" which it apparently sees as a synonym for "drop X". Of course this is nothing compared to the elevator where the room description tells you that there are buttons labeled 1, 2 and 3... but the game only understand your commands if you write those numbers out as "one", "two" and "three".
Does the story or world or cleverness of the puzzles in any way make up for the pain of interacting with Escape from S.S.A.D.B.? Alas, no. It's just a bare-bones escape scenario involving some crazy adventure logic and an off-hand killing of a 'worker'.
Escape from SSADB is a text adventure in the tradition of the great adventures of Scott Adams. This program isn't as complicated as an Infocom product--It only uses two word commands like GET KEY or HIT COMPUTER.
This was apparently David Meny's first adventure game written in Basic. It was very enjoyable and challenging to play. The Basic program listing provides much insight in the structure of adventure program writing. He apparently also made other adventures such as PIRATE TREASURE, which is supposed to take place on a pirate ship and a desert island.
The version I played for the TRS-80 MC-10 has been updated for the 2000s. Kim Jun Un and the North Koreans are the enemies and not the Soviets as in the original for the TRS-80 Model 1/3.
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