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Eric the Unready

by Bob Bates

Fantasy / Humor
1993

(based on 36 ratings)
9 member reviews

About the Story

A tongue-in-cheek graphic text adventure/point and click adventure hybrid. You are a chivalrous knight attempting to save a princess; your quest takes you through a mad-cap Douglas Adams-style world.


Game Details

Language: English (en-US)
Current Version: Unknown
License: Commercial
Development System: None
IFID: MZ-000C48CA63F735A4034A005CF8A7A1E1
TUID: 3q9hg2onqjftx5vi

Awards

34th Place - Interactive Fiction Top 50 of All Time (2011 edition)

Editorial Reviews

Mr. Bill's Adventureland Review
Whenever the experts are asked to name the best adventure games of all time this 1993 game usually comes up, and for good reason. It is a comedy classic, a brilliant parody written by Bob Bates who was formerly with the famous Infocom team, and this game reminds us a lot of their Zork games.
See the full review

SynTax
The author, Bob Bates, leaves no opportunity unexploited to lampoon, parody, satirise and pun his way through an exceptionally funny tale. The more adventures you've played the more you'll get out of it but, if you've seen the movie, read the book, listened to the album, subscribed to the magazine, watched the tv quiz show, and generally worked your way through a few games you'll find a lot to make you laugh.
See the full review

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(20)
4 star:
(14)
3 star:
(1)
2 star:
(1)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 7
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Most Helpful Member Reviews


7 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
Fantasy parody in the spirit of Monty Python, January 11, 2009

Eric the Unready chronicles the adventures of a fumbling knight, a laughing stock of his peers, who accidentally gets assigned the task of saving the princess. Eric is not a very imaginative choice for the protagonist but the game fortunately manages to keep him in the "lovable loser" category as opposed to the "annoying twit" category that are very very close to each other.

The interface has several windows that are, among others, a compass rose, a picture of the location, an automap, a list of available commands and a list of objects in the location. The lists are not of much use to experienced players and can at times even be considered minor spoilers but they can be hidden from the view giving the text area more room.

The jokes vary between hit and miss, fortunately there are more hits than misses. References to popular culture and other games of the era abound. The humor and the game's world in its absurdness resembles Monty Python very much; influence from The Holy Grail is obvious.

Resemblance to Monty Python doesn't end with the humor. The gameplay is very episodic and after the player has finished with one set of puzzles in one location, he is transported into new location with a new set of puzzles. There's not much to tie the scenes together. While this is usually not considered the best design choice, it works here for the same reason it works for TV's sketch shows: the jokes don't have a chance to get old.

As the game was published in 1993 and has been out of print for many years now it might be hard to get your hands on it, but if you can find a copy it's definitely worth playing.


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Remains a favorite, October 23, 2019

This game, a cross between graphic and text adventures, remains one of my very favorites. Its cultural references (to SNL characters, to Mel Brooks films, to beer commercials) somehow do not feel dated and retain a certain freshness; all the while, its own jokes are hilarious and clever, and require the player to occasionally think in puns. The game is not short (which is probably to be expected since it was originally a commercially published game) and its multiple different puzzles and scenes are satisfying in their depth. May not be for younger players since some portions are a little PG-13.


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
I LOL'd., June 9, 2021

Available on GOG for around 5 € when not on sale, including manual and hintbook. A steal!

The player is the worst knight in the kingdom and everybody knows it. Still, he's being entrusted with a prestiguous knight job, the mother of all knight jobs to be precise: Princess Lorealle the Worthy, daughter of highly ramshackle king Fudd the Bewildered and heir to the throne after his death (which is expected to occur asap) has vanished. If she doesn't show up again, her step sister Grizelda the Hefty, daughter of Queen Morgana from a past marriage, will become queen after Fudd's death. At this stage, attentive readers will already know what's behind Lorealle's vanishing and why the player got the job to find her.

If you've never played a Legend adventure before you'll enjoy the largely helpful and intuitive interface (interactive compass rose, object list) and the illustrating pictures that back in 1993 were... okay. What you'll enjoy most though is the talented writing of author and Legend co-founder Bob Bates who's propelling a standard, cliché-ridden fantasy/lazy medieval tale into a slapstickfest. From scene 1 on the player stumbles from hilarious situation to hilarious situation, and as soon as he solves a (mediocrely difficult) puzzle more shit happens. Eric the Unready hails from a time when text adventures were entertainment, so if you're after sophisticated literature or an innovative gaming experience, pass on this one. If you're after a classic GAME and if you like humor in Monty Python style, this one's for you.


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Polls

The following polls include votes for Eric the Unready:

Best non-infocom games of the commercial era of the 1980s and early 1990s by Mikalye
There were a bunch of commercial games released in the 1980's and early 90's. In the UK, Magnetic Scrolls release 9 games between 1984-1990 Level 9 released 24 games and a port of Colossal Cave between 1981-1991, Delta 4 released 9ish...

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Games with a title that is the same as the main character.

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