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A Mind Forever Voyaging

by Steve Meretzky

Science Fiction/Slice of Life
1985

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Number of Reviews: 4
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1-4 of 4


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A Deserving Classic, October 3, 2019
I knew two things about the game before I started playing:

* There's not much of a "game" in it, with only a few puzzles near the end
* Steve Meretzky intended it as a blistering attack on Ronald Reagan's policies

The first point is definitely correct--most of the game feels of a piece with the more recent walking simulators, where the focus of the experience is just to explore an environment and get a general sense of what's happening. This isn't a complaint! Wandering Rockvil, watching the decay, was fascinating; the dread from witnessing just how bad things got was palpable.

For the second point, though... Maybe it's just a consequence of being 30-some years removed from Reagan and no longer viscerally angry about or afraid of his platform, but I had some quibbles about the politics--it's hard for me to draw a straight line between the Plan as described and a fascistic cult coming into power, for example. And since 2041 is pretty OK, wouldn't it be possible to implement the Plan now and then change course in 10 years? (Also, just from a writing perspective, the 2071 segment is so, so bleak, it's almost funny that Dr. Perelman's response is, "Well, maybe it turns a corner at the 50-year mark." (Spoiler - click to show)The state's running gladiator fights to punish ration cheats!)

Despite my reservations there, I really did enjoy this game and have no qualms about recommending it.

Infocom at its finest., May 1, 2019
by deathbytroggles (Minneapolis, MN)
Lauded by critics and mostly ignored by the public, A Mind Forever Voyaging is more of a story than a game, being essentially puzzleless. But man, what a story. Taking place in the year 2031, America is doing poorly and some crackpot scientists have developed a sentient computer named PRISM. Its purpose: to enter a simulation of the future to see if popular conservative Senator Richard Ryder’s plan for renewed national purpose will lead to prosperity. You are PRISM.

If you can set aside the ridiculous notion that a simulation of the future would ever come close to being accurate (hell, we can’t even predict next weekend’s weather with certainty), then you should enjoy this entertaining look into Steve Meretzky’s political vision of a possible future. While your goal is to record evidence of what’s going down in the years to come (from banal activities like eating a meal in a restaurant to more charged activities like meeting with government officials), the real purpose and joy of the game is to simply explore. The town of Rockvil, South Dakota is vividly imagined and detailed, and one could complete the game without visiting 90% of what the town has to offer. And while the story’s progression is fairly predictable, it consistently remains a poignant and touching story of self-exploration throughout and boasts one of the best endings out there.

My only criticisms are that things can be a little repetitive at times and the NPCs are not as developed as I prefer (especially your simulated wife). But in the grand scheme these are mere trifle. More of an experience to be enjoyed than completed, A Mind Forever Voyaging should be at the top of any gamer’s list of classics to try.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Explore a simulation of a giant city 10, 20, 30 and more years into the future, February 3, 2016
by MathBrush
Related reviews: Infocom
In this Infocom game, you play PRISM, a sentient computer who has been designed to simulate the future for planning purposes.

This game has no real puzzles until the end. You simply explore. First, you explore your interface, which is very large (having 30+ distinct files you can open). Then you explore the actual simulation, which is a large downtown city, with what felt like 30-50 locations. Once you explore it long enough, the simulation accumulates enough data to simulate another decade into the future.

You must record interesting events and places in the future to bring back for planning purposes. I somehow missed out on a simple mechanic, and got very stalled in the game. (This is not a spoiler, because it is not a puzzle or a surprise, more of a guess-the-verb): To present your recordings, you must tell people "look at recording".

The developer has stated that the game was intended as a criticism of Reagan's policy.

The game is fun. You need to explore; don't just rush through, trying to do what they say. You need to record a lot of each decade to win, so try and get a mental map of the game.

I played this game on the iPad's Lost Treasures of Infocom app, which provides most of Infocom's games (except Nord and Bert, and the already-free Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy).

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
All-time Favorite, February 22, 2013
by Pixel Fox 42 (San Francisco, CA)
Related reviews: Infocom
First of all, I'm biased, because this kind of story is right up my alley. I regard it as my all-time favorite because the story is masterfully written, the descriptions are robust and entertaining to read and overall, it makes you think, not so much about the puzzles, but about what is happening, both to your character and to the world around him. As Infocom stories go, this will remain one of the tops in my book.


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