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1st Prize - Softworks AGT Competition 1991
A dead-on satire of BBS culture, with a small built-in BBS simulation. You're a computer programmer (and plumber), and must get your code working by morning, a task that turns out to involve playing games in virtual reality in order to track down the source of a sinister virus. In the meantime, there are message boards and conferences to explore, a surprising proportion of which turn out to be relevant to the game. Numerous time-sensitive puzzles, internal speaker sound effects, and an endgame that quizzes you on a few details of the game - you will definitely not win this game on one pass. Save frequently and use the built-in hint system.
-- Carl Muckenhoupt
I think that Cosmoserve is my favourite non-commercial text game, and certainly the all-time best AGT game. [...] The plot is delightfully interwoven, as the simple task of finding your patch file takes you on a trip through a myriad of forums, file directories, conferences and e-mail encounters. (Graeme Cree)
The novel atmosphere more than makes up for the flat characterization. The puzzles are clever and logically solved, and the plot is tightly written, with only 86 locations. (Donna McCreary Rodriguez)
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CosmoServe is one of the most original ideas I've come across for a long time because about 85% of the game takes place while you're using the computer, either running programs or using the BBS. [...] The author has not only re-created the atmosphere of the BBS so that you really feel you're on-line to one, she's also managed to introduce suitable screen displays and sound effects for using the computer.
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Number of Reviews: 1
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I was a little wary about trying this game out - older games can be both extremely difficult and require a lot of 'guess the verb'.
However the parser here is excellent (though you can't use x for examine) and there are usually several things you can try at any one time.
You play as RJ Wright, a programmer and a plumber, and you have an important project due tomorrow. The game takes place both in Wright's house and on his computer. Using the computer is amazing - DOS is faithfully recreated which is especially fun for those of us who remember using it for years and you also log on to the BBS and exchange messages.
There are many different puzzles, a virus and virtual reality to navigate through and with a great atmosphere and excellent writing there is really only one flaw - the difficulty. The game has a fairly tough time limit and it took me several tries as well as looking at one part of the walkthrough to complete it.
Still it was worth it.
This game seems to only be available for DOS so if anyone has any trouble with this you can follow these instructions:
Download and install DosBox (at dosbox dot com)
Unzip the cosmoserve97 file to your c drive (if you unzip it anywhere else just change the instructions to match)
Go to the Dos Box folder (this will probably be C:\Program Files (x86)\DOSBox-0.74)
Open DOSBox 0.74 Options in notepad and at the end of the file just under [autoexec] type:
MOUNT C C:\COSMOS97
Then when you run dos box the game will automatically start.
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