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INFINITE.EXE
The game file. Run it in DOSBox-X or a similar DOS environment. Requires CWSDPMI.​EXE runtime, below.
MS-DOS Application
CWSDPMI.EXE
32-bit DPMI host written by Charles W. Sandmann. Required to run INFINITE.​EXE
MS-DOS Application
README.txt
NFO file from the Abort/​Retry/​Fail team

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Infinite Adventure

by B.J. Best (writing as ďA. ScottsĒ) profile

2021

(based on 8 ratings)
4 reviews

About the Story

The Abort/Retry/Fail team is proud to present the famously lost INFINITE ADVENTURE. This game is a visionary pioneer in procedural text generation, randomly generating rooms, maps, items, descriptions, and puzzles for a text adventure set in a Victorian mansion. INFINITE ADVENTURE was available for sale for only one month through a Spring 1987 shareware catalog published in Cleveland, Ohio. After the authorís tragic, sensationalized death (his loverís ostrich farm in Arizona remains a grim roadside attraction), all extant copies of the game were destroyed. According to our anonymous donor, this 3Ĺ-inch diskette was recently purchased for fifty cents at a garage sale in Appleton, Wisconsin. Requires DOSBox (recommended for Windows, download at DosBox.com), DOSBox-X (recommended for Mac and Linux, download at DosBox-X.com), or a similar DOS emulator or environment to play.


Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: October 1, 2021
Current Version: Unknown
License: Freeware
Development System: Custom
IFID: Unknown
TUID: 9of1yl3pv5xfck69

Referenced in And Then You Come to a House Not Unlike the Previous One, by B.J. Best

Awards

54th place - 27th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2021)

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Number of Reviews: 4
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Most Helpful Member Reviews


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Procedurally generated mini-adventures in DOS, October 3, 2021
by MathBrush
Related reviews: less than 15 minutes

This game is intended to run in a DOS emulator such as DOSBOX. It has a nice aesthetic; there was a guy a few years ago who would constantly crank out BASIC games that ran in DOS and their best feature was the cool ascii art and overall look and style, and this game has that.

The parser may be a heavily modified Inform, but is more likely some kind of custom parser, since it doesn't understand standard Inform verbs like VERBOSE or PULL ME.

Gameplay is procedurally generated. You are in a maze of a house with NESW directions and one item or less per room. One of the items is a 'goal' (in my 11 playthroughs, I saw a wet elf, hungry goblin, pedestal with inscription, chest, etc.) and one of the other items is meant to be picked up and put in the goal.

I had always wanted to write a game like this as a meta-commentary on generic adventures, a game that would have random aesthetics and map but always be about gathering 'something' to put in a trophy-case analogue. But I never got around to it, and this game is a better implementation of my vision, so I'm glad to play this and see a better version of my own dreams.

In the end, of course, the game is very slight. It itches my 'play an adventure' desire, just like Nick Montfort's Amazing Quest last year, but that's it.

Mild spoiler if you haven't looked through other comp games: (Spoiler - click to show)This game seems to be part of a pair, since BJ Best has a game called "And Then You Come to a House Not Unlike the Previous One" that appears to have you play a pair of kids who are playing this very game, with the same text and same credits.

(Spoiler - click to show)There may be something hidden in the game, perhaps a secret that must be communicated between BJ Bests games, of which there are three (I saw on adventuron discord that he entered an adventuron game as well). I'll change my rating if I see anything new from those games.


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
More than it seems, October 18, 2021

This game was released as part of IFComp 2021 alongside another game, And Then You Come to a House Not Unlike the Previous One, which is an excellent game about playing THIS game, Infinite Adventure. IA is effectively a "feelie" for ATYCtaHNUtPO, a bit of extra content designed to enhance the experience of playing ATYCtaHNUtPO.

BEWARE that IA doesn't work properly in DOSBox 0.74-3 on 64-bit macOS or Linux. (The text is messed up, with missing letters.) Use DOSBox-X instead. https://dosbox-x.com

IA is a procedurally generated adventure game. Each time you play, there's a small randomly generated map, a goal, and an item to take to the goal. Sometimes the goal is an NPC, so you'd give the item to the NPC; sometimes the goal is a pedestal or a chest, so you'd put the item in/on the goal. You "win" a round of IA when you deliver the item (or "lose" if you deliver the wrong item).

But there is also more to it than that. Spoilers follow for both IA and ATYCtaHNUtPO; I recommend not reading the spoiler until you've beaten ATYCtaHNUtPO and a few rounds of IA.

(Spoiler - click to show)There's a fractured wall between ATYCtaHNUtPO and IA, where objects in the IA game are also present in the "real world" of ATYCtaHNUtPO. This version of IA does something similar.

(Spoiler - click to show)Some of the stuff in the office from ATYCtaHNUtPO is here.

(Spoiler - click to show)Some of the NPCs are, too.


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
An interactive feelie, December 24, 2021
by Mike Russo (Los Angeles)
Related reviews: IF Comp 2021

(This is a lightly-edited version of a review posted to the IntFict forums during the 2021 IFComp. My son Henry was born right before the Comp, meaning I was fairly sleep-deprived and loopy while I played and reviewed many of the games, so in addition to a highlight and lowlight, the review includes an explanation of how new fatherhood has led me to betray the hard work the author put into their piece)

I think the cat is sufficiently out of the bag that folks realize that this game isnít a standalone, but rather a companion piece for And Then You Come to a House Not Unlike the Previous One. In the course of that 1980s-set story, the protagonist winds up playing a game that randomly generates short Scott-Adams-style adventures; this is that game.

And it does exactly what it says it does! The adventures are simple to the point of minimalism: thereís always an object or character (an altar or a vampire or a idol) that requires exactly one object to be delivered to them (a flower or a kite or another flower Ė seriously, I ran into a bunch of those even in the half-dozen games I played). You can guess wrong, and get a losing result for that game, but you have to work to do so, since the clues are not at all subtle, and plus the neat in-game map clearly highlights the location of the important object, as well as the place where it must be deposited. The prose, meanwhile, accurately mimics the writing of the games it's riffing on, which is to say, itís also stripped down to the minimum level of descriptiveness.

Is this fun? Eh, I could see it being a reasonable way to keep your fingers occupied while binge-watching TV. But I find procedural-generation in story-focused genres pretty underwhelming Ė Iím aware other folks feel differently, but I like to read to get in touch with the intelligence behind the words, and donít feel like Iíve got tools for getting in touch with the intelligence behind an intelligence behind the words. Anyway once I grasped the mechanism at work, I didnít find the game very engaging. There are indications that Infinite Adventure has some easter eggs or connections to the main game if you delve deeply enough, but since itís been a while since I played And Then You Come to a HouseÖ and Iím not sure Iíd recognize the clues. So I think Iíll keep my eyes out for others to surface anything like that rather than doing the digging myself.

UPDATE: OK, others have found some clever stuff hidden here, which I don't think makes me revisit my judgment that this is only a small companion piece, but it's worth acknowledging. Spoilers for those who are interested: (Spoiler - click to show)you can talk to the characters from And Then You Come to a House, and things shift significantly if you play enough rounds of IA.

Highlight: I got DOSBox to work with no trouble! That felt very satisfying.

Lowlight: Once I figured out that the map marks the locations of everything important, I stopped exploring.

How I failed the author: I left the game running overnight and when I checked it in the morning, the screen was just blinking YOU WIN and didnít respond to keypresses, and despite my highlight above, I didnít feel sufficiently motivated to re-mount the game directory in DOSBox to play again.


See All 4 Member Reviews

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This is version 9 of this page, edited by bjbest60 on 27 November 2021 at 5:01pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item