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A Typical Early BASIC Game (Literally!), June 7, 2011
by GDL (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
This game is best known for being the first text adventure to have its source code released to the public, having appeared in the May 1979 issue of the TRS-80 magazine Softside, predating the release of Adventureland's source code in 1980. As a result, its code obviously provided the foundation for many other BASIC adventures that followed.
Gameplay is in much the same manner as Adventureland. There's a two word parser, an abundance of things which can be dropped off in your ship to increase your score (although they aren't clearly marked as *TREASURES*), and a "maze" that consists of a single room where most of the exits just don't take you anywhere. The puzzles, such as they are, are fairly simple, and you mostly just need to wander around gathering all the items you can. Sadly, there are some fairly arbitrary actions that need to be taken, as is common in games of this vintage. (Spoiler - click to show) Good luck guessing what you need to pick up from a room containing "all kinds of things", or divining that the security robot eats hamburgers (provided they haven't grown cold)! The game's greatest frustration is the occasional random appearance of stormtroopers, which may occasionally force you to restart or reload for successful completion.
Mostly, though, this is a basic "pick up everything and drop it off in the score area" game(Spoiler - click to show)--embarrassingly, even Princess Leia is implemented as an item which you must get and then drop in the ship--and can probably be played from beginning to end in under 10 minutes. The whole thing will feel a little familiar to anyone who's played many old BASIC games--as it should, as many of those games copied the code from this one wholesale!