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A classic gem from the golden age of adventure, January 25, 2010
I swear, to this day I have dreams of chewing some gum, putting it on the end of a branch, and using it to fish a coin out of a sewer grate.
Mystery Funhouse was the first adventure game I ever played. I missed out on Adventure and the others, because computers at that time were not readily accessible. A good friend of mine convinced his father to purchase him a TRS-80 home computer from Radio Shack, and this was one of the games that came with it. We played the snot out of that thing. Those were the days before the Internet and walkthroughs, so we had to figure it all out by ourselves. Took about a month. From then on, I was hooked on all things Adventure.
You start off outside a funhouse. You need to get into the funhouse and diffuse a bomb before it goes off. After a certain point, something begins going on with your shoe. Basic stuff, but back then it was so different that it forced the player to think in unfamiliar ways. You know, the way we IF players think all the time now. The game in itself is straightforward, relying on retrial and repetition as the player learns what to do and what not to do. I said itís straightforward, but itís not easy. You really have to sit and think it out.
In this day and age, Mystery Funhouse will not seem like a big deal to a new player, but it had a permanent effect on my life back in 1981. I owe my entire career in the games industry to this little software gem, occupying less than 16K of memory. Good stuff.