by William Crowther and Donald Woods

Cave crawl

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Number of Reviews: 11
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful:
Well, it was first., April 7, 2010
by tggdan3 (Michigan)

Yes, yes, I get it. Adventure was the game that started it all.

And there are SO MANY different versions of it, that it hardly seems possible to review or score it, considering you probably played the sub-optimal version.

I've played the two-word paser version, and the inform update.

The inform update is full of bugs. You can carry any number of things in the wicker cage, allowing you to bypass puzzles that might not let you carry certain items up certain areas by putting them in the cage. The scoring is off too, because if you carry a treasure in the cage to the "base" you get penalized when you TAKE the item out of the cage, then get the points BACK when you drop the item, stopping you from geting proper points.

Anyway, version aside, the game has its plusses and minuses.

The game is a cave crawl puzzle fest, except that everything is totally random and the answers to the puzzles are totally arbitrary. Everything is under-implemented. I had trouble catching a particular bird, and then, i just caught it. I imagine it was turned away by something that was in my inventory then and not now, or vice versa, but regardless, I was able to catch it at one point and not at another point. And your use for the bird is rediculous and there's no reason to believe the bird can be used for its indended purpose.

It keeps going. You have your mazes of passages, rooms with exists not clearly defined, multiple paths going to the same place, and the reverse direction doesn't always take you back where you started. Random enemies show up and attack you, for what appears to be no reason, and never seem to hit you, making their presence appear useless and annoying.

Much like Zork, you are dropped in the middle of nowehere with no clue as to what's going on. Had I never played Zork, i never would have assumed you need to put the treasures in the house. But since I played zork, I tried it. Yep, it works. And it's relevant.

I can only imagine the nightmare of beating this game with a limited parser, considering how frustrated I've become with even newer versions (which allowed you to bypass inventory limits with a wicker cage!).

Okay, okay. Adventure gave us PLUGH and XYZZY. But Infocom gave us BLORB and FROTZ. Adventure gave us Sierra Online (as the creators made games because they coldn't find more games like adventure), but I guess this is one of those games where "you just had to be there". As it is, I am finding myself having little patience with limited inventory, drop items in the maze and map it, and perform any random action you can think of to see if THAT works. Yes it was the first IF game EVER, and for that, it deserves to be played and deserves to be respected. The site wouldn't be here without adventure.

But you need to be a die-hard IF fan AND IF history buff if you're going to get a lot out of this game today. The same can probably be said for the Zork series.

I gave this game 3 stars. Compared to current standards, it really is terrible. But back when it was written, it was the best there was (the only there was). It gave us so many IF conventions we take for granted today (such as the dark room, and using compass directions to move!, inventory and LOOK commands), and people really need to play it if they want to see IF roots- just be ready to take a while, and have hints on hand!