Gruds in Space

by Joseph A. Dudar and Chuck Sommerville

Space Exploration

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Fun from the dawn of "the graphic adventure", April 2, 2024
by Pete Davison (Southampton, UK)

I loved this game on the Atari 8-bit back when I was a kid, but never managed to beat it. Now, as a crusty old relic, I decided to revisit it. I had a lot of fun with it, and was struck by how well it implements the idea of a "graphic adventure" prior to the days of point-and-click becoming the norm.

Gruds in Space unfolds from a first-person perspective and is pretty minimal on the text, because it wants the images to speak for themselves. That means the intent for the entire game is for you to "see" the world in front of you, and be able to interact with it relatively naturally. And for the most part, it works well; navigation in particular is very intuitive thanks to the game's convention to have you always facing "north" -- you likely won't even need to make a map, even in the more complex areas.

The game's parser is a weak point, but once you understand its basic conventions (two word commands, often no need to specify a "target") it's easy enough to use. The only real "puzzle" of substance in the game simply involves dropping the appropriate objects in the appropriate places, then remembering to pick them up again before you proceed through the door they opened!

The rest of the game is pretty straightforward, and there are a few fun little plot twists along the way, even though we don't get much time to get to know the two major characters we interact with along the way. There's perhaps one example of what might be interpreted as "moon logic" along the way -- though if you're paying attention, you might be able to figure it out for yourself. (Hint: the product of a "money maker" is valuable, even if it might not appear to be at first glance!)

Lot of disk swapping, particularly if you want to save your game (which has to be on its own disk) but this is easy enough to handle, particularly if you're playing in an emulator.

Overall, Gruds in Space won't take anyone very long to get through, but it's fun while it lasts -- and it's a solid attempt to go "all in" on the graphic adventure format well before the conventions of that subgenre had been properly established.

Longer writeup at :)

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Marco Innocenti, April 2, 2024 - Reply
This is the game for which I had to learn English. I still reserve a place deep in my heart for it.
Pete Davison, April 7, 2024 - Reply
That's great to hear. I've not come across many people who are familiar with this game, but I also have a special place in my heart for it. Nice to know someone else remembers it!
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