The good old days."You are standing in an open field west of a
white house, with a boarded front door. There is a small mailbox here."
If that sent
shivers down your spine, then you, my friend, are old-school. Very old-school.
Old-school enough to remember playing groundbreaking text adventure game Zork,
considered by many (or at least me) to be one of the most important games ever,
though it's sadly been lost to the ravages of time and, one could say,
But thanks to a precocious Hawaiian coder named Planetsurfer, you can once again plumb the depth of the Great Underground Empire, if you happen to own a Kindle. Found at portablequest.com, the rebuilt text adventures include Zork I, II and III as well as the lesser known Mini-Zork.
The match makes perfect sense. While the Kindle is a far cry from Apple's iPad when it comes to gaming -- it's designed for reading, not flinging birds -- it's notably better at
displaying sharp, readable text.
And that's really all you need to enjoy this once-proud genre. Published in large part by defunct Cambridge-based game maker Infocom, text adventures featured no graphics or
controls beyond simple text lines. To move up, for instance, you'd simply type
"go up." See a bauble? Type "get bauble," and it's yours.
And of course, if you see a troll, you "kill troll with axe." Crude,
basic, mind-numbingly hard, and still totally rewarding and fun to play.
If Zork isn't your thing (shame on you BTW), there's good news: Planetsurfer is planning on bringing more Infocom classics to Kindle. Hitchiker's Guide, anyone?