Atari Graphical Action ADVENTURE vs. Early Interactive Fiction

by Roz Foster | a Ruelle Electrique reprint

adventureScreenShotDIn the early eighties, just after the Pac Man arcade game had chomped its way into the pizza place around the corner from my house, my next door neighbor’s parents got her an Atari 2600 console.

Pac Man. In the home. Yes! For a ten-year-old, this—was progress.

I. Loved. Atari. But my parents wouldn’t let me watch TV, much less play video games. So, I played Pac Man and Space Invaders in my neighbor’s basement whenever I could. My favorite of all those little fat black Atari cartridges was Adventure.

Adventure was the very first graphical action-adventure video game. It was published in 1979, a few years before I got my hands on it in ’82. The graphics in Adventure were pretty hilarious, but in the early eighties, I was dazzled by them. For hours, dragons shaped like ducks made of big, boxy pixels floated relentlessly after me: a small square.

Not too long after my introduction to Atari, my early-adopting neighbor got an Apple II. And it was on that computer that I played my first text-driven interactive fiction game. It was Roberta and Ken Williams’s Mystery House (Sierra On-line, 1980).

An interactive fiction game is story-driven, rather than action-driven. The earliest interactive fiction games, like Colossal Cave Adventure and Zork , were text-only games. A player typed moves into a command-line interface and received the results in the form of textual description.  Read the rest of this piece ….

This was a Ruelle Electrique Reprint and was originally published at Glopilot.


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