Day 52 - words on a page

by PaulEMoz in , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Well, I had two e-books from Gordon Houghton to give away, and I had two entries.  Everybody wins!  So, Steve Johansson and dai_bonehead... if you're reading, e-mail me at the address at the side of this page, and I'll e-mail you your ebook (Steve wins Another World and dai wins Game Boy).  Congratulations, and thanks for your support.  Enjoy the books, and let me know what you think!

It would have been more fun if there had been more interest... oh well, if you missed out, check out Gordon's books on Smashwords.  He's a good bloke and a fine wordsmith, as you will know if you read ZZAP! 64.  I recommend starting at the beginning with The Dinner Party or maybe The Apprentice.  Read!  It's good for you!

Bah.  At least I've got some awesome Rob Hubbard music to listen to.
Back in the day, there were games that involved a lot of reading, too... text adventures.  Now, I struggled with text adventures, I have to be honest.  They required a specific type of logic, one that my brain doesn't seem to reason with at all well.  That doesn't mean I didn't try a few... Mastertronic's Kentilla and Melbourne House's The Hobbit were two that I particularly remember.

Of course, the Grand Masters of the text adventure were Infocom.  I didn't have a disk drive for years, so I never tried any of their games at the time.  Which makes writing about them a bit difficult.  On the other hand, as they were based in America, I don't have to!  But we had our own giants of the adventure world here in the UK, and they were Level 9 Computing.

Level 9 released a decent amount of accessible adventure games, which originally featured reasonably simplistic graphics, but this meant that many of their games could be released on cassette.  I'm sure that several of you, much like me, received a Commodore 64 pack at Christmas which contained a cassette version of their Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 game.  I actually gave that one a fair crack; having read the book, I thought I might stand a chance of finishing it, or at least copping off with Pandora.  I did neither.

I would have had a picture of The Pawn here, but I couldn't get it to work.
Later, there came a company called Magnetic Scrolls, who released more ambitious titles which intended to take on Infocom at their own game and featured some stunning graphics.  Their games were generally regarded as superior to Level 9's but there were a lot fewer of them.  Both companies filled a niche in the UK market quite nicely.

I've been mulling over whether or not to include any of these games or their programmers... but why not?  Just because they weren't my Gods, doesn't mean they weren't Gods for many people out there.  And because of that, and the specialist nature of their work, they're deserving of a space, don't you agree?