Review of Activision Adventure Collection CD

review-of-activision-adventure-collection-cd-photoOriginally published on December 8, 1995. There are times I do miss text adventures, but I was never patient enough to finish them.

Ever wonder what it was like to play adventure games before the era of 200 MIP processors, gigabyte hard drives, 3D sound, and super VGA graphics?  Then, look no further than the Infocom’s collection of interactive adventure games by Activision.

The Adventure Collection features seven classic interactive games: Border Zone, Cutthroats, Infidel, Plundered Hearts, Trinity, Planetfall, and Zork III.

All seven games are 100 percent text based interactive games. Unlike the mouse based point and click interfaces of today’s games, these require semi-complete sentences as input.  There are no sounds or graphics!  The computer tells you what you see and you fill in the rest with your imagination(not unlike reading a good fiction novel.)  Infocom includes a book with all the original game materials along with some maps and other extras.  Game play is the similar in all of the games.  A brief description each game’s plot follows.

Border Zone – This is a three chapter game in which you play one of three different characters (an American businessman, a Western Spy, and then an Eastern spy) depending on which chapter you are in. (You don’t have to go through them in order.)  Time does not stand still in Border Zone so beware.  Slow fingers could do you in!

Cutthroats – You are a diver trying to salvage sunken treasure from one of four shipwrecks.  Although there are four ships, only one treasure will be found in any one game.

Infidel – You are an explorer who as just been abandoned by your men.  You awaken to find yourself alone in the desert search for a ancient Egyptian pyramid.

Plundered Hearts – This game casts the player in the role of an Englishwoman!  The game start on a ship that is attacked by pirates. Just before a ruffian decides to tarnish your reputation a dashing young captain comes to your rescue with news from your father.  Your objective is to find your way back to your father and maybe find some romance as well.

Trinity – This game has what I thought was one of the more interesting story lines.  As you’re enjoying your vacation in London, WW III breaks out and the ensuing nuclear holocaust send London up in a puff of smoke.  You end up in a strange world where strange things may happen.  The object of the game it to make it back to New Mexico to the site of the first atomic bomb test which was code named–TRINITY.  The materials included an impressive bibliography to enable the player to learn more about the development of the world’s first atom bomb(the Manhattan project) and the infamous Trinity test.

Zork III – The Dungeon Master.  Dungeons, treasures, traps, monsters, magic, you get the idea.

Planetfall – Continuing a long family tradition you serve in the Stellar Patrol roaming the galaxy, hoping to do more than mop the floor.

Computer resource requirements are minimal(no problem for 286 or 386 machines).  The CD includes a Windows based install program, which will install the files and create a program manager group for you.  Windows is not required to run these games and you do not actually need Windows to install the games.  The files can be copied straight to your hard drive in DOS.  Less than 1.2 megabytes of disk space are required to install all seven games to the hard drive.  If you’re really stingy for space, you can just run the games straight off the CD.  If you’re a collector of classic PC games or you like using your imagination instead of relying on 3D rendered graphics, then I suggest you give the Adventure Collection CD a try.

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