ISSUE #1 - May 15, 1994

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  The  \__/ociety for the |_|reservation of ||  ||dventure \___/ames
                                ISSUE # 1
        Edited by G. Kevin Wilson (whizzard SP@G
                              May 15, 1994

All email addresses are spamblocked -- replace the name of our magazine
with the traditional 'at' sign. 


        Greetings and welcome to the first issue of SPAG.  Things will, in
all likelihood, be a little sparse this month.  After all, I'm still 
straightening things out, studying for finals, etc.  Plus, we still have 
new subscribers trickling in.  I will probably post this first issue to 
several newsgroups in an effort to drum up more readers.  After that, 
though, it's strictly e-mail.  I hope to receive lots of comments on this
issue, uggestions on improvements, likes, dislikes, letters to the Editor,
more reviews, lots of ratings for various games, corrections to this issue,
etc.  Remember, SPAG cannot succeed without its readers.
        I might as well get my soapbox speech over with, so here goes.  
The purpose of SPAG is the advancement of the modern text adventure.  
Today's gamers tend to get absorbed in the flash of graphics and sound 
and miss out on some really good stories and plots.  Well, it is my hope 
to call attention to some of these games and let my readers know where 
they can get ahold of them.  Text adventures are still as valid an 
entertainment form as books, but they've been nudged out by the onset of 
the console game machines and the increasing trends towards graphical 
interfaces.  Be that as it may, text adventures are an accessible form that 
many would-be game writers can try their hands at, since there are 
several game design kits available on to make matters simple.  
Lastly, the games created with these toolkits are often highly portable, 
easily transferring from machine to machine, since they use very little 
machine-specific code.  As I said, there's still a place for text 
adventures, and I hope to keep it that way.

                                G. Kevin Wilson

KEY TO SCORES AND REVIEWS----------------------------------------------------

Consider the following review header:

Cutthroats   IBM   Commercial   7.4 [PA: 1.7 WR: 1.1 PL: 1.3 CH: 1.6  +1.7]

First is the name of the game, then the computer type that the reviewer
played the game on.  Next, the reviewer mentions how the game is being sold,
whether as shareware, commercially, or being given away as freeware.  If the
game has a fixed price, that is mentioned as well.  Lastly, the review
heading has the reviewer's total score for the game, followed by a breakdown
of the score into: PA [Parser], WR [Writing], PL [Plot], CH [Characters],
and + [Wild Card], which is a 'blank check' category, usually commented on
in the review.

When submitting reviews:  Ensure that the review at least has the above
information in its header.  Also note what computers you know of that it can
be played upon, this will appear in the reader scoreboard section of SPAG.
Authors may not rate or review their own games.

SPAG accepts reviews of any length, letters to the editor, the occasional
interesting article on text adventures (no reprints please), and even just
plain scores for your favorite game, if you don't have the time to do a full
review.  Please though, at least send me a line of text for each game you
have rated equivalent to the review header for Cutthroats, above.  All
accepted materials will be headed by the submitter's name and e-mail
address, unless you request that they be withheld, in which case the header
will read as "Anonymous."

NEW GAMES--------------------------------------------------------------------

There are no games being released this month, but we can expect a bunch
around August or so, if things go well for the authors I've been talking
to, and for myself, of course.  The upcoming games I know of include
The Legend Lives!, from Adventions, The Czar's Challenge Trilogy, and of
course, Avalon, my own game.  Bear in mind that I'm not claiming to speak
for the authors of the games other than Avalon, I'm just mentioning that,
from what I've heard, they are approaching completion, and should show up
this year sometime.  No promises.


     Thanks go to our reviewers for this issue, give 'em a big hand:

                        Matthew Amster
                        Audrey A. DeLisle
                        Derek S. Felton
                        Stephen Granade

From: "Audrey A. DeLisle" 

Horror of Rylvania   IBM   C20  7.7 [PA 2  WR 2 PL 1.7 CH 1 * 1] * = length
        Horror of Rylvania (Adventions by D.A.Leary) tells of the horror you
find on your trip to Rylvania with your friend, Carolyn.  You become
a vampire and must search for the 'cure'.  There are two sections that
are maze-like, but small and not hard.  In general, this is not a
hard game, but every game has its tricky places.  It is somewhat linear,
but not limited like some games.  I enjoyed playing it.  The atmosphere
was well created to be eerie, but not disgusting.

   [ Editor's Note: As you can see, not every review has to be a long one.
     I am quite content with printing one paragraph reviews as long as the
     author's opinion of the game carries through well. ]


From: "Stephen Granade" 

Infidel    IBM   Commercial   6.5 [Pa: 1.7 Wr: 1.7 Pl: 1.5 Ch: 0.0  +1.6]
        On your first big archaeological dig, you manage to waste most of your
money and alienate your workers.  To top it off, you can't find the pyramid
you're after.  And then your crew drugs you and abandons you...  The game's
parser is up to Infocom's usual level.  Michael Berlyn's writing helps bring
the pyramid to life, although I found some sections of the pyramid to be a bit
weakly written.  The plot moves along fairly briskly at first, then widens to
allow more exploration once you find the pyramid.  There are no true NPC's in
the game; how many characters are you likely to meet while exploring a long-
dead pyramid?  My wildcard points went to the game's hieroglyphics.  I had a
lot of fun trying to decode them, and they made many of the puzzles solvable on
the first try.
     Infidel can be found in Activision's Lost Treasures of Infocom, a re-
packaging of Infocom's games.  LTOI lacks much of the flair of Infocom's old
packages, but at least the games are still available.  Infidel is of medium
difficulty, an entertaining game but not a true classic.

   [ Editor's Note: Stephen felt that Infidel should have had a higher score,
     but my system gives a 2 point disadvantage to games with no NPCs.  See
     the note after his Starcross review for more on this. ]


From: "Derek S Felton" 

7.0 [Pa: 1.8 Wr: 1.9 Pl: 1.5 Ch: 0.0  +1.8]
      The story is straightforward and the puzzles aren't _that_ complicated.
I enjoyed the game's descriptions of rooms and objects because they give the
player the feel of being inside an adventure movie.  I was disappointed with
the other living characters, though: there aren't any!  What's a good desert
adventure story without a few scorpions, asps, and mummies?  Nonetheless,
INFIDEL is a good adventure for players with little or no experience with
interactive fiction.  Get ready to map and translate heiroglyphics.

   [ Editor's Note: I don't fret about having more than one review on the
     same game.  I just delete the game description, leaving the reviewer's
     opinion of the game.  That's how follow-up reviews work.  Also, I note
     that the lack of NPCs is a concern to some readers.  Be sure to note
     that anytime you review a game that lacks them. ]


From: "Audrey A. DeLisle" 

Klaustrophobia IBM S15 9.5 [PA 1.5 WR 2 PL 2 CH 2 * 2] *=humor
        Klaustrophobia, an AGT text adventure, just won the 1994 AGT contest
(with a co-winner, The Jeweled Arena, by David Raley.  [The Jeweled Arena has
not yet been uploaded to, for those who are interested.
Hopefully someone will do us a big favor and put it up there. - GKW]).  I had
the pleasure (?) of testing it.
        It is an hilarious account of your vacation.  You start preparing for 
your trip at home and at the office,  then head for the airport(s).  
Somehow your flights keep getting diverted.  Part 2, you arrive in 
Hollywood and appear on several game shows.  Your big prize is a 
vacation in Mexico which takes you to Part 3.  This is not easy, but is 
very funny.  Those who have played Jacaranda Jim will find it especially 
amusing in Mexico.  Look for KLAUS.ZIP.  A sequel is planned, but this 
took about 18 months to complete, so not soon.  Hilarious and hard.  
Funniest yet, but subject to the limitations of AGT-BIG.  Also, the 
registered version comes with pophints!  The author, Carol Hovick, is a 
big fan of BUREAUCRACY.  Her game was somewhat inspired by it, but it is 
not the same.

   [ Editor's note: An excellent review.  Since it is the first I've
     printed, let me just make a few comments.  Remember that a rating of
     10 is an absolutely perfect game, just like in the Olympics.  These
     games should be VERY few and far between.  I gave Trinity a 9.7, and
     it's my favorite game of all time.  I've just never played a 10 game.
         I think that most games will probably deserve a 6 to 7 score tops.
     An 8 or 9 is a game you really liked, and higher than that is reserved
     for a game that just blows your mind completely.  Also, remember that
     you are free to rate the categories with a 1.1 or 0.8, or any other
     number between 0 and 2 with a maximum of 1 decimal place.  The scores
     mentioned in the original SPAG guidelines are just cut-off points, meant
     only as examples.  I just mentioned this because, while Klaustrophobia
     is a really fun game, the AGT parser is fairly frustrating to use at
     best, and probably should hover around a .9 depending on what the
     individual author does with it.  I also encountered other implementation
     problems that really hurt the game, in my opinion.  Still, a very
     funny game, even for dog lovers.
         One other point, please try to include an estimate of the game's
     difficulty.  These things don't reflect poorly on Audrey at all, they
     are simply things that I didn't clarify very well before.  Great job,
     Audrey!  I hope to get more reviews from you in the future! ]


From: "Stephen Granade" 

The Lurking Horror  IBM  Commercial
        7.2 [Pa: 1.7 Wr: 1.8 Pl: 1.2 Ch: 1.3  +1.2]
        Late one night, you, a student at G.U.E. Tech, have braved a blizzard
to get to the Computer Center to finish work on a paper.  However, the
simple assignment takes you to the horrific underside of the school. 
Lurking Horror's parser is, as expected, up to snuff.  The writing is
excellent; the game is firmly rooted in the Gothic horror used by Lovecraft
and Poe.  Dave Lebling has captured the essence of the genre well.  The
plot, however, is not as well developed.  It contains some nice elements,
but at times the disparate plot elements felt unconnected.  The characters
also lack flair.  The best of the NPCs are the different slimy creatures you
encounter, from a winged something to a slimy something.  Both the NPCs and
the plot could have been helped had the NPCs been obviously working
together.  The puzzles ranged from clever to puzzling.  There were a few
puzzles I didn't understand until I finished the game and looked in the hint
book.  My wildcard points were awarded on the basis of the game's atmosphere.
        The Lurking Horror is available in Activision's Lost Treasures of
Infocom 1 package.  While a worthy attempt to bring back the old Infocom
games, the repackaging removes much of Infocom's clever presentation.  The
Lurking Horror is mediumly difficult, and is especially good if you're a fan
of Gothic horror.

   [ Editor's Notes: I agree with Stephen, for the most part.  It would have
     been really nice had the various creatures seemed more like a sort of
     evil cult or had some semblence of cooperation among themselves.  But,
     I'd have to say that the Hacker is my favorite character.  Try asking
     him about Lovecraft some time.  Pretty funny.  The Lurking Horror is
     Infocom's only horror offering, but an effective, if not quite sparkling
     one. ]


From: "Stephen Granade" 

Moonmist   IBM   Commercial   6.4 [Pa: 1.7 Wr: 1.2 Pl: 1.0 Ch: 1.6  +0.9]
     You are a famous young American detective who has been invited to
Tresyllian Castle by your old friend Tamara Lynd.  She is being haunted by the
Tresyllian ghost, who seems intent on scaring her off.  Can you solve the
mystery of the castle?  Infocom's parser handles most tasks with ease.  The
writing tries to convey a sense of the castle, but fails.  Much of the
description is left to the tour booklet included in the packaging, so the game
itself neglects to add those touches necessary to make the locations spring to
life.  There are four variations possible in the game, but they did not add
replayability as much as they made the plot feel random.  Plot elements seemed
tossed in mainly to differentiate each variation from the other three.  The
game is slightly redeemed by the characters; they help flesh it out.  I awarded
my wildcard points for the attempt to provide replayability.
     Moonmist is in the Lost Treasures of Infocom package, produced by
Activision.  Unfortunately, the LTOI package neglected to include the letter
Tamara sent you; a minor omission, but one that bothered me.  Moonmist is best
used as an introduction to text-adventure mystery games, a gentle entry into
the genre of _Deadline_ and _The Witness_.

   [ Editor's Note: The letters left out of LTOI are available on
     in /if-archive/infocom/shipped-documentation/.  Stephen noted that
     Moonmist is a 'substandard' Infocom game, in his opinion.  I tend to
     agree with him.  It is one of the least remembered of the LTOI bunch. ]


From: "Audrey A. DeLisle" 

Sanity Claus S10 I GMD  9  [PA 1.5  WR 2  PL 2  CH 1.5 * 2] *=humor
        You are Santa Claus and you must deliver all the presents before
midnight in each time zone.  This can be done in five trips.  When you have
to go to the same place, you will find a different puzzle.  It is tedious,
but fun if you have the patience.  The author wrote S.O.S. (Son of
Stagefright, both with AGT.)  Understand that each trip will be shorter
than the previous one.  Your elf is a delightful companion.
Author--Mike McCauley, has MAC version, sends map and hints on reg.

   [ Editor's Note: Well, I can't comment much on this one.  When I ftp'ed
     it, I got it fine, but then when I started to play I got a bad token
     error.  Probably just a flub somewhere on my part though.  Be aware
     of this before you spend the time getting it though, since it is over
     300k. ]


From: "Stephen Granade" 

Starcross  IBM   Commercial   8.3 [Pa: 1.5 Wr: 1.8 Pl: 1.7 Ch: 1.3  +2.0]
        In Starcross you play a black-hole miner who is captured by a
drifting alien vessel.  You must enter the hulking ship and, once inside,
figure it out in order to get home.  The game, written in 1982, was one of
Infocom's early efforts; its parser lacks some of the nicer features
incorporated later (I kept wanting to type 'g' for 'again').  The writing was
very well done.  It presented the alien artifacts without making them too
bizarre or cryptic.  The plot allowed for plenty of exploration, yet kept
things moving towards the final goal.  The game's main weakness is its NPC's.
Your ship's computer is mildly amusing, and the leader of a band of lizards
reacts nicely to you; however, the other NPCs are not as well fleshed-out.
My wildcard points went to the puzzles.  They are some of the most
logically-presented yet challenging I have ever worked on.  The raygun puzzle
and the force-bubble puzzle are two of my personal favorites.  It is an
excellent puzzle-oriented adventure, one of the first "explore an alien
setting" games.
        Starcross is available in Activision's Lost Treasures of Infocom
package.  This repackaging has leeched much of the character from the
original.  I found the hint book structure to be particularly annoying.
Starcross is rather difficult and requires a lot of logical thought and
experimentation to solve.  It ranks with some of the best interactive fiction
games I have played.

   [ Editor's Note: Stephen noted that the character category lowered the
     score that he wanted to give Starcross by a bit.  He also suggested some
     sort of proviso for games with no NPCs, so that their scores are more
     comparable.  I am thinking of changing the character category to include
     a score of 1.0 if the game has no NPCs, but the reviewer doesn't feel
     that the lack thereof hurts it.  More pondering will be lavished upon
     the topic.  Let me know if you have a better idea. ]


From: "Matthew Amster" 

Trinity   IBM   Commercial  9.1  [PA: 2 WR: 1.9 PL: 2 CH: 1.2 +2.0]

     Trinity is among the most popular of the classic Infocom
games.  After hearing friends and netters discussing their
uniformly wonderful experiences with Trinity, I finally decided to
give it a try myself.
     The game opens at London's Kensington Gardens, and quickly
takes off from there into a fantasy world of nuclear mushrooms,
giant children, and intelligent magpies.  The anti-nuclear message
of the game is clear but never overbearing.
     The parser is as brilliant as one would expect from Infocom; 
it is nearly impossible to produce an unexpected response.  Most
nouns have plenty of synonyms, and the player is never stumped by
how to phrase a command.
     Trinity's map is similarly user-friendly, with no tricky
surprises and few "can't-get-there-from-heres."  But the game's
strongest suit is its puzzles, which outdo what I've seen in any
other game.  All are logical and satisfying (except one...but you
figure it out).
     The endgame is somewhat difficult, but not overly so, and it
ties up loose ends very well.  Trinity has something for everyone:
it's not too hard for novices, but is well-suited for experienced
adventurers as well.  It is exciting, engrossing, well-written,
and, unlike too many other works of interactive fiction, lives up
to the hype.

   [ Editor's Note: Always nice to see someone agree with me.  I have yet
     to find a game that captures my imagination as much as Trinity, although
     Shades of Gray comes close at certain points. ]


From: "Audrey A. DeLisle" 

Unnkulian One-Half F I GMD  9.1  [PA 2 WR 2 PL 1.8  CH 1.3 * 2]  * = humor
This is a short game.  You find enough objects of value to please the
Innkeeper.  The puzzles are logical and not hard.  There are some extra
features that can be used to win, but are not necessary.  I enjoyed playing
this game.  [in file with demo of Unnk Zero]  Adventions by D.A. Leary using

   [ Editor's Note: Oddly enough, this short, humorous game is my favorite of
     the Unnkulian series.  Probably something to do with my lack of patience
     or something.  Or maybe I can only take the cheez jokes for so long
     before I begin to feel unhinged. ]


From: "Audrey A. DeLisle" 

Unnkulian Unventure 1 S10 I GMD  9 [PA 2 WR 2 PL 2 CH 1 * 2] *=humor
Unnkulian Unventure starts you on the path to being a hero.  The
Orb has been stolen and you must return it.  You journey through
caverns, up mountains and into a chasm.  The puzzles are logical and
usually amusing.  A monk is waiting to help you at one place.
I enjoyed playing this game.  Adventions by D.A.Leary using TADS.

   [ Editor's Notes: Beware readers, there are cheez jokes aplenty lurking
     in this one. ]


From: "Audrey A. DeLisle" 

Unnkulian Unventure #2 S10 I GMD 7.3 [PA 2 WR 1.9 PL 1.4 CH 1 * 2] *=humor
This is the continuation of your life as a hero.  I would rate it higher,
but the plot is a bit jerky and there is one 'fatal' error.  There is a
computer and you must know the password before the game tells you.  That
means you must have someone or a walk-through tell you.  In general, it
is still amusing, but not as good as UU1 and not as involved.  I won't
say what the object is because that is part of the plot.
Adventions by D. A. Leary using TADS. 

   [ Editor's Notes: Gads, more cheez jokes!  Is there no stopping these
     fiendish adventure game writers? ]


From: "Audrey A. DeLisle" 

Unnkulian Zero  C25 I     9  [PA 2 WR 2 PL 2 CH 1 * 2] * = humor
Unnkulian Zero is the latest in the Unnkulian series.  It is fairly
long and not as easy as the earlier games.  The puzzles are logical 
and funny.  You can get diverted from the proper path.  You must
search for 'The Lost Amanda', the King's daughter who was kidnapped.
You will encounter a monk as in the other games.  I was 'stuck' in
two places, but other players may not be.  I enjoyed playing it.

   [ Editor's Notes: Unkulian Zero received a really nice review in a recent
     issue of _Computer Gaming World_ as well.  Everything I've heard
     suggests that it is Advention's greatest game.  Although, with The
     Legend Lives! coming out sometime soon, we'll have to see about that. ]


From: "Stephen Granade" 

The Witness  IBM  Commercial  7.5 [Pa: 1.7 Wr: 1.3 Pl: 1.6 Ch: 1.7 +1.2]
        The year, 1938.  The place, Los Angeles.  A wealthy but paranoid man
has asked you, a police detective, for protection.  But despite everything
you do, the man is killed.  Can you find who killed Freeman Linder?  The
Witness was Infocom's second detective adventure; its parser contains many
of the commands now standard to this genre.  The writing is the weakest part
of the game; many times I felt as if Stu Galley had simply lifted whole
chunks of clever responses from Deadline, the first Infocom detective
adventure.  The plot is well-laid out, though linear in nature.  The
characters is where the game shines.  There are really only three to deal
with, one of whom you can discount almost from the first of the game. 
However, those two remaining NPCs are quite alive and feisty.  I gave my
wildcard points for the feel of both the game overall and the characters.
     The Witness is available (where else?) in The Lost Treasures of Infocom
1, available from Activision.  The repackaging is flawed, but at least it is
available.  The Witness is a good medium-difficulty detective game.  After
you finish Moonmist, work on The Witness, then Deadline, as they become
progressively harder.

   [ Editor's Note: I should probably note that this game has a really nice
     '30s detective movie feel to it.  Stu Galley put a lot of effort into
     making things ring true, and it shows, even if the rest of the game is
     pretty standard.  As is often the case, the best part about playing
     The Witness is in trying to break it.  I had loads of fun with the
     handcuffs in the game, trying everything from arresting the cat for
     murder, to trying to solve the mystery using knowledge gained in another
     game, which I couldn't possibly have had at that point.  I also played
     havok with the manservant for awhile, since he's such a nifty stereotype
     from the movies.  In any event, this one is much shorter than the
     average Infocom game, taking me only a few hours to solve and exhaust
     its entertainment potential.  Still, it's better than a lot of games
     I've played. ]

READER'S SCOREBOARD----------------------------------------------------------

Here is a sample entry for Trinity:

 Name          Avg Sc    # Sc  Rlvt Ish     Notes:
Trinity          9.7      21    1-5, 8, 11   C_INF

Looking at this, you see that Trinity has received an average score of 
9.7 out of 10 from 21 readers.  The notes are listed below, 
and lastly, reviews or other relevant bits about it have appeared in 
issues 1-5, 8, and 11 of SPAG.  This is only an example, and does not
reflect any actual data regarding Trinity.

   Other Possible Notes:

        A   - Runs on Amigas.
        AP  - Runs on Apple IIs.
        GS  - Runs on Apple IIGS.
        AR  - Runs on Archimedes Acorns.
        C   - Commercial, no fixed price.
        C30 - Commercial, with a fixed price of $30.
        F   - Freeware.
        GMD - Available on
        I   - Runs on IBM compatibles.
        M   - Runs on Macs.
        S20 - Shareware, registration costs $20.
        64  - Runs on Commodore 64s.
        TAD - Written with TADS.  This means it can run on:
                AmigaDOS, NeXT and PC, Atari ST/TT/Falcon, DECstation
                (MIPS) Unix Patchlevel 1 and 2, IBM, IBM RT, Linux, Apple
                Macintosh, SGI Iris/Indigo running Irix, Sun 4 (Sparc)
                running SunOS or Solaris 2, Sun 3, OS/2, and even a 386+
                protected mode version.
        AGT - Available for IBM, Mac, Amiga, and Atari ST.  This does not
                include games made with the Master's edition.
        INF - Infocom or Inform game.  These games will run on:
                Atari ST, Amiga, Apple Macintosh, IBM, Unix, VMS, Apple II,
                and Apple IIGS.  I believe that it is also possible to play
                these on the C64, TSR-80, Acorn Archimedes, and others, but
                I am not positive, as I saw no public domain interpreters for
                any systems other than the first group on  I
                will update this as people confirm or deny the feasibility
                of running these games on these computers.

[Other computers will be added as pointed out to me.  This key will 
appear in each issue.  Readers are asked to let me know if any games are 
available on a platform for which I do not have them listed.]

 Name                  Avg Sc  # Sc  Rlvt Ish     Notes:

Cutthroats              7.4     1       1       C_INF
Horror of Rylvania      7.7     1       1       C20_TAD_GMD (Demo)
Infidel                 6.7     2       1       C_INF
Klaustrophobia          9.5     1       1       S15_AGT_GMD
Lurking Horror, The     7.2     1       1       C_INF
Moonmist                6.4     1       1       C_INF
Sanity Claus            9.0     1       1       S10_AGT_GMD
Starcross               8.3     1       1       C_INF
Trinity                 9.4     2       1       C_INF
Unnkulian One-Half      9.1     1       1       F_TAD_GMD
Unnkulian Unventure 1   9.0     1       1       S10_TAD_GMD
Unnkulian Unventure 2   7.3     1       1       S10_TAD_GMD
Unnkulian Zero          9.0     1       1       C25_TAD_GMD (Demo)
Witness, The            7.5     1       1       C_INF

The Top Three:

1 Klaustrophobia                [9.5]
2 Trinity                       [9.3]
3 Unnkulian One-Half            [9.1]

   [ Editor's Notes: Remember that these scores still represent a very
     small sampling of SPAG readers, and as such, aren't quite as
     representative as I would like.  You have been warned. ]


        I was supposed to put a blurb for Enhanced in this issue, but I
received nothing from the author so far, so that'll have to wait for a future
issue.  In the meantime, just let me say that I don't like to use reprint
advertisements.  We've all most likely seen those already, let's see
something new.  Also, if you've written a text adventure and would like to
talk about your game, I will include that sort of thing in SPAG as well.  Or,
if you'd rather, I can come up with some interview questions for you, to make
matters simpler for you.  But I'm sure that the readers of SPAG would be
interested in hearing about the making of text adventures.  Lastly, here's
an advertisement sent in from Jacob Weinstein, author of Save Princeton.

----------------------------------Save Princeton-----------------------------

        Have you ever wanted to kill somebody by feeding them school food?
To hobnob with F. Scott Fitzgerald? To be single-handedly responsible
for the salvation or destruction of one of the oldest universities in
the United States? Save Princeton offers you the chance to do all this
and more. In the role of a visitor to the campus, you must save
Princeton from a mysterious invasionary force. Saving Princeton doesn't
require any familiarity with the place. In fact, all it requires is an
off-beat sense of humor and a little bit of brains.

Save Princeton was created with TADS, the Text Adventure Development
System. The game has fifty-two locations, and a vocabulary of
about 980 words, which makes it about as complex as a middle-period
Infocom game. It's shareware, with a fee of $10.

Save Princeton is available for the IBM-compatible and Mactintosh
computers, as well as any other systems that support TADS. 
Mac version: FTP to and retrieve

IBM version: FTP to and retrieve:

Other systems: Assuming you already have the TADS run-time for your
system, FTP to and retrieve:

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to e-mail me.
-Jacob Weinstein
jacobw SP@G

   [ Editor's Notes: I know that there's a lot of prejudice out there against
     games that the author appears in, but Save Princeton isn't half bad, if
     you overlook the first few rooms or so.  The puzzles are well done, and
     there's a pretty nifty camera to play with even.  I would definitely
     recommend it for a bit of tongue-in-cheek fun. ]

CLOSING REMARKS--------------------------------------------------------------

Related Internet Newsgroups:
         REC.ARTS.INT-FICTION - Talk about _writing_ text adventures.
        REC.GAMES.INT-FICTION - Other text adventure topics.

The Official SPAG-Approved Text Adventure FTP site is  Here are
the main directories it contains under /if-archive/:

          programming/: Contains tools to write text adventures with.
                games/: Contains text adventures for many computers.
            solutions/: Contains walkthroughs for some of these games, mostly
                        the Infocom games.
        solutions/uhs/: The Universal Hint System, check it out.
     solution/pophints: Pophints for Cliff Diver and Shades of Gray.  Also
                        the system itself, for the those who want to make
                        a hint file for their game.  Unlike UHS, you don't
                        need the author's permission to make one.
              infocom/: Contains info and programs related to Infocom. Contains archive files from
                        (Old posts from the newsgroup.)
                 info/: Contains some general information files on text
                        adventures.  Also my guide to writing text
                        adventures.  Look under authorship-guide.  Warning,
                        it's pretty long. Contains archive files from
                        (Old posts from the newsgroup.)
          scott-adams/: Contains hints and information on the old Scott
                        Adams games.  Also the two PD games, Pirate and
       download-tools/: Everything you need to download files.
               shells/: Adventure game shells?  Not sure about this one.
        mapping-tools/: A couple of primitive mapping tools.


   A Word about the Infocom Games.

        Many of the Infocom games are available in two packages being sold by
Activision as Lost Treasures of Infocom 1 and 2.  They are also available on
CD.  LTOI 2 CD has three bonus games: Shogun, Arthur, and Journey.  I am not
sure which computers these are available for, but at least IBM compatibles
are supported.  LTOI 1 contains 20 games, with the relevant packaging items
from the older versions reproduced as photocopies in a book.  It also
includes maps and a hintbook with hints for all the games.  The hints are
all in plain sight.  LTOI 2 lacks both the maps and the hintbook.  It has
been commented by several people that the repackaging was shoddily done.  I
tend to agree, especially in reference to LTOI 2's lack of maps and hints.
LTOI contains only 11 games, and costs the same, yet leaves those two things
out.  Other things missing are the letters from Moonmist, the clever
sample transcripts that were in the old manuals, and Leather Goddesses of
Phobos, which is available only through a mail-in offer.  Finally, all of the
great props appear only a photocopies, and even then, some of the niftiest
are missing or have been transformed into a more mediocre form.  Overall,
poor treatment of some classic games, which defined things for hundreds of
games that have followed in their footsteps.
        Having said that, let me also add that the LTOI packages are getting
harder to find in stores, so if you want them, buy them soon.  Even with all
their shortcomings, the low price gives an excellent deal on some truly
wonderful games that will always be fondly remembered by many.  Myself, I am
slowly trying to accumulate a complete collection of the original packages.
It's more expensive, and slower going, but I feel it's worth it to get all
the great packaging that Infocom included with their games.  If anyone has
any to sell, or especially, to give away for the cost of postage, let me
know.  Especially A Mind Forever Voyaging and Hitchhiker's Guide to the


LTOI 1 (20 Games):
  Ballyhoo                Beyond Zork             Deadline
  Enchanter               Hitchhiker's Guide      Infidel
  Lurking Horror          Moonmist                Planetfall
  Sorcerer                Spellbreaker            Starcross
  Stationfall             Suspect                 Suspended
  The Witness             Zork Zero               Zork 1
  Zork 2                  Zork 3

LTOI 2 (11 Games):
  A Mind...Voyaging       Border Zone             Bureaucracy
  Cutthroats              Hollywood Hijinx        Nord & Bert
  Plundered Hearts        Seastalker              Sherlock: Crown Jewels
  Trinity                 Wishbringer


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