GoG Reveals Latest Adventure Releases

By John Walker on January 18th, 2011 at 1:00 pm.

Another moustachioed character!

On Friday we were playing a guessing game. Why did Good Old Games have police tape up all over their site – a site made out of ASCII? My guess was the Police Quest series. Very sharp-eyed readers noticed the faces in the background and guessed the Zork games. We were all right!

Good Old Games have today added to their catalogue both the first four Police Quest games, and the Zork Anthology.

The Police Quest games are loved and hated in equal measure. The requirement to follow procedure or face INSTANT DEATH can be pretty hilarious. But what’s too often forgotten about the games is the quality of the writing, and the humour. A lot of the scripts were written by Al “Leisure Suit Larry” Lowe with his frown-face on. I’ve always had a soft spot for Police Quest 3: The Kindred – it was a game I played when I was 13, and thus was easily drawn in to the creepy goings on. Except for not being able to draw that bloody pentagram on the map. Argh! Prop your foot up on the front bumper of your car, grow your moustache, and pick up all four games for ten Earth Dollars. Oh, and you can read my retrospective of Police Quest 3 here.

When an “anthology” fits into a 9MB download, you know you’re dealing with text adventures. Six Zork games for six dollars. That’s… (carry the seven… divide by nine…) cheap! Now, I must be honest and say that despite growing up with a dad who play-tested text adventures, I never played the Zork games as a kid. But now I can! It’s the magical world of the internet.

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40 Comments »

  1. Risingson says:

    Jim/James Walls is, for me, the most talented writed of all the Sierra team. And that is the main charm of PQ1-3: great writing, vigilante style.

  2. limbclock says:

    I called Zork, along with some other people too.

  3. stele says:

    I’m guessing ZORK won’t do to well with today’s Riddlin-infused youth.

    • Mike says:

      That’s the spirit. You just keep pushing those stereotypes.

    • malkav11 says:

      He might be right, actually, if not for the reasons he lists. The classic Zork trilogy has some iconic elements, but fundamentally they’re kind of haphazard collections of random stuff with little sensible story (that comes later in the franchise) and the puzzles are largely just there to be solved. I think there’s a place for text adventures/IF in the modern consciousness, but I’m not sure Zork holds up without a heaping dose of nostalgia. Planetfall, on the other hand, also included in this collection despite not being a Zork game at all – that’s got the puzzles and personality and something resembling a coherent narrative and setting.

      (Of course the real Infocom classics are things like Trinity and A Mind Forever Voyaging, but GoG doesn’t have those yet.)

    • Handsome Dead says:

      I think old people are angry because ritalin (yes, ritalin, you mouthbreathing tittybiscuit) infused youths get to grow up playing games that aren’t terrible.

    • stele says:

      They’re stereotypes because they are true. Young people these days are too busy grinding away in WoW, or killing their friends in CoD, or (shudder) wasting hours of Facebook. A game like Zork (or any of the text adventures) that demands you slow down and use your brain, just won’t appeal to today’s generation. Hell, most of them can’t even spell. I can tell you right now they won’t get far with “0pen teh m4ilb0x”.

      Those of us that started computer gaming with text adventures already have these games. In fact I just re-played the Zork series last summer.

    • alantwelve says:

      I’m liking the irony of you mis-spelling ‘Ritalin’.

    • drewski says:

      I’m not a Ritalin-infused youth (or any other kind of youth, for that matter) and I’d rather stab myself with a spoon for eternity than play a Zork game.

      Sometimes those damn kids are right, although not right to be on my lawn. Never that.

    • Fumarole says:

      Do these so-called riddling kids visit GOG anyway?

    • Eagle0600 says:

      Just popping in to say I hope I don’t get that stupid when I’m older. “Obviously, because some kids use Facebook and play WoW, they can’t think!”

      Honestly, I’ve don’t use Facebook or play WoW, but I know people who do and it doesn’t stop them from sitting down and getting darn-well analytical. Taking their time and thinking about things. Kind of how I am now, and how you are obviously not. I hope to god that you’re a troll, because every time I see someone succumbing so completely to stereotype instead of thinking for themselves I loose a little bit of my faith in humanity.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      coca cola doesnt taste the same as it used to
      remember when a bowl of soup was a nickel

  4. Unaco says:

    Oh my… I never thought I would be happy to be eaten by a grue again.

  5. DeanLearner says:

    examine biker
    use nightstick
    use nightstick
    use nightstick
    use nightstick

  6. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    Planetfall is included in the Zork anthology—but disappointingly, GOG’s download doesn’t include any of the feelies that came with the game originally.

  7. Jhoosier says:

    “despite growing up with a dad who play-tested text adventures,”

    I either did not know that or did not know that I knew that. How did this not come up in the “Gaming Made Me” series?

  8. rocketman71 says:

    Great news.

    And remember to always write down the time when ticketing a driver!

  9. Diziet Sma says:

    Excellent, I never managed to play the Police Quest series the first time around, although I do remember watching my friend play it on his expensive PC; think it was the IV one.

  10. Wulf says:

    I said it would be both, I called it! >_>

    And if they happen to add SWAT IV any time soon, well… I’m going to be terribly smug over that.

  11. Giant, fussy whingebag says:

    It was pretty obviously going to include Police Quest – some of the text in that ASCII image had the name Sonny Bonds. Hilariously, it is one of the failure messages: “No one will ever know why, upon arriving for work one day, Detective Sonny Bonds decided to talk a walk down the centre line of Lytton’s busiest street.”

    Also, other bits say, “You are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike…” and, “It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.” which does scream Zork, somewhat.

    Anyway, yay! I have them all on floppies somewhere, but that’s a real hassle to retrieve. I wish I could though, since most of the old Sierra games are now playable via ScummVM, rather than having to deal with the lovely, but tricky, DosBox…

  12. Alaric says:

    Tell me about Zork. I am very, very curious.

    I’ve heard of it of course, but only so far as the pop culture references go. Eaten by a grue and all that.

  13. Jimbo says:

    Police Quest 1 & 2 are fantastic. 3 is pretty good. 4 is weird. SWAT 1 is ace until the missions start repeating.

    I hope they include the glorious original version of PQ1 and not just the bullshit graphics whore VGA version.

  14. tossrStu says:

    Going by the screenshots, it looks like the Zork Anthology uses the original DOS interpreters for the games. Anyone buying it will probably want to take the game files (which will probably have a .dat extension) and use them with a modern Windows-based interpreter, such as Windows Frotz. To play Zork Zero in Windows Frotz, download this packaged graphics file and make sure it’s in the same folder as the Zork Zero gamefile with the same basic filename (eg. if the gamefile is zork0.dat, save the graphics file as zork0.blb).

    Also, you might want to download this patch file and apply it to Zork I using this program; this patches it to the “Solid Gold” re-release version of the game, which includes hints and an improved parser.

  15. Mut says:

    No Nemesis or Grand Inquisitor in the pack? That’s a shame.

  16. DOLBYdigital says:

    I thought I played Police Quest when I was a kid on my Dad’s Macintosh along with Dark Castle and Leisure Suit Larry. However I never was able to make it very far, I remember running into some guy with a gun in the bathroom or something and he would always get me. Another fond memory is that I would always forget to type ‘take condom off’ or ‘put clothes back on’ after having my way with the prostitute in Leisure Suit Larry. So the cops would always chase me down the street and end my game. I also remember memorizing the answers to the questions they asked to prove I was old enough to play….. ahhh the good ole days :)

  17. adonf says:

    The announcement e-mail says: “New Activision titles”. At first I thought that they’d added Pitfall then I remembered that Sierra-On-Line is called Activision nowadays. We’re living in troubled times indeed…

    Also, moustache is the new moustache.

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