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