Posts Tagged ‘Secret Agent Cinder’

IF Only: dressed for the party

Plundered Hearts cover slice

Plundered Hearts (Amy Briggs/Infocom, 1987) was Infocom’s one and only romance. It was also very much ahead of its time. Emulating the conventions of romance meant offering richer non-player characters, and spending more interaction time with them. There was a definite plot, not just a sequence of puzzles in an underpopulated landscape. There were set scenes where you could be clever and turn the tables on your enemies. There were multiple possible endings, depending on whether you wanted to give your heart to the sexy pirate after all.

Not only that, but it was easy enough to complete, even before we all knew how to find walkthroughs on the internet. When I got to Plundered Hearts as a teenager, I’d been playing Infocom and Scott Adams games since the age of six, without ever seeing the end of a single one. This was the first text adventure I ever actually finished.

Read the rest of this entry »

Free Loaders: Playing Frankenstein With Dinosaurs

Let's be honest, we all knew it would come to this.

You awake in a pool of ooze. What colour is it? You don’t know, because it is completely dark. But it definitely feels like ooze. You stand up and claw for the lights, at the spaces on the walls where you think lights ought to be. You can hear a faint sound. Something warm brushes against your leg. Then again. Finally, you find the switch.

Oh God. They’re games. Free games. Oozing all over the floor. More than a dozen of them, stretching and panting and climbing on top of one another, like crabs. The sight of them is making you gag, and yet you cannot turn away. Look at them, they are so pure. So… free.

Read the rest of this entry »