Adventure

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North American box art.

Adventure is an adventure game developed by Warren Robinett for the Atari 2600 and released in 1980. Robinett wanted to create a game similar to Colossal Cave Adventure found on DEC and PLATO systems, but, since the Atari didn't have the memory to handle enough text, he had to make it a more abstract graphical game, which pioneered the graphical action adventure genre.

This is one of the first video games I ever played (around 1985-86), and part of not knowing what was possible in the game created a sense of awe, which, when combined with the quirkiness of the box art and game's manual, made it an instant favorite. Being able to find new rooms by using the bridge near walls made me think the game was much bigger than it really was. Now that I know more about how the game functions, I'm less enamored with it.

Status

I have beaten all three levels, but I have yet to successfully recover the microdot. I can get it, but I keep bumping into the bridge and dropping it on the way out.

Review

  • Overall: 4/10
  • Best Version: Atari 2600

Good

  • At the time, this was the only adventure game for the console market, so it was quite the pioneer.
  • I like how the game world uses a non-Euclidean map system where you don't simply move from room-to-room, but rather warp around. This keeps the map unpredictable.
  • The pack bat is a clever and creative nemesis.
  • The use of the bridge and magnet is especially creative.
  • I like the fact that when the dragons eat you, you can be seen inside their bellies.
  • The game's Easter egg is a nice touch.
  • The game's box art is great.

Bad

  • The pack bat, while clever, is really obnoxious to the point of throwing a joystick!
  • The dragons look like ducks. While this is funny, it takes away from the thrill of the game.
  • Level 3, rather than being harder than level 2, is just the same map with the starting position of the items randomized. Kind of a let-down.
  • The magnet and bridge, though creative, are entirely unnecessary to beat the game.

Ugly

  • The game is unfortunately very short. Even without any prior knowledge, you can memorize the entire map, and beat all three difficulty levels in less than an hour. I understand that this is a constraint of the system, but it really hurts the game.

Gallery

Links