[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Gwendolyn

October 17th, 2011 by Benj Edwards

Artworx Gwendolyn Atari 800, Apple II Ad - 1983It’s a trap!

[ From Compute!, September 1983 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: What’s your favorite static-screen graphical text adventure game?

17 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Gwendolyn”

  1. CJ Lowery Says:

    Curiously, the two games that show up on Artworx Software Co.’s mobygames page for 1983 are Alley-Oops (which sounds like a cross between bowling and Galaga) and Strip Poker: A Sizzling Game of Chance (which is self-explanatory)

    Also, I’ve never really played it, but I have heard good things about the Infocom’s version of Shogun, and the bit I played easily had some of the most gorgeous EGA art I have ever seen.

  2. Benj Edwards Says:

    Artworx’s Strip Poker is a classic. It was very popular back in the day because — aside from the obvious T&A element — it implemented a computer poker game very well. Believe it or not, I remember its impressive card-handling sound effects (on the Atari 800) more than anything else.

  3. Josh V. Says:

    Gamefaqs.com has a list of games published by Artworx that also does not include this game. However, they do show a number of versions of Strip Poker.

  4. CJ Lowery Says:

    That is actually pretty impressive, come to think of it. Had home computers reached a point where they could play Chess or other complex games by 1983? I know Chessmaster was still a few years away.

  5. Benj Edwards Says:

    CJ — Most definitely. Computers have been playing chess since the 1950s, and microcomputers / personal computers played it as well since their creation in the 1970s. A popular chess game franchise for home computers was Sargon, first released in 1978.

    Computer games by 1983 were very sophisticated. Look up M.U.L.E., Archon, and Seven Cities of Gold for some pinnacles of that period.

  6. Matt Says:

    I’ve mentioned this game in previous posts, but Magnetic Scrolls’ Wonderland was a great game. Their Windows-like GUI made it so you could simultaneously have up the map, inventory, main image, etc. in addition to the main session window. The puzzles were challenging and the images (some animated) were well drawn. I found a site a few years back that provides the Amiga version, so I replayed the game from start to finish on WinUAE and it held up well.

    Honorable mention goes to William Denman’s Asylum. I bought this game for my Atari 1200XL, and enjoyed the goofy graphics and somewhat perplexing story lines. But it wasn’t until almost 30 years later, when I stumbled across a walk-through with hand-drawn maps of its mazes, that I was finally able to get out 🙂

  7. wes Says:

    The Transylvania series was probably my favorite for the Apple II series, Transylvania III was for the IIgs which had awesome graphics. Shadowgate and the Deja Vu games were amazing as well.

  8. SirPaul Says:

    I am personally partial to the Gateway series of games by Legend Entertainment. I’ve been a fan of Frederick Pohl’s series of books by the same name, and, even though both games take considerable liberties to the storyline, they are still fun.

  9. arlandi Says:

    honestly, i don’t play text adventure that much back then. the only games i remember are those by Magnetic Scrolls.
    what about those text games you play on BBS? anyone remember their names?

    btw, i would endure anything for Gwendolyn.

  10. Xyzzy Says:

    Well, if we’re including games that are a combo of graphics & text, then my favorite’s the illustrated versions of Jinxter by Magnetic Scrolls. (I started replaying it a few days ago, and I’m having a ball.) If those aren’t included, then my favorite’s Shadowgate, which managed to make even getting killed fun.

  11. Xyzzy Says:

    Also: when I saw the posted ad’s title and first few words about a revenge kidnapping, I thought (with considerable interest) that the game might be about Gwendolyn fighting/scheming her way free and having some kind of otherwise-standard adventure… It was a disappointment to realize that it’s just the standard “save the helpless princess” junk, though I should’ve guessed from how the illustration makes it look like she’s trying to tempt the player into her bed despite being behind bars. :-p

  12. lilimist Says:

    Probably Melbourne House’s The Hobbit, since it came out when I was 9-ish and I’d just read the book so the timing was perfect. The soundtrack used to get stuck in my head after an afternoon’s play, I loved the way the graphics matched up with the styles of those used in the book, and the random-generator was pretty ahead of the times as well (I remember wandering into a forest and getting randomly stung by some bug that killed me dead at one point. Luck of the draw…) Think I spent a fair amount of time playing Asylum as well from memory. Oh, and the Winnie the Pooh one, which was the first one I ever beat. 😉

  13. Braybett Says:

    Xyzzy, you fool, she looks deadly serious and not seductive.

    Don’t badmouth my Gwendolyn, I swore to protect her from men like you and you shall not sway me from my lifelong quest.

  14. Chris Says:

    Easy! Spellcasting 101: Sorcerers Get All The Girls

  15. CJ Lowery Says:

    A bit late responding here, but I had no idea MULE and Seven Cities were that early on!

  16. Daniel Says:

    I’m not sure if the Sierra games count, but I have always loved their AGI games (not so much their SCI games). King’s Quest 1-3 and Space Quest 1-2 are my all-time favorite games, and I still play them today. (I only ever had the SCI version of KQ4.)

  17. Benj Edwards Says:

    The King’s Quest style games aren’t exactly what I was thinking of, but they’re great adventure games nonetheless!

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