[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Scott Adams’ Adventure International

March 7th, 2011 by Benj Edwards

Scott Adams Adventure International Interactive Fiction Adventure Games Ad - 1981Have you played all 45 games seen here?

Scott Adams adventure games are nigh-but-legendary in the history of computer gaming. Mr. Adams’ company, Adventure International, published dozens of interactive fiction titles (some with graphics) between 1978 and 1985. They were available on just about every computer platform of the 1980s, so it’s likely you’ve encountered at least one of them if you owned a computer at that time.

Early Adventure International games sported a relatively simple input parser (usually two words, a verb and a keyword) compared to Infocom fare, but that didn’t stop Adams’ captivating games from spreading far and wide — both legally and via piracy — across the personal computing universe.

Regarding the two men pictured in the ad above: I’m guessing they’re Scott and Alexis Adams, the two men behind Adventure International. Turns out Alexis is a woman (see comments), so it’s unlikely one of them is her unless she was fond of wearing drag.

…Oh, and I know Jason Scott will say something if I don’t mention Get Lamp, his new documentary on text adventure games. I haven’t seen it yet, but I hear it’s great.

[ From Personal Computing, March 1981, p.5 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: What’s your favorite interactive fiction (aka “text adventure”) game of all time?

14 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Scott Adams’ Adventure International”

  1. Donn Says:

    It’s terribly obvious, but it would have to be The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Infocom), being written by my favorite author and all.

    Honorable mention to a game for which I don’t remember the title. You started in a dungeon cell, break out, slay a green slime with a fire sword, slay a red dragon with a scroll… and I don’t think I ever got much further than that. Maybe the peanut gallery will remember!

  2. Jason Scott Says:

    Well, Jason will certainly mention that Alexis Adams was Scott’s wife at the time, and therefore not the other person in the ad. So fix that, buddy.

  3. Benj Edwards Says:

    I knew you’d find something I’d missed. Fixed.

  4. MadPlanet Says:

    Never seen that ad before – thanks for sharing it. I still have several of my VIC-20 cartridges of Scott Adams adventure games like the Count, Adventureland and Voodoo Island.

    I saw an article in Power Play with Scott Adams in it and I’m pretty sure that’s him on the right.

    I too loved Hitchhikers (and several other Infocom titles), but I would probably have to give Zork II my prize for favorite IF game. I remember thinking they had really kicked it up a notch from Zork I and then later I was horribly disappointed with Zork III.

  5. lilimist Says:

    Trinity, Anchorhead, The Hobbit, and Hitch-hikers, probably in that order. Though as a kid I was really proud of myself for beating the Winnie-the-Pooh adventure game; it was the first one I ever managed to finish! 😛

  6. Tork_110 Says:

    The first or second text game I played was Infocom’s Suspect, and it remained a favorite of mine because so much was happening in it. In the main part of the mansion there were guests all over the dance floor moving about. I remember finding the body for the first time. You could follow the husband when he goes to check on his wife at a fixed time, or you could go yourself, but you would always trip over the butler which prevented you from spoiling the mystery. It was set in the state where I live, too.

    I included a link to a video I made where I purposely screwed up in the game.

  7. Scott Adams Says:

    The other fellow in the ad is Tony Brentlinger. He was a close friend at the time but I do not know whatever happened to him. His wife’s name was Colette (spelling?) and they met at AI. If anyone knows what became of Tony or his wife, please email me!

    Happy Adventuring!

    Say Yoho and everything spins around and suddenly I am elsewhere…

  8. Benj Edwards Says:

    Great to hear from you, Scott. Thanks for clearing that up.

  9. Scott Adams Says:

    My pleasure Benj! Thanks for the blast from the past!

    I wonder if you would be willing to scan that page in at a higher resolution and email it to me? I don’t think I have any copies of that ad anymore!



  10. Benj Edwards Says:

    Sure, I’d be happy to, Scott. Expect an email soon.

  11. BDD Says:

    Hello Scott! Great to see you here!

    My favorite text adventure would have to be Zork, but I have an original working Mac System 1 version of Star System Software’s “The Classic 12 Scott Adams’ Adventures”, that I got when I bought a “Fat” Mac 512ke last year. Before I run it again, I need to archive it somehow. Maybe I can use my Pismo Powerbook and USB floppy drive…

  12. BDD Says:

    Here are a couple of shots of the disk referenced above on my Fat Mac:


  13. Paul Says:

    I had Journey which I only started and liked, but I was too busy wargaming to get too far into it.

  14. Scott Adams Says:

    I have a new adventure game coming out Feb 14, 2013


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