ADVENTURE (a.k.a “Colossal Cave”)
Year: 1975 (1976 definitive 350-point version)
Platform: PDP-10 / Mainframe
Programmer: Will Crowther / Don Woods (points/additions)
Genre: Interactive-Fiction (text)
Although the home computer revolution would eventually port this game onto many available micro and personal computers… let me take you back to the time of its inception. In those mystical days before computers could be found in schools & homes, “Adventure” was like buried treasure waiting to be discovered on a mainframe.
So powerful was its allure that many engineers of the era would play late into the night, or even skip classes (NO! It couldn’t be). Legend says that the entire computer industry was delayed by 2 weeks while Adventure’s rich environment and puzzles simultaneously mesmerized the imagination and boggled the ol’ noodle.
Since it was juuust a few years before GameFAQS… Adventure was not easily solved by looking up an answer. Ideas were shared, solutions formulated… and finally the last stinking point had to be discovered by disassembling the code and examining it a little byte at a time (see what I did there?)
This forefather of adventure gaming (a grand typing excursion!) was actually based on a real location — the Bedquilt cave system in Kentucky. Some people have found they can navigate the actual cave system just from their in-game knowledge (but that’s theoretical, as we all know that gamers don’t actually go out into the sunlight…)