Weekend Promo: Up to 75% off Rollercoaster Tycoon, Leisure Suit Larry and more at GOG!

Not an American user?


This text only adventure is based on one of the chapters of the Science Fiction short story series "The Unorthodox Engineers" by Colin Kapp. You take on the role of the protagonist Lieutenant Fritz van Noon and his band of "Unorthodox Engineers" as Dr. Maxwell Courtney asks you to try and discover the purpose of the indestructible pillar of darkness and its mysterious penumbral shadow, (hence the name "The Pen") which was (obviously?) left by an alien race on this otherwise normal planet. And you also have to solve the riddle of contra-energy. The objective of the story is outlined to the player during the opening stages of the adventure. The book with the short story that comes along with the game helps the player to better understand the story and contains some vital clues to solve some of the adventure's puzzles.


There are no BBC Micro screenshots for this game.

There are 13 other screenshots on file for other versions of this game.

Part of the Following Group

User Reviews

There are no reviews for this game.

Critic Reviews

Computer and Video Games (CVG) Jan, 1984 12 out of 15 80
Personal Computer Games Apr, 1984 7 out of 10 70


There are currently no topics for this game.


Cancelled Dragon port

A port to Dragon computers was produced by Neil Campbell (Keith Campbell's son), but never released.


The game sold about 20.000 copies.
partykiller (178) added The Unorthodox Engineers: The Pen and the Dark (BBC Micro) on Jun 25, 2010
Other platforms contributed by partykiller (178)