Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon (DOS)

78
Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.0
User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Stephen Atkinz (7)
Written on  :  Nov 01, 2001
Platform  :  DOS
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Summary

Representative of a lost era-one of the best

The Good

This game was the first computer game I ever played. It came out in 1988, but I didn't play it until about 1990, when I was 9. Its mix of space adventure and incredibly funny humor immediately appealed to me, and for years the Space Quest series was my favorite series of computer games. In this game you pick up the story of Roger Wilco where he left off at the end of the second game, drifting through space in an escape pod. Roger gets the first ship that is completely his in this game, which gives him the ability to planet-hop at will, and you get to zip from place to place at will for most of the game (a neat kind of perk for a kid whose bedtime was still 9 PM). It has a rich plot compared to the first two games, as well as improved graphics. When I finally finished it, I just sat in front of the screen with a feeling of accomplishment, and immediately felt like playing the next one. A true pinnacle of early adventure gaming.

The Bad

Not many bad things, in my opinion. It was a challenging game, which would have been good, but my version of the game had a little glitch that didn't let me save the game. Whenever I died, I had to start at the beginning again. This allowed me to get REALLY good at navigating around the trash freighter at the beginning of the game, and increased the feeling of joy when I finally finished it. The arcade-like sequence at the end when you have to destroy Elmo's Scumsoft fighters to get away was kind of repetitive, and seemed really hard to me. Could have done without it, but what are you gonna do? The Astrochicken game at Monolith Burger was also kind of monotonous, but was too hilarious to complain much about.

The Bottom Line

If you don't mind the not-that-great graphics (by today's standards), and have an interest in classic text-parser adventure gaming, go to E-bay and pick a copy of this up for a couple bucks. You have to start it from a DOS prompt, but it still works on today's computers. In my opinion, this kind of adventure gaming went out with the text window. I can't describe it (I don't know if anybody can), but there's a certain something about these kinds of games that I absolutely love. Sierra's different "Quest" games (Space, King's, Police) were about all the games I played for a few years, and they kind of drifted away once spoken voiceovers on CD came in. So while you're enjoying today's adventure games, look back at these incredibly fun pioneers of the genre.