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Description

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.

Screenshots

The Unorthodox Engineers: The Pen and the Dark ZX Spectrum The start of the game
The Unorthodox Engineers: The Pen and the Dark Commodore 64 Exiting the ship at the Ithica Spaceport.
The Unorthodox Engineers: The Pen and the Dark Commodore 64 You start on the flight deck of a space scudder.
The Unorthodox Engineers: The Pen and the Dark Commodore 64 You are cleared to disembark.

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Critic Reviews

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

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Trivia

Cancelled Dragon port

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

Sales

The game sold about 20.000 copies.

Commodore 64 version

The Commodore 64 version of the game was developed by Keith Campbell almost exclusively in Commodore BASIC.
Contributed to by partykiller (178)