Microsoft Adventure

aka: Heath H-8 Adventure
Moby ID: 4074

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Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 80% (based on 1 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 3.0 out of 5 (based on 24 ratings with 2 reviews)

A solid conversion

The Good
Microsoft Adventure implements the most popular version of the Colossal Cave Adventure: the one from 1977 with Woods' expansions to Crowther's original material. The programmer, Gordon Letwin, clearly tried to recreate the original as closely as possible, right down to the crude parser.

The only distinctive feature is the possibility to save the state to one of two slots on the diskette at any time during the game. It adds quite some comfort to the game play, especially if you're used to playing games that are a bit newer than this one.

If you're looking to experience the original game, Microsoft Adventure is a good choice. It doesn't leave anything out, and content-wise it doesn't add anything of its own.

The Bad
This might not be the right thing for you if you're not up for the real oldschool. In case you want to have a look at the original Adventure, but would like to have an improved interface and better mechanics than the original mainframe versions, there are a number of colourful clicky-button remakes with graphics and whatnot out there. But then I don't really see why you should be playing Adventure at all. Today, the game is mostly interesting for historical reasons because of all the concepts it introduced, and for that matter, an authentic implementation like Microsoft Adventure is better suited.

The Bottom Line
A good opportunity for home-computer players to experience the original mainframe Colossal Cave, much like it would have been to play the original one. An interesting history lesson, but probably too simple if you're not specifically interested in the topic.

PC Booter · by Daniel Saner (3503) · 2008

First PC text adventure

The Good
It was the first, writing is solid one.

The Bad
I'm trying to experience old games as they were, taking into account technical limitations of that era. Despite being made in 1981, Microsoft Adventure is not the best, what was possible in those times, from technical perspective. The game is using 40x25 text mode even if 80x25 was available on PC. IMO, it was not good decision as there's not lot of text on screen with minimum text decorations, thus reading it is a bit strain on the eyes. From that point of view, text adventure games which just came 1 year later on identical hardware (Zork, Infocom adventures) are much better in that regard.

Edit: so I found that it's possible to have 80x25 text mode in this game. I found that DOSBox-X can emulate MDA (IBM's Monochrome Display Adapter). If you boot the game with MDA emulation, voila, 80x25 is there, which is way better. 40x25 text mode is used with more common CGA, which is strange, as indeed CGA has 80x25 text mode as well (in the end even early PC-DOS 1.00 booted into that text CGA mode).

The Bottom Line
Important from historical perspective. One of the first games on IBM PC and very first text adventure on PC, when almost nothing else was available yet. But soon, it was superseded by much better entries.

PC Booter · by Vladimir Dienes · 2023

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by WONDERなパン, vileyn0id_8088.