aka: Suspended: A Cryogenic Nightmare, Suspended: INTERLOGIC Science Fiction, Suspension
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Description official descriptions

On a space settlement named Contra, a human being serves as a regulator for the planet's vital systems: he controls transportation, weather, and manages resources all while being in a deep sleep, through the neural power of his brain. Such a regulator is called Central Mentality. However, after five hundred years of stasis, the current Central Mentality suddenly awakens, greatly troubled by reports of computer malfunctioning and resulting problems in weather condition, food production, and transport. He must now act, and act quickly: the crew members assumed that he has gone insane, and are coming to disconnect his mind. But what can he do if his state of suspended animation prevents him from moving?

Suspended is a text adventure game with a twist: instead of navigating the protagonist, the player indirectly controls six robots that do his bidding, exploring the environment and interacting with it. Each robot has different functions and has its own way of seeing reality and reacting to events around it. Iris is the only robot that can see and therefore visually describe locations and objects; Whiz can provide technical information obtained from computers; the sonar-powered Waldo is good at holding items; Auda is an expert in sounds; the cryptically speaking Poet senses the flow of electric currents; finally, Sensa can detect magnetic and photon emissions. The player advances in the game by using the different abilities of the robots and solving puzzles.

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Credits (PC Booter version)



Average score: 86% (based on 7 ratings)


Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 55 ratings with 4 reviews)

Innovative and fun.

The Good
Having been the "lucky" winner of the Central Mentality Lottery you are to be buried miles beneath the planet and placed in limited cryogenic suspension. You are to sleep for 500 years acting as a failsafe for the computers that control the weather, food production, and traffic. In the VERY unlikely event a disaster occurs that the computer can't handle you will be awoken to fix any problems. Of course a disaster occurs the moment you start the game and you are brought back to consciousness and put in charge of six robots that can perform tasks, investigate the world, and repair damages. Due to limits in technology (and perhaps budget restrictions) each robot is restricted in the way that they perceive and interact with the world.

"A robot who hears but cannot see"

Part board game and part interactive fiction, "Suspended" is Infocom's first high concept game ("A Mind Forever Voyaging" being their other). Instead of controlling yourself you are rendered immobile and your senses (sight, hearing, touch, etc) are spread out and placed into separate robots. Problems usually require you to use the right robot for the job or two separate robots together to get a complex task finished. A map and player pieces were included that let you track where each robot is helping you plan your moves

"A robot who sees but cannot wander"

One of the most interesting things about this game is how it was shaped by the limits of computer technology at the time. It would be almost impossible to create this game today using state of the art graphics and sound. Most of the robots couldn't really see and only one was capable of hearing sound. Their world is rendered using prose and your imagination. Can you imagine taking this game to producers today and trying to get it made? Only interactive fiction could possibly create this world which is a shame because, besides a few dedicated individuals, it is all but dead.

"A robot who feels but cannot hear"

The parser is very good and not too restrictive. It isn't as good as Infocom's later games but it works well enough that you won't have to fight the interface when solving problems. The replay value is high because once you solve the game you can replay it again and again trying to reduce the number of casualties on the surface and increase your score. You can also specify the level of difficulty by setting certain parameters (such as how many turns pass before the first and second earthquake, how long before the humans on the surface wait to come and disconnect you, etc). This allows you to make the game as hard or easy as you wish and experiment with different solutions.

The Bad
Because you know nothing of the complex (and working with a time limit) you will spend your first games just getting to know what you can and can't do and where everything is located. I don't think the game is winnable the first dozen times you play because once a 100 or so turns pass you will be removed from the game by angry humans from the surface. The only way to win is to know ahead of time the solution to certain problems (how to fix Iris, where to move the robots at the beginning of the game, etc). This isn't terrible but it does break the illusion the game creates by forcing you to rely on "past-life" knowledge.

The Bottom Line
One of the most innovative games ever created with only a few weak spots. Any fan of interactive fiction should play this immediately.

DOS · by saladpuncher (22) · 2003

One of Infocom's finest innovations

The Good
In every Infocom game I can think of, except this one, you play the role of one person, interacting with the world. In Suspended, however, your character is frozen in a cryogenic tube, in a state of suspension. Your hands and eyes in the game world are six robots - each with their own specialized sense (sight, hearing, touch, etc).

This was a very unique concept, for the text adventure genre - every room, and every item has six possible descriptions, depending on which robot you are currently controling. The game could not be completed, unless teamwork between all six robots was used. Luckily, the game comes with a map of the underground complex, and a marker for each robot, enabling you to keep track of their locations.

Your "score" is based on the number of casualties on the planet; your "score" increases with the more time you take to repair surface systems. Time is short, however - most of the repairs you need to perform are "band-aid" fixes, and you must focus on the task at hand of repairing the FCs.

The Bad
Turn limits were imposed; this significantly cut down on the ability to explore the complex with each robot. However, to make up for this, the game had configureable difficulty levels. Using a "custom" difficulty level, you can set the number of turns you have. Setting it to a high enough number allows enough time to explore the entire complex.

The Bottom Line
While a departure from the "standard Infocom way" of gameplay, Suspended is still quite enjoyable, and has a fairly good replay value (in that different robots can accomplish the same task, just in a slightly different manner).

DOS · by Dave Schenet (134) · 2001

One of the Most Original Ideas for a Game Ever

The Good
As the 'main' character, you couldn't move, and were trapped in an extremely dark suspended animation cylinder. If that was it, then this would have been an extremely lame game. However, that wasn't it, beacause of the--The Robots. Roaming the compex, monitoring various things, were six robots. They were so diverse, many of them majoring in one particular sense while weak in the other senses, each of them with there unique personalities (especially Poet). I enjoyed the plot. The Plot involved subconsciously monitoring a nation's control station wich had the ability to create nearly-instant havoc or sustain the current tranquility. It was like playing God, but without the freedom, because if you became to lax in your duties some angry folks would come and... well, "take care" of you. Suspended had the ability to put you in the game, with vibrant imagery. I could imagine myself as the robots, with their different sensors, detecting movement and analyzing objects. Also, I think this is one of the first (if not THE first) IF/Adventure game which allowed you to assume the identity of another entity.

The Bad
It was hard. Really hard. The manual was kinda lax on it's duties but there were no angry folks to "take care" of it.

The Bottom Line
It's definitely worth a play-through, and if Infocom/Actionvision were going to remake this game, I'd be one of the people in line at the checkout line. I remember just when I'd really got into cracking the game there was this huge blizard that struck the north-east and our power went down for two v-e-r-y l-o-n-g weeks (almost two weeks, but it seemed like three months). While I sat without electricity I carefuly read the sections of the manual that described the robots, and produced a sketch of each of them.

(DISCLAIMER: These sketches were born intermittently in between other activities -- I'm not a total nerd. Isn't it funny what the lack of electricity can do to you?)

DOS · by rs2000 (13) · 2001

[ View all 4 player reviews ]



Suspended has a number of preset difficulty levels, increasing (or decreasing) the difficulty of the game as a whole. There was also a "custom" difficulty setting, which allowed you to manually set various parameters in the game. (At which turn do the earthquakes happen? At which turn does the coolant system fail? At which turn does the human troubleshooter-team arrive? What is the initial positions of the six robots? And so on.)

But, humorously, there was also a pre-set "Impossible" difficulty setting, and it lived up to its word - if you chose this setting, the sun explodes within the first few turns, dooming the entire planet. Infocom (jokingly) offered a reward to anyone who could complete the game on the Impossible setting. Needless to say, nobody ever won that contest.


The game originally shipped with a plastic mapboard of the facility and 5 vinal counters for the robots. This was to help you visualize where everybody was during the game.


(From The New Zork Times Vol.3 No.2 Spring 1984)

Some statistics about Suspended: Apparent number of rooms (those seen by the player): 61 * Number of rooms: 63 (for various arcane programming reasons, some locations are inaccessible to the player) * Number of different ways to die: 6 (this refers to you, the person in the cylinder, not the individual robots) * Number of words in vocabulary: 676 Number of takeable objects: 32**


  • Computer Gaming World
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #58 in the “150 Best Games of All Time” list
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #4 Hardest Computer Game

Information also contributed by Belboz, Dave Schenet and PCGamer77

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Related Sites +

  • Infocom homepage
    At this site you can find information on ALL of Infocom's interactive games, Infocom related articles, sample transcripts, InvisiClue hints, walkthroughs, maps and information on buying Infocom games today.
  • The Commodore Zone
    All about the game, with introduction, images, related links and comments area.
  • The Infocom Gallery
    High-quality scans of the grey box package and manual of Suspended.

Identifiers +


Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history!

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Brian Hirt.

TI-99/4A added by Rola. Apple II added by Droog. CP/M, Amstrad CPC added by Kabushi. TRS-80, Atari 8-bit added by Martin Smith. Macintosh, Commodore 16, Plus/4, Amiga added by Terok Nor. Tatung Einstein, Amstrad PCW added by Игги Друге. Commodore 64, Atari ST added by Belboz.

Additional contributors: Dietmar Uschkoreit, Tony Van, Belboz, Martin Smith, Pseudo_Intellectual, mo , formercontrib, c64fan, Patrick Bregger.

Game added March 1st, 1999. Last modified August 13th, 2023.