The Prisoner

Moby ID: 9720

Description official descriptions

Text-based adventure game inspired by the cult classic British television show about a former spy who is abducted and sent to a resort-themed "prisoner" where his captors attempt to get him to reveal why he resigned from his classified job.

The game takes place on "The Island," where the player travels from building to building, each hosting a metaphorical quest in which the player's creative thinking skills are tested. Players demonstrating individual thinking eventually gain access to the Island's "Caretaker," and their ensuing conversation (using a language parser) can lead to the player's freedom.

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Credits (Apple II version)




Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 5 ratings with 1 reviews)

Brilliant as it can be.

The Good
It is what would be considered an adventure game. I think I spent about 3 months to solve it, playing a couple of hours a day (I don't remember exactly). I got my Apple II+ back in 1981 and Prisoner was among the very first games I played on that computer. I was familiar with the British series Prisoner, which I found fascinating, as well as I found this computer game. It was weird, it was almost "hallucinogenic" in an intellectual way (not REALLY hallucinogenic).

But what finally blew me away was the solution, when I finally won the game. The solution became a psychological message for the rest of my life (and still is). It is now 2011, here I am 30 years later, played great many other games, with magnitudes higher technology, graphics, sound, you name it, included, yet I still never found a game which left such a deep and lifelong impression in my mind.

Too bad that nobody will remake The Prisoner with today's computer technology. It would make perhaps one of the most fascinating game ever.

The Bad
Well.....back then I liked everything. Looking back from three decades distance, obviously by today's standards the graphics, the sound, pretty much everything is (was) primitive, but let's not forget that we are talking about the Apple II computer which had 48 K (not GB, not even MB) RAM memory with a barely more than 1 Mhz CPU. 48 K is one-one millionth of 4.8 Gig. Think about that. The entire game fit on a 135K floppy disk. Again, one could fit that game one million times on a 4.8 Gig memory chip. Yet, it gave me 3 month worth of fascinating game play and an ending which I will never, ever forget. Geez.....I just realized I should be listing what I didn't like about this game. For real, there is nothing I didn't like about this game when I played it.

The Bottom Line
An unparalleled brilliant creation.
Too bad that now, 30 years later, I seriously doubt that there are enough intelligent people who would have the patience to play this game through. Really too bad, because a really brainy person could still enjoy it very much.

Apple II · by Gabor Laufer (4) · 2011


EduWare never actually obtained a license from the television series' producers. The company simply called ITC, asked if they had any issues with a Prisoner-themed restaurant, and when ITC said that would be okay, EduWare decided they didn't need a license to make a Prisoner-inspired game.

The game was remade as "Prisoner 2" in 1981.

The rights to the game was eventually purchased by Sierra On-Line, Inc., but they never produced a sequel or remake because they reportedly couldn't find a designer with the right mindset, and original designer David Mullich wasn't willing to move to Oakhurst, California.


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  • MobyGames ID: 9720
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by David Mullich.

Game added August 2, 2003. Last modified April 6, 2024.