Swiss Family Robinson is a computer game based on the 1812 novel by Johann David Wyss. Players take the role of Fritz, the eldest brother of a Swiss family that has been shipwrecked in the oceans of the East Indies en route to Port Jackson, Australia.
As the game begins, it is your goal to find a way off of the ship, onto the deserted island, and build a shelter to survive. Numerous challenges await Fritz as he has to defend against tropical storms, hostile animals, and the mischievous antics of his youngest brother Francis, which can sometimes hinder the player's progress.
Swiss Family Robinson is a classic-style text adventure game, using basic word commands and phrases to talk to your family, take action, or accomplish goals. As with most games of the the time, you have to explore the details of the scenery in order to find clues and items that will aid your survival.
There are some "help" features in the game to give a player additional info. such as a "Help" key, a mapping/navigation system, and an actual "Guide to Nature" book that contains detailed information on island flora and fauna, as well as basic survival skills.