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Owing more than a little to Robert Arnstein's TRS-80 escape-from-the-asylum text adventure classic Bedlam, this whimsical romp casts the player as an inmate with second ideas about remaining inside the institution walls. It's not such a strange place, halls and stairways, but to make up for it the nuthouse is packed with a host of peculiar one-personality-trait characters (some of them the staff!), each of whom neatly play one-off roles in simple, if occasionally arbitrary puzzles.

While there are no gerbils to be found on the grounds (their riot is firmly in the background; your part in it is why you were incarcerated), you will conduct a meaningful exchange with a squirrel demanding an object-combination puzzle the likes of which wouldn't become standard until the days of the graphical adventure game.


Gerbil Riot of '67 ZX Spectrum Starting location
Gerbil Riot of '67 ZX Spectrum Title screen, introduction
Gerbil Riot of '67 ZX Spectrum Some suggested commands (note non-standard LoIn, LoUn, LoBe near bottom)

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Alternate Titles

  • "The Gerbil Riot of '67" -- Z-Code title

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Critic Reviews

Your Sinclair Feb, 1993 8 out of 10 80


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Way back in 1983, writer Paul Harrison challenged the readers of Dragon User magazine to write more interesting text adventure games with more interesting names. The Gerbil Riot of '67 was among these, and some five years later, long after any sane person would have forgotten such a morsel of trivia, Simon Avery took him up on it.

In the documentation to the TADS release, Simon reports: "I have never met Paul Harrison, but I would like to, if only to ask him about the title. He must be a very unique individual."

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Pseudo_Intellectual (60344) added Gerbil Riot of '67 (ZX Spectrum) on Aug 15, 2006
Other platforms contributed by FatherJack (62757) and Pseudo_Intellectual (60344)