Nakayama Miho no Tokimeki High School [1987]

Nakayama Miho no Tokimeki High School [1987] is not one for the ages. It was made in either 3 months or start from finish in 2 weeks flat, depending on which interview you believe, immediately after Hironobu Sakaguchi finished work on Final Fantasy [1987], and right before Yoshio Sakamoto, creator of Metroid [1986], moved on … Continue reading Nakayama Miho no Tokimeki High School [1987]

Alter Ego [1986]

By 1986, Activision had evolved from making sure Atari console game designers got paid and credited (as we saw with Pitfall [1982]) into probably the leading commercial purveyor of Art Games for computers. It made a lot of sense at the time for them to acquire fellow traveler Infocom, although by the beginning of 1987 … Continue reading Alter Ego [1986]

A Mind Forever Voyaging [1985]

(Content warnings: My suicide attempts. Racism against black and Asian people. Animal cruelty. Police brutality. Fascism.) Continued. Around these parts it feels like the world never even started. That's by design. Trust me, I've helped build these rows of tract housing at a remove from the cities. Not even suburbia, which is immediately adjoining a … Continue reading A Mind Forever Voyaging [1985]

Portopia Serial Murder Case [1983]

(Content warning: Police abuse, suicide. Spoilers for Portopia.) While both Colossal Cave Adventure [1975/77] and The Portopia Serial Murder Case [1983] are nostalgic reveries of a real location from the author's life crammed into the computer, Portopia must abridge its Kobe City. It's not as geographically exacting, instead compressing locations into composite sketches and eliding … Continue reading Portopia Serial Murder Case [1983]

Zork [1980]

As far as Popular Game History is concerned, Zork [1980] is the first and last text adventure game ("interactive fiction" sadly never fully filtering out to mass consciousness,) a cute stage-setting for the graphical adventure genre that completely superseded it on technical grounds. This is a perception deeply beholden to a progress narrative and commercial … Continue reading Zork [1980]