Castlevania [1986] + Dark Castle [1986]

Just from reputation, I expected to have to turn around and eat my words from the Super Mario Bros [1985] post, the ones about how it inaugurated a new kind of thoroughgoing consideration towards player onboarding which quickly became gold standard. But instead, I saw it more or less confirmed. The gameplay begins with a … Continue reading Castlevania [1986] + Dark Castle [1986]

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fully filtering out to mass consciousness,) a cute stage-setting for the graphical adventure genre that completely superseded it on technical grounds.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]