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Veteran Member - Level 11
Another Sunday means another episode of 1001 Video Games You
Must Play Before You Die, the (hopefully) weekly series where I play through
all of the games listed in the book - 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You
Die. If I played the game before, then I will share my memory of the
experience. If I haven't played the game before, then I find an online version
or an emulator and I play the game (for at least 30 minutes). This is a book
every gamer should have in their library, and if you're interested in
purchasing it, you can find it here.
Last week showcased M.U.L.E. - another obscure title I hadn't played or even
heard of. I did figure out a way to play it though, but it certainly wasn't all
that memorable of an experience. It was this game revolving around building
your economy and bankrupting your opponents. The good news is I was able to
mark it off my list though. Let's see what this week holds for us.
This week's featured game is...
I've heard of Titanfall, but not Planetfall. Interesting...
Planetfall is a science fiction interactive fiction computer game written
by Steve Meretzky, and the eighth title published by Infocom in 1983. Like most
Infocom games, thanks to the portable Z-machine, it was released for several
platforms simultaneously. The original release included versions for the PC
(both as a booter and for DOS) and Apple II. The Atari ST and Commodore 64
versions were released in 1985. A version for CP/M was also released. Although
Planetfall was Meretzky's first title, it proved one of his most popular works
and a best-seller for Infocom; it was one of five top-selling titles to be re-released
in Solid Gold versions including in-game hints. Planetfall utilizes the
Z-machine originally developed for the Zork franchise and was added as a bonus
to the "Zork Anthology".
The word planetfall is a portmanteau of planet and landfall, and occasionally
used in science fiction to that effect. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
Ah, a text adventure from the team that brought us Zork - that has to be
good! I've played a few text adventure games in my day and I always kind of fancied them. I don't know what it is about them - perhaps its the writer in me that just appreciates the written word and a good line of dialogue.
It took me a long time to find a playable version of Planetfall, but in the end I finally did. I think I downloaded it from here (I had to try a number of sources before I found one that actually works). I even had to brush off my DOS skills to install it and get it working, but it eventually did. Half of the battle (or fun) of a text adventure is figuring out what you can say and do before you make any real progress. I can tell I would like Planetfall. For example, in the opening scene it says I'm on a spaceship and I see a hangar bay to an emergency pod. Naturally I try to investigate this, so I type "open emergency pod hangar bay". But then I am treated to, "No emergency was announced. Why would you want to open one of the emergency pod hangar bays".
Even though I've never heard of Planetfall, apparently it is one of the earliest games to team you up with a NPC sidekick. There are lots of people who talk about the influences and emotional impact this game caused them. That's always a fascinating subject. It's also one of the earliest games to use Red Herrings - objects and places in the game that have no significant value, other than to confuse the player.
Even though this isn't a game I've played or heard of, I would like to revisit it more in the future. I fear 30 minutes was barely enough time to scratch the surface of what the game has to offer. Barely enough time to gather my wits and get my bearings.
I'm not sure what game is up next week, so be sure to check back and see if
it is something you've played or not. Until then, enjoy the rest of your
weekend and have a great week.
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.
Episode 1: 01 - 05 (here)
Episode 2: 06 - 10 (here)
Episode 3: 11 - 15 (here)
Episode 4: 16 - 20 (here)
Episode 5: 21 - 25 (here)
Episode 6: 26 - 30 (here)
Episode 7: 31 - 35 (here)
Episode 8: 36 - 40 (here)
Episode 41 (here)
Episode 42 (here)
Episode 43 (here)
Episode 44 (here)
Episode 45 (here)
Episode 46 (here)
Episode 47 (here)
Episode 48 (here)
Episode 49 (here)
Episode 50 (here)
Episode 51 (here)
Episode 52 (here)
Episode 53 (here)
Episode 54 (here)
Episode 55 (here)