|Series||Mysterious Adventures Series|
|Platform(s)||C64, Commodore Plus/4, ZX Spectrum, Acorn Electron, BBC Micro, Dragon 32/64, Oric-1/Atmos|
Waxworks is a text adventure game by Brian Howarth and Cliff J. Ogden.It was originally published by Digital Fantasia in 1983 for the Commodore 64, Commodore Plus/4, ZX Spectrum and BBC Micro. It was the 11th game in the Mysterious Adventures series.
Brian Howarth is a British video game designer and computer programmer. He wrote many interactive fiction computer games in the early 1980s in a series called Mysterious Adventures. He was born in Blackpool in 1953.
The Commodore 64, also known as the C64 or the CBM 64, is an 8-bit home computer introduced in January 1982 by Commodore International. It has been listed in the Guinness World Records as the highest-selling single computer model of all time, with independent estimates placing the number sold between 10 and 17 million units. Volume production started in early 1982, marketing in August for US$595. Preceded by the Commodore VIC-20 and Commodore PET, the C64 took its name from its 64 kilobytes(65,536 bytes) of RAM. With support for multicolor sprites and a custom chip for waveform generation, the C64 could create superior visuals and audio compared to systems without such custom hardware.
The Commodore Plus/4 is a home computer released by Commodore International in 1984. The "Plus/4" name refers to the four-application ROM resident office suite ; it was billed as "the productivity computer with software built-in."
The story is about a waxworks in which the protagonist is trapped. Escaping involves finding statues of famous people (like Hillary and Tenzing).
A wax museum or waxworks usually consists of a collection of wax sculptures representing famous people from history and contemporary personalities exhibited in lifelike poses, wearing real clothes.
Sir Edmund Percival Hillary was a New Zealand mountaineer, explorer, and philanthropist. On 29 May 1953, Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers confirmed to have reached the summit of Mount Everest. They were part of the ninth British expedition to Everest, led by John Hunt. From 1985 to 1988 he served as New Zealand's High Commissioner to India and Bangladesh and concurrently as Ambassador to Nepal.
Tenzing Norgay, born Namgyal Wangdi and often referred to as Sherpa Tenzing, was a Nepali-Indian Sherpa mountaineer. He was one of the first two individuals known to reach the summit of Mount Everest, which he accomplished with Edmund Hillary on 29 May 1953. Time named him one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
Whilst some of the statues are exceptionally easy to identify, others are not so simple without acquiring the necessary clues earlier in the game. For example, identifying the British Prime Minister David Lloyd George is exceptionally problematic without first finding a clue to his whereabouts. It was also noted that, owing to limited graphics capacity, several of the statues bear a striking resemblance to actor David Niven.
David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor, was a British statesman and Liberal Party politician. He was the last Liberal to serve as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
James David Graham Niven was a British actor, memoirist and novelist. His many roles included Squadron Leader Peter Carter in A Matter of Life and Death, Phileas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days, and Sir Charles Lytton in The Pink Panther. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in Separate Tables (1958).
CRASH magazine reviewed Waxworks in their July 1984 issue. The text parser was described as "eccentric" but with "some noteworthy flexibility", being a modified verb/noun form that also allows adverbs and conjunctions ("QUICKLY GET THE LAMP, SWORD, CLOAK AND STAFF", for example). The graphical display was also highlighted, making up for the absence of long room descriptions.
Your Commodore thought the game was not as good as the Zork series and with inferior graphics to rival title Dallas Quest . Overall it was considered to be "a standard adventure with standard graphics."
Personal Computer Games said the game had good graphics, but they took a while to draw so the option to skip them was useful. They also noticed that the response to commands was "nice and fast." The reviewer thought it likely that the game would become as much of a favourite as the other titles in the series.
Ashby Computers and Graphics Limited, trading as Ultimate Play the Game, was a British video game developer and publisher, founded in 1982, by ex-arcade game developers Tim and Chris Stamper. Ultimate released a series of successful games for the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, MSX and Commodore 64 computers from 1983 until its closure in 1988. Ultimate are perhaps best remembered for the big-selling titles Jetpac and Sabre Wulf, each of which sold over 300,000 copies in 1983 and 1984 respectively, and their groundbreaking series of isometric arcade adventures using a technique termed Filmation. Knight Lore, the first of the Filmation games, has been retrospectively described in the press as "seminal ... revolutionary" (GamesTM), "one of the most successful and influential games of all time" (X360), and "probably ... the greatest single advance in the history of computer games" (Edge).
Scott Adams is the co-founder, with ex-wife Alexis, of Adventure International, an early publisher of games for home computers.
The Quill is a program to write home computer adventure games. Written by Graeme Yeandle, it was published on the ZX Spectrum by Gilsoft in December 1983. Although available to the general public, it was used by several games companies to create best-selling titles; over 450 commercially published titles for the ZX Spectrum were written using The Quill.
Sabre Wulf is an action-adventure game released by British video game developer Ultimate Play the Game for the ZX Spectrum home computer in 1984. The player navigates the pith-helmeted Sabreman through a 2D jungle maze while collecting amulet pieces to bypass the guardian at its exit. The player does not receive explicit guidance on how to play and is left to decipher the game's objectives through trial and error. Sabreman moves between the maze's 256 connected screens by touching the border where one screen ends and another begins. Each screen is filled with colourful flora, enemies that spawn at random, and occasional collectibles.
Mercenary is the first in a series of computer games, published on a number of 8-bit and 16-bit platforms from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, by Novagen Software. The second and third games were known as Damocles and Mercenary III: The Dion Crisis respectively.
Underwurlde is a 1984 action-adventure platform video game in the Sabreman series by Ultimate Play the Game for the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64. The player controls the adventurer Sabreman as he jumps between platforms in a castle and its underground caverns to find an escape past the exit guardians. Underwurlde features about 600 flip screen areas. Unlike other games of its time, Sabreman is not injured when touched by enemies and is instead knocked backwards. Underwurlde is the second game in the series, between Sabre Wulf and Knight Lore, and released alongside the latter for the ZX Spectrum during Christmas in 1984. Another developer, Firebird, ported the game to the Commodore 64 the next year.
The Pawn is a text-based interactive fiction game by Magnetic Scrolls, first published for the Sinclair QL by Sinclair Research in 1985. It was then released for other platforms in 1986 by Rainbird. It is remembered for its excellent graphics and the opening music available in some game versions. Also the game itself—story and parser—got mostly positive reviews. The story takes place in the fairy land of Kerovnia, from which the player must escape.
The Staff of Karnath is an action-adventure video game developed and published by Ultimate Play the Game for the Commodore 64 originally in 1984 and in the United States in 1985. The game is the first instalment of the Pendragon series and is the first to feature the aristocrat adventurer Sir Arthur Pendragon. In the game, Sir Pendragon is tasked with searching a castle for the ancient Staff of Karnath, which he must destroy prior to midnight, before it wipes out the human race.
The Dallas Quest is a graphic adventure game based on the popular television series Dallas, programmed by James Garon for the TRS-80 Color Computer and published by Datasoft in 1984. It was ported to the Apple II, Atari 8-bit family, and Commodore 64.
Trashman is a computer game developed by Malcolm Evans for the ZX Spectrum and released by New Generation Software in 1984. The Commodore 64 conversion was distributed by Quicksilva.
The Heroes of Karn is a 1983 adventure game written by Ian Gray. It was released by Interceptor Micros for the Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum. Music was written by Chris Cox. The Spectrum and Amstrad versions were adapted by David M. Banner with graphics by Terry Greer. A sequel, The Empire of Karn, was released in 1985 on the Commodore 64.
The Evil Dead is a survival horror adventure game produced by Palace Software for the Commodore 64, BBC Micro and ZX Spectrum. It is based on the 1981 horror film of the same name.
My Name Is Uncle Groucho, You Win A Fat Cigar is a computer game developed and published by Automata UK for the ZX Spectrum in 1983. Groucho was designed by Mel Croucher who was perhaps better known for his later works Deus Ex Machina and ID.
Lords of Time is an interactive fiction computer game designed by Sue Gazzard and released by Level 9 Computing in 1983. Originally purely a textual adventure for 8 bit microcomputers, the game was later released as part of the Time and Magik compilation where graphics were added for all floppy disk versions. Like all Level 9 adventures of its time it was written in the in-house A-code language which was platform-independent – this implementation of a virtual machine allowed for quick porting across platforms.
Urban Upstart is a 1983 text adventure programmed by Pete Cooke and published by Richard Shepherd Software for the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64. Urban Upstart is set in the fictional British town of Scarthorpe, a particularly grim town with high crime and unemployment rates. The protagonist begins in their house at three o'clock in the morning, with the objective of escaping from Scarthorpe.
Jack the Ripper is a text adventure game released by CRL in 1987 for the Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum home computers. The game is based on the notorious "Jack the Ripper" murders of the 1880s.
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain is an arcade adventure video game released in 1984 for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum home computer. It is loosely based on the adventure gamebook of the same name written by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, and published by Puffin Books in 1982.
The Thompson Twins Adventure is a 1984 graphic adventure game that was distributed by Computer and Video Games magazine as a promotional 7" flexi disc "freebie" along with its October 1984 issue. The game is based on the Thompson Twins' single "Doctor! Doctor!", and features the Thompson Twins band members as the protagonists. The unusual storage format of the game showcases an experimental technique pioneered by the London-based Flexi Records label, and places the game alongside a small handful of other games distributed on grooved disks. This format never became established and The Thompson Twins Adventure is today valued more for its nostalgic and artifactual value than for its ludological aspects which have been uniformly panned by critics.
Swords and Sorcery is a fantasy role playing video game developed and published by Personal Software Services. It was released exclusively in the United Kingdom for the ZX Spectrum in 1985 and the Amstrad CPC in 1986. The game contains elements of dungeon crawling and revolves around a customisable player-character navigating through catacombs in order to secure a large wealth of treasure, whilst simultaneously collecting seven pieces of sacred armour.
Tower of Despair is a video game published in 1984 by Games Workshop for the ZX Spectrum. A Commodore 64 version was also released.
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