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ASCII and the Argonauts

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:J. Robinson Wheeler

GAME DEVELOPER:Freeware

GAME PUBLISHER:Freeware

Copyright 2003, J. Robinson Wheeler

ASCII and the Argonauts is a funny and ingenious throwback to, and parody of, classic Scott Adams games – yes, those fiendishly limited VERB-NOUN games that nonetheless were a blast to play. In the author’s words, “…you are Jason! When mighty King Pelias sends you on a quest to retrieve the legendary Golden Fleece, can you and your faithful crew of Argonauts sail the treacherous seas and return victorious? Visit the Temple of Zeus, the mysterious Oracle, and Cylcops Isle! But beware the Sirens’ song!”

The game, aside from being very fun and funny, is also notable as one of the best games to come out of Speed-IF – an ifMUD-specific competition with two simple rules: 1) entrants must be coded within two hours, and 2) entrants must adhere to the given subject. Emily Short, as usual, summarizes the attraction of ASCII and the Argonauts in her brief review at Baf’s Guide: “One of Speed-IF’s gems, this game brilliantly reproduces the style and appearance of a Scott Adams production. Room descriptions are sparse, objects are simple, and puzzles are fiendish; though the game is fairly short, you should expect to restart four or five times before you get the sequence of play correct. Nostalgia value isn’t the only thing the game has going for it, though: its terse messages are often hilarious, and it manages to compactly include the elements of several major episodes from Greek myth. The result is unusual but stylistically seamless and extremely satisfying. “



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