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Shenanigans

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:Bob Withers & Stephen O’Dea

GAME DEVELOPER:Mark Data Products

GAME PUBLISHER:Freeware

Copyright 1984, Mark Data Products

In mid-1980s, a small company called Mark Data Products released 6 parser-based graphic adventure games similar to early Polarware and Scott Adams titles. While the games are reasonably successful on Tandy’s CoCo computer, the IBM PC versions did not achieve the same level of success. While the graphics are quite good at the time, the parser is quite primitive – only simple verb+noun constructs such as GET HAT are understood, and some verbs that are common in IF games such as SEARCH are not always recognized. Fortunately, the games make up for primitive parser with well-written plot, fun characters, and some clever puzzles.

The plot of Shenanigans: “Countless legends tell of a magnificent Pot of Gold and enormous wealth hidden by leprechauns at the end of the rainbow. Many have attempted to find the marvelous treasure but success has eluded tham and it remains hidden to this day. Because you are a dedicated adventurer, eager to face danger and challenges for great rewards, you have determined to search for that fabled Pot of Gold and succeeded where others have failed.”

Thanks to the generosity of Bob Withers, co-creator of these underdogs who put both the games and their source codes up on his website for free download, you can now experience a forgotten past of the early days of adventure gaming. All are recommended, but if you want the best of the bunch, I highly recommend my personal favorites: Trekboer and Calixto Island.



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