Time for a second post today, should tell you how busy it is at my job at the moment. Infocom. That word holds much power for me as it is the reason I spent hours a night staring at my black and white television, my father wouldn't spring for a monitor in my youth, trying to discern the possible solution to a text based dilemma.
For many 80's adventurers the Infocom brand of entertainment couldn't be topped and most started their first steps with the legendary Zork: The Great Underground Empire. Now being an avid reader of Choose Your Own Adventure books as a whelp, the text based-no graphics computer game was right up my alley and my first taste of such adventures came in the 'introductory' leveled Wishbringer.
One of the greatest marketing ideas that Infocom had was the inclusion of...well, stuff, in the game boxes. In Wishbringers case I was shocked to find the items you see in the third picture above, including the Wishstone....which glowed in the dark, not green mind you, but purple. I hope that it is still somewhere in my house, I used to bring it to school and would almost conspiratorially sneak glances at in my palm.
Probably the fact that I didn't have any real friends until High School is most apparent in that last statement. Wishbringer being an introductory leveled game didn't take too long to finish...though I was eaten once or twice by a Grue. Craving more I was treated by my father to a trip to the local Sears where just by chance they were having a sale on computer software, where I picked up both Zork and Zork II for the tune of 35 dollars. Which even then was a steal!
While Infocom may now only be a page in the history of computer gaming...there is yet life flickering in the Underground Empire as it has been announced that Zork is making a comeback as a browser based game. Beware of the darkness where lurk the Grue my friends....