Questprobe 1: The Hulk, ZX Spectrum

Text adventures, with graphics and complex command parsers, were very popular back in the early days of home computing.

You would sit there, typing instructions into a fantasy world on your computer, climbing imaginary trees, and walking imaginary north. It was all “imaginary” because you had to have an imagination to play these games. Your average moron with no imagination would never play a text adventure, like they would never read a book. Because they cannot read the text and then construct a visual world inside their imagination.

The Questprobe games, by Scott Adams and Adventure International, were groundbreaking for their time, because they used recognisable, licensed Marvel Comic characters, and also because they were quite short and difficult as adventure games go.

Graphically, The Hulk is bold, striking and limited. The blue background with yellow text makes this one stand out although it probably played hell with legibility to some people.

In terms of the text parser (the routine that handles your typed input), Questprobe 1: The Hulk is limited and unforgiving, In fact: all the Questprobe games are like this. You have to make big logical leaps to survive, never mind get anywhere. These games are iconic though. Best-in-class examples of the kind of game that never gets made any more.

More: Questprobe on Wikipedia

Questprobe series on The King of Grabs:
Questprobe 1: The Hulk
Questprobe 2: Spider-Man
Questprobe 3: Human Torch and The Thing

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