Adventureland (video game)

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Adventureland 1979.jpg
Publisher(s)Creative Computing Software
Adventure International
Designer(s)Scott Adams
Platform(s)TRS-80, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, TI-99/4A, PET, C64, IBM PC, VIC-20, ZX Spectrum, BBC Micro, Acorn Electron, Dragon 32/64, Exidy Sorcerer
Genre(s)Interactive Fiction Adventure

Adventureland is the first text adventure game for microcomputers,[1] released by Scott Adams in 1978. It was very successful and led Adams to form Adventure International,[2] which went on to publish thirteen similar games in the Adventure series, each in different settings.

The game involves the search for thirteen lost artifacts in a fantasy setting.


1982 graphical re-release

Gameplay involves moving between the various locations found within the game, collecting found objects (and often subsequently using them, generally in another location), and the solving of puzzles.

The game commands take the form of either simple, two-word, verb/noun phrases, such as "climb tree," or one-word commands, such as those used for player character movement, including north, south, east, west, up, and down. Although the game has a vocabulary of about 120 words,[3] the parser only recognised the first three letters.[3] This meant that the parser occasionally identified a word incorrectly, but also that commands could be truncated, for example "lig lam" would be interpreted as "light lamp."

In order to complete the game, the player has to collect the thirteen lost artifacts: A statue of Paul Bunyan's blue ox, Babe, the jeweled fruit, the golden fish, a dragon's egg, a golden net, a magic carpet, a diamond necklace, a diamond bracelet, a pot of rubies, the "royal honey", a crown, a magic mirror, and a "firestone." Unlike succeeding adventure games, Adventureland has no story or plot, it is simply a treasure hunt.

The game was available on a number of platforms, including the Apple II series of computers, and various computers released by Atari, Commodore International, and Texas Instruments. A cut-down, three treasure version entitled 'Adventure 0: Special Sampler' was also made available at a special low price.[4]

In 1982, Adventureland was re-released with graphics, thus enabling the player to view visible representations of the scenery and objects to be found within the game.[5]


Adventureland, Adams' first program, is a slightly scaled-down, machine-language game similar to the "original" Adventure program.[6] The source code for Adventureland was published in SoftSide magazine in 1980[7] and the database format was subsequently used in other interpreters such as Brian Howarth's Mysterious Adventures series.[8]


Mark Herro for Dragon commented that "I can't recommend ANY version of Scott Adams' ADVENTURE series highly enough. Beg, borrow, or steal a chance to play ADVENTURE!!!!!"[6]


  1. ^ Griffin, Brad (March–April 1983). "Scott Adams Adventures 1–12". A.N.A.L.O.G. Computing (10).
  2. ^ "Game Set Interview: Adventure International's Scott Adams", Game Set Watch, July 19th, 2006, retrieved on April 20th, 2009
  3. ^ a b "Great Scott". GamesTM (88). 2009. pp. 152–157.
  4. ^ 0:Adventureland Demo "Scott Adams Classic Adventures," (retrieved on May 4th, 2009).
  5. ^ "Scott Adams Classic Adventures", Adventureland, retrieved April 20th, 2009
  6. ^ a b Herro, Mark (October 1980). "The Electric Eye" (PDF). Dragon. Vol. 5 no. 4. TSR Hobbies, Inc. pp. 42–43. Retrieved 2015-07-11. Then along came Scott Adams, who converted ADVENTURE for use with home computers. His first program, ADVENTURELAND, is a slightly scaled-down, machine-language version of the 'original' ADVENTURE program. Then he came out with PIRATE ADVENTURE, which has a completely different plot. With the success of these two programs, Scott wrote even more, and he has now become the acknowledged 'king' of the ADVENTURE game, with ten different versions being marketed. And there is talk of more on the way! ...During a game, the computer's video screen in divided into two parts. The upper half of the screen always displays the description of the location the player is in at the moment. It also lists the obvious directions the player may go (there may be other exits, such as climbing a tree if in a forest, or entering a specific location). The bottom half of the screen is reserved for the player's input, such as giving commands. ...there is very little bloodshed of any kind in the Adams ADVENTURE series. It's brain instead of brawn that counts here. Indeed, there are many funny occurrences ...I can't recommend ANY version of Scott Adams' ADVENTURE series highly enough. Beg, borrow, or steal a chance to play ADVENTURE!!!!!
  7. ^ Adams, Scott (July 1980). "Adventureland". SoftSide. p. 36. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  8. ^ Graham, Nelson (2001). The Inform Designer's Manual (PDF). Dan Sanderson. p. 358. ISBN 0-9713119-0-0.