Seastalker

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Seastalker
Seastalker box art.jpg
Developer(s)Infocom
Publisher(s)Infocom
Designer(s)Stu Galley
Jim Lawrence
EngineZIL
Platform(s)Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, Commodore 64, IBM PC, TRS-80, TI-99/4A, Macintosh
ReleaseRelease 15: May 1, 1984

Release 15: May 22, 1984
Release 16: May 15, 1985

Release 16: June 3, 1985
Genre(s)Interactive fiction
Mode(s)Single player

Seastalker is an interactive fiction game written by Stu Galley and Jim Lawrence[1] and published by Infocom in 1984. It was released simultaneously for several popular computer platforms of the time, such as the Commodore 64, Apple II, and IBM PC compatibles (as a self-booting disk). The game was marketed as an introduction to interactive fiction for preteen players, having difficulty rating of "Junior." It was the only game to ever use this rating, which was replaced by the "Introductory" label given to games such as Wishbringer. It is Infocom's twelfth game.

Galley and Lawrence later wrote Moonmist for Infocom.[1] Lawrence is also an author who wrote more than 60 books aimed at children and young adults.

Plot[edit]

The player's character is a young inventor and marine scientist. A research facility called the Aquadome issues a call for help, indicating that the undersea structure is being attacked by a sea monster. With helpful assistant Tip, the player must navigate to the Aquadome in the new untested two-person submarine Scimitar and investigate the problem. But that isn't all... it looks like there may be a saboteur within the Aquadome as well.

The game has 30 locations.[2]

Feelies[edit]

The Seastalker package held the following feelies:

  • A logbook for the Scimitar, including a letter from "The President" congratulating the player on acceptance into the Discovery Squad
  • Four double-sided "top secret Infocards", containing hints printed in blue ink beneath a pattern of red ink
  • A decoder featuring a small square of red plastic to reveal the hints on the Infocards
  • A nautical chart of Frobton Bay for navigation
  • A "Discovery Squad badge" (a sticker depicting an orca and the motto "Dive deep, dive far")

Reception[edit]

Computer Gaming World noted Seastalker's easiness, recommending it only as a beginner's text adventure, particularly for young kids. Exemplifying this are the numerous tips dropped by both in-game characters and the game itself, directing the player to the included Infocards. The review complained of minor inconsistencies like items that could not be interacted with until an in-game character told the player of its existence.[3]

PC Magazine gave Seastalker 10.0 points out of 12. It also noted the game's relatively low difficulty level, praised the prose, and stated, "I enjoyed myself immensely".[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hague, James. "The Giant List of Classic Game Programmers".
  2. ^ Infocom Fact Sheet, Section VI, Game Statistics
  3. ^ Fitzgibbons, Patricia (October 1984). "Micro-Reviews: Seastalker" (PDF). Computer Gaming World. 4 (5): 38. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  4. ^ Wiswell, Phil (1984-10-30). "Trolls and Snarks". PC Magazine. p. 273. Retrieved 25 October 2013.

External links[edit]