This cover-to-cover series isn't going to require a lot of commentary on my part. Each of the five games featured is given a full-color two-page spread, so we're going to look at several pages in each post and wrap this one up before the Christmas holiday. One unusual thing I will note about this catalog is that, unlike some other early ones we've looked at, it does not contain an order form -- the industry was still young in 1985, but now there were computer stores and mail-order vendors, and Origin Systems' popular products were having no trouble finding distribution to eager gamers.
Pages 4 and 5 present Moebius: The Orb of Celestial Harmony, a role-playing fantasy game created by Greg Malone, unrelated to the Ultima series and not directly in competition with it, thanks to the inclusion of some action-game elements:
Origin Systems pioneered the coveted "cloth map" concept with the Ultima games, and Moebius followed suit, with an oriental headband and a 24" by 27" poster included in the box. Downloadable games via Steam and other services are certainly convenient, but I have to admit I miss the age of the "feelies."
Pages 6 and 7 present one of the first proper sci-fi boardgame adaptations to the newfangled computers -- Steve Jackson's Autoduel, converted and adapted by Lord British and Chuck "Chuckles" Bueche:
The combat-oriented gameplay, combined with the detailed vehicle and weaponry statistics from the boardgame, made for a well-received game that was, if nothing else, easier to set up and jump into on the PC than on a tabletop. There were strategic elements involved with planning trips, taking on jobs and managing resources, as well as joystick-oriented combat rounds. And of course, the game shipped with a full-color road map, a Driver's Handbook, and a toolkit.
Next weekend... more!