Sunday, April 1, 2012

Cover to Cover: Infocom 1987 Catalog (pp. 15-16)

Our current cover-to-cover series is coming down the home stretch, with just four more pages of the Infocom 1987 product catalog to go...

Page 15 presents another box set collecting three Infocom science fiction titles:

I have to wonder about the logic used to determine which games went into this particular Science Fiction Classics set -- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Planetfall are certified classics, but were more comedy than hard sci-fi; A Mind Forever Voyaging was true sci-fi, but more about atmosphere than puzzle solving and not a huge success.  And Infocom's early serious sci-fi classics Starcross and Suspended are out of the picture altogether.   My guess is that AMFV hadn't sold tremendously well and was available for the set, while the other two were popular and therefore still in print.

Page 16 collects three Infocom mysteries as the Classic Mystery Library, with what looks like similar logic:

In this case, the earlier Deadline was omitted from this collection, while the newer Moonmist makes an appearance.  This means that this three-game set includes two introductory-level mysteries, Moonmist plus The Witness, plus the more challenging Suspect

I have to confess that I was never very good at the Infocom mysteries -- I played The Witness back in the day, but never quite found an ending I was satisfied with.  I think my methodical, exploratory approach to adventure gaming isn't a great fit for the style -- part of the challenge is being in different places at the right time to witness the autonomous characters doing or saying certain things, which requires a certain amount of efficiency and replaying to piece together the whole story and gather the best possible evidence.  I ought to try again sometime soon.

Next week, I think we'll wrap this one up!

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