Pawn, The Download (1986 Adventure Game)

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The aim of this interactive fiction with graphics is to escape from the land of Kerovnia, where strange occurrences are routine. The Roobikyoub dwarves have been banished from the kingdom, which is not good as they produce high-quality whisky. King Erik is not popular for this decision, as some feel that ale brewers and mineral water bottlers have influenced him. Honest John the trader and Kronos the Magician play a key role in your journey, each offering sub-quests to attempt.

The package includes a novella complete with map and decipherable hints, which are accessed by typing 'hint' followed by the code into the computer. Therefore, those with only a pirated copy would struggle to complete the game.

Your score and the number of locations visited are both displayed in the title bar. The parser allows whole words to be deleted and unaccepted previous entries to be re-edited.

You're awake in the middle of nowhere in the land of Kernovia, with a strange wristband (you can not remove) on your hand. You are but a pawn here and wish to have an independent life. In order to leave, you need to finish one of the better text based adventures I've ever played.

There are quite some things that impressed me when I first played this game. The game (although text based) has some nice looking graphics, although the resolution is quite strange (640x350). I was also surprised to see that the picture covers up the text, so you need to scroll it up, to read everything. You can even get some hints within the game (which I found a really neat idea). But there are two things impressed me the most.

The first one is of the technical nature. The parser recognizes complex commands and I don't mean just a set of commands you could give at the same time (like: "get key and unlock the door with the key and open the door and drop key"), no you can say something like: "drop everything but this and that", so you don't have to drop every single inventory item separately (you don't even have to know what you have in the inventory). This was very impressive.

The second one was the idea of an adventurer, who's traveling the land of Kernovia at the same time you are. This means you have some competition and if the other guy gets to some place before you, he can take the items you'd need to collect there. Luckily there's a way to get rid of that guy, but this was the only text based computer game where I saw this feature.

Apart from the impressive parser, and a few novel ideas supported by graphics, the game also has a good plot line, where you'll meet some interesting characters on the way. No wonder this game became an instant hit when it first came out. It was only a matter of time, before they made a sequel to it (and they off course did).

So if you're in a mood of traveling into a magical far off land and become a part of an interactive fiction story, I strongly suggest The Pawn to you. It's an absolute "must have" for all text based adventure fans out there.

How to run this game on modern Windows PC?

This game has been set up to work on modern Windows (10/8/7/Vista/XP 64/32-bit) computers without problems. Please choose Download - Easy Setup (1.71 MB).


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