In A Mind Forever Voyaging, you're a man named Perry Simm who learns he's actually a computer called PRISM -- and his entire life an illusion. Programmed to simulate the future, you've been chosen to determine how a senator's plan for America will affect a North Dakota city -- and your family -- over the next several decades.
AMFV is the great exception to Infocom games, with a dark vision provided by designer Steve Meretzky (known primarily for lighthearted games like Planetfall and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy). Offering few puzzles and a tour of a dystopian future, it's like an adventure game version of George Orwell's 1984: the economy crashes, the movies playing at the town theater become steadily worse, and your son joins a totalitarian cult as the country descends into savagery. Except for a scene in which you must thwart an assassination, the game is essentially about exploration and learning more about your futuristic environments.
With Infocom's largest game map to date allowing you to explore the city of Rockvil, its 128k memory requirements were higher than earlier titles. The game has developed a cult following for its emotional sweep, and features one of the best endings in the genre.
The year is 2031 and the world is near the brink of collapse. A computer project by the name PRISM is the last hope, the only catch is that you are that computer program. You just found out that you are not a person, but are in fact the world's first sentient machine.
Difficulty Level: Advanced
A deep and thought-provoking science fiction novel in its own right, A Mind Forever Voyaging, Steve Meretzky's classic text-based adventure continues to engross any new player who happens to come across it. Unfortunately it gained a poor reception after its initial release, but it has since come to be recognized as the text-based game, and has risen to legendary status.
You play as a 'normal' guy in a 'normal' South Dakota town. However, you find out that you are actually a computer - a computer simulation of a 'normal' guy in a 'normal' town, designed by the government. You've been sent ten years into the future to see how a new government program affects the town and its residents. You're to monitor the town and return with recommendations on how to alter the program. As you're a computer, you can remove yourself from the simulation at any time and read up on news and information in communications mode as well as take control of the other computers in the complex.
You actually spend most of the game exploring the town and observing changes rather than solving puzzles, but don't be fooled, it is actually quite captivating, more so than many great novels. There are some excellent puzzles near the end of the game, however, so I encourage you to play all the way through. I can easily say the ending is the most gripping and rewarding I have ever experienced.
The interface is nicely done: simple grey text on a blue background. A bar at the top of the screen displays the in-game date and time as well as which mode or location you are currently in. The game is quite large, including the ability to explore the entire city of Rockvil; it was the first game of its genre to require a whopping 128k of memory to run!
All in all, I recommend this game to absolutely everyone, not just text-adventure or science fiction fans. It's an absolutely enthralling title and one of the most distinctive ever to hit the shelves. It wholly deserves its overall rating of 5 out of 5.
You will need to use WinFrotz in order to run this game properly!
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