Acheton is a home computer conversion of the mainframe adventure of the same name. Similar to Zork (which was released on the VAX mainframe not long before Acheton's original appearance), it is a fantasy treasure hunt set in a claustrophobic dungeon. It boasts over 400 rooms and 200 objects, thereby making it much bigger than Zork.
As with many games of this kind the most time is spent by exploring the environment and solving item-based puzzles. Everything is described solely with plain text and the player interacts with the game by typing in phrases which describe his desired action, e.g. "take bottle". It also features a help function with graded hints.
The last time I played Acheton was when I was 9 years old. My genius friend Thomas had upgraded from a BBC Microcomputer Model B ("beeb") to an Archimedes A3000 I believe. Since 5 1/4 inch floppy games wouldn't work anymore he had to part with his original of ACHETON.
Acheton (pronounces Ack-er-ton) is my favorite text adventure of all time. Your adventure begins in a forest near to a deserted farmhouse, and after exploring some abandoned mines, you end up falling down into a kind of shaft. Exploring the shaft, you will end up in the first major junction in Acheton: THE SLAB ROOM. The game-play screen is more advanced than earlier games such as ADVENTURE. For example, the room you are in is listed at the top of the screen. The Slab Room contains a stone on which is an inscription - ABANDON ALL HOPE, YE WHO ENTER HERE - an ominous warning to even the seasoned text-based adventurer. Descending into the cave you will begin the maze part of the adventure. The interface is fairly limited but not just to two words.
For example you can type:
Instead of GET you can type PICK UP or CARRY, too. To list your items, type INV (inventory), type LOOK to look around.
Hints are available by typing help. The hint system is graded, so you still enjoy the puzzles if you like. Considering there are over 120 hints, this gives you an idea of the amount of puzzles there are to solve. There are ways to die in the game. The first and most obvious is when you pick up the coat in the Cloakroom and the ferrets come out the pockets and eat you.
I like Acheton because the descriptions are kept short and to the point, but use visual, kinesthetic and auditory words to really get your imagination going. It is a very descriptive and original game, atmospheric and interesting.
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