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Williamsburg Adventure 3


Title: Williamsburg Adventure
Publisher: Microdeal
Year: 1985
Language: English

Genre: Text Adventure

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Review by Sixteen Plus

Back in the 1980’s I was introduced to text adventure games when I first saw ‘The Hulk’ by ‘Adventure International’ on the Sinclair Spectrum playable in my local John Menzies store. I found it mildly interesting but quickly dismissed the whole new strange genre until I bought Williamsburg Adventure 3 back in 1985, believing at the time it would be a standard arcade game. I was in for a disappointment, initially. But so began my first full experience with text adventures. This is one of 5 adventures from Microdeal.

The plot and storyline is somewhat vague. Your task is to find the fabled golden horseshoe located somewhere in the town of Williamsburg and get the hell out of there. There is no history behind this mysterious horse footwear and the true location of this treasure is somewhat silly. Maybe it was a precious family heirloom you accidentally dropped whilst you were in town on a previous visit and you’re just retracing your steps in an attempt to find it.

You will meet a few various characters throughout the game who are all fixed in only their one location. All except for one are pretty much uninteresting although most hold part of the solution. The student in particular provided me with a little comic relief, and the location of the organ player is kind of strange. It’s a little macabre to the point of ridiculous with tasks which you need to carry out in certain places too but then I guess this isn’t meant to be a serious game.

Usually I find many adventures with puzzles and parsers that are too obscure, but not in this game. Apart from Pirate Adventure, it didn’t take me too long to solve this. The parser is kept simple with the usual common words including a handy Help function and general abbreviations such as N, S, E, W. I have found no obscure words in this game and although the puzzles are fairly simple they do provide a nice simple and interesting enough challenge.

The map itself I found to be fairly small although there is a maze element somewhere, but you will only get yourself lost in it if you don’t follow the simple clue properly. There are also a couple of red herrings in the game which serves no purpose in solving the adventure to try catch people out which I find makes the adventure suitably a bit more tricky, but I will leave you to work them out for yourselves.

There is also only one way to solve this game. There are no shortcuts which overall increases the challenge.

The most frustrating aspect which I would not expect to find in any adventure is here. There is no save/load facility. So if you find yourself stuck pretty far into the game and you want to return to it at a later date, you have to go through the monotony of playing through the entire adventure from the beginning.

All in all, not much of a storyline and the characters are pretty bland. The whole game is written in BASIC, but when it comes to text only adventures that doesn’t really matter. I found this to be a nice fun little adventure which will keep you guessing and entertained if only for a while.

Presentation: 5
A typically bland standard non graphical layout set on a basic dark green screen with black text which maybe isn’t too bad on the eyes. A handy Help function and simple parser. Programmed in BASIC and the map is fairly small. No Save/Load feature. No real interaction or personalities with the few characters in the game although the student does provide a little comic relief.
Graphics: N/A
Sound: N/A
Vocabulary: 6
The usual common parsers are here such as look, examine, get, give and help. Abbreviated direction commands. Nothing is too obscure.
Playability: 7

The puzzles are interesting enough and with a simple parser that will keep you guessing without tearing your hair out through frustration.
Difficulty: 4

But the simplicity of the puzzles won’t keep you guessing for too long.
Overall: 6
Not one for serious adventurers, but ideal for people new to the genre or for anyone who just prefers the standard simplicity.

WARNING: The following video may contain spoilers 😉


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