Philosopher's Quest

Adventure 1987 Dos Topologika Software Text based

Frustrating but rewarding adventure

For anyone who likes a bit of a challenge in their interactive fiction games, then this true old-school classic should be added immediately to their playlist. This update to one of the earliest examples of the genre is a difficult beast (not least because of one of the most illogical and unfair puzzles ever devised) so if you are a newcomer to this type of thing, you might be advised to look in the direction of The Mist or The Thing first. The plot here is a fairly standard light fantasy type of thing, with the player thrust into the role of hapless individual who just happens to find an old wand in a junk shop and who, after, waving it around a bit, finds themselves caught up in an epic adventure. During the course of your travels, you'll find yourself visiting caves, the Garden of Eden and all sorts of other bizarre places, while meeting whales and the Ancient Mariner, amongst others. The storyline is certainly intriguing and perhaps the best part of the game and it should keep you hooked for most of the game's running time, even if it is not exactly brimming with first class writing. What's on offer though is atmospheric enough and does a decent, if unspectacular, job bringing the world to life. A bigger issue though is the limited and extremely frustrating parser system, which is primitive in the extreme and which doesn't recognise even the most basic or obvious of verbs (hence the problem with the first puzzle). If you can get past this though, there are some clever puzzles on display here which, when combined with the solid writing, makes this an entertaining, if occasionally frustrating, experience.

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