Vortex Factor, The

Adventure 1985 Dos Dosbox Mark Data Products Science Fiction Graphical IF

Venture back time

It might be crude and lacking in the sophistication of later interactive text adventures like the groundbreaking Zork series, but for sheer historical value alone, The Vortex Factor is well worth playing. Fortunately however, it's also a decent enough little game in its own right and actually provides quite an enjoyable enjoyable for genre fans and newcomers alike. The setup is quite neat and makes a refreshing change from the usual fantasy offerings like The Hobbit and and is instead given a sci-fi setting akin to The Tracer Sanction. Here, the player is given the task of collecting nine rare treasures and returning them to a giant museum where they can be admired by one and all. The trick of course is that these treasures are scattered throughout all of time and you must travel to the appropriate time zone in order to retrieve them. The stage is thus set for an entertaining romp which takes you to all manner of places including the medieval period and Ancient Egypt. Despite The Vortex Factor's age, it's actually a text and graphics adventure and while the visuals aren't spectacular, they add some nice atmosphere to proceedings. The whole thing is driven by a standard parser system which recognises simple combinations of verbs and nouns and which makes the game easily accessible to even the greenest text adventurer. The story too is straightforward but enjoyable enough in its own way, and it is quite engaging zipping backwards and forwards in time on your little treasure hunt. The puzzles aren't spectacular or overly challenging but are fun to solve, and when all these factors are combined, The Vortex Factor ends up being a neat little experience.

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