Tonight my hubby and I got to talking about the old fun CoCo text and early graphical or pseudo graphical games we played back before there were Windows Operating Systems to be speaking about. Back in days of the CoCo (Radio Shack Color Computer), Commodore 64, Apple II, and later, DOS-based only computers.
One of the games we dearly loved was a game I picked up at a Radio Shack reduced-price bin. It was for the CoCo which was the system we had hooked up to a TV screen. The game was called Robot Odyssey, an adventure game from the now defunct, The Learning Company (TLC) an educational software company.
You can still download the game from Abandonia and play it in DOSBox available at DoxBox.com and downloadable on the project page at Sourceforge.
I found a great article about Robot Odyssey at Thinking As A Profession Blog:
One particular video game that I’m going to inaugurate this series with is one that’s stuck in my head for decades, and that’s Robot Odyssey. The graphics were pretty bad, even for the time period (early 80’s), and I didn’t even own the game. I ended up pulling all-nighters with a friend of mine who owned the Apple II that ran it.
What makes this game so memorable? Well, the basic setup is that you are a person in an underground city and you’re trying to get home. To do so, you have to solve a series of puzzles. The catch is that these puzzles most often have to be solved by programming the robots and having them solve the task. You did this by actually entering the robots and wiring up their various sensors and thrusters with logic circuits (you had a little toolbox of these). For example, you might wire the robot’s right bumper to its bottom thruster, so that if it hits the right wall, it goes up. Puzzles usually involved having robots navigate simple maze configurations and get items for you. I may be making it sound dry, but it was amazingly fun and addictive.
Robot Odyssey was so intricate despite the bad graphics. We loved the game. Much of the difficulty was due to the bad graphics, and some was that you just had to keep trying till you accomplished it! The game was so much fun and highly addictive! 🙂 One of the best qualities of a learning game, don’t you think?
It was great to figure out what was needed and then go wire up and burn the ROMs needed to get your robots to do what was needed for a given task.
My hubby Jim was the only one of us to actually finish the last map puzzle completely. We all tried and spent a long time doing it, but never got the final map puzzle like Jim did. He spent all night working to finish the game on Christmas Eve. We all came close though. And because he had finished it we could go back and play any of them again later.
Will have to do some posts about our other favorite games from Apogee, 3D Realms, etc. DOS-based games that we loved. As well as some text based and pseudo graphical games in both the CoCo and DOS-based. But wanted to start with one of my all time favorites on the CoCo, Robot Odyssey.