Game Review: Ghost Town (1983, Scott Adams)

You are in a deserted ghost town.  Why are you in the town?  Who knows?  What can you do in the town?  You can search it and try to find 13 hidden treasures without falling prey to ghosts, rattlesnakes, or the weather.  Good luck!  There are many puzzles to be solved.  Hopefully, you’re better at puzzles than I am.

Ghost Town was one of the many text adventures to be written by Scott Adams in the early 80s.  Every text adventure film that has come out since owes debt to Scott Adams but that doesn’t make his games any less frustrating to play.  Basically, with this game, you get bare-bone descriptions and a two-word parser.  Don’t try to have a conversation with anything in the town.  Don’t try to get too creative with your choice of verbs or with any of the things that you find in the town.  This is from the early days of PC gaming and it’s as basic as can be.

Once you make the adjustment, though, it’s not a bad game.  Even the minimal descriptions of each location encourage the player to imagine the place for himself.  (Basic games like Ghost Town actually encourage the imagination more than games that devote paragraphs to intricate descriptions.)  It’s also a timed game, which was a big deal in the early 80s.  The ghosts in the town keep their own schedule and one of the challenges of the game is to keep up with them.  Spending too much time on one puzzle or trying to guess the verb can lead to consequences.  The puzzles are complicated but there’s a walk-through so you can cheat if you need to.  Just don’t make the same mistake that I did.

Play Ghost Town!

One response to “Game Review: Ghost Town (1983, Scott Adams)

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 10/3/22 — 10/9/22 | Through the Shattered Lens

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