Alien (1982 video game)

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Alien

Alien - DOS - Screenshot - Title.png

PC Booter - USA - Title screen.

Developer Unknown
Publisher Unknown
Published 1982-03-05
Platforms PC Booter
Genres Adventure, Text adventure
Themes Science Fiction, Wilderness
Distribution Freeware, Open source

Alien is a science fiction text adventure with an unknown developer and publisher (perhaps MAV-5-5-K is a name). According to the title screen, the game was released on 1982-03-05, but the source code also says game development also began on that day. The game was written in Advanced BASIC. As far as I can tell, the game was distributed freely as source code. The game was later published, probably illegally, in a Keypunch Software shovelware title called Space Games, in 1986.

In the game's story, you are the sole survivor of a luxury space ship that exploded. Your escape pod landed on a remote planet. It's a dangerous place, but you know there is a research station somewhere. Unfortunately, after surviving the deadly dust storms, you discover the research station has been attacked by aliens. Now, you have to navigate the deadly planet in order to try and find a way back home.

Personal

Own?Game released as open source.
Won?Yes.
Finished2020-09-15.

I initially played this game in the late 1980s as part of Space Games which included a modified version. I liked the informal writing style, but was no longer impressed by text adventures by this time. Later, in the early 1990s, I made an attempt to beat it and mapped out over half of the game, but I got bored having to restart after each death. In 2020, an effort to finish many of the games I started decades ago, I played the game through and beat it, this time making an even more-detailed map. After finding and looking through the source code, I was disappointed to see how little there was to the game.

Review

Video Game Review Icon - Enjoyment.png Video Game Review Icon - Control.png Video Game Review Icon - Appearance.png Video Game Review Icon - Sound.png Video Game Review Icon - Replayability.png
2 2 1 1 1

Best Version: DOS

— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • Some of the writing is good for a chuckle.

Bad

  • There are a fair amount of typos and spelling errors.
  • The game is poorly coded with a handful of game-breaking bugs.
  • There are some continuity problems. For example, if, instead of blasting your way through the facility door, you enter the cave system and make your way to the facility door, it will still be caved in as though you blasted through it. You can even get through the closed bulkhead door this way!

Ugly

  • There is only a single necessary puzzle to the game, and that is making a map to avoid the rooms where you are killed simply by entering them. You can get all the necessary clues needed to beat the game without needing to pickup a single item or fight a single alien (there are only two of each anyway).
  • The text parser is extremely weak with only a handful of working commands.
  • The game is severely lacking in media with only a few beeps for sound and very limited use of color.
  • The only half-way interesting encounter in the game is with the slug monster, but that can be entirely avoided, along with half the game's map, since there is an alternate route into the facility.
  • If you already know the map layout and password, you can beat the game in a matter of seconds simply by navigating right to the end with the following commands: S, S, E, E, E, S, S, S, S, S, S, S, W, S, S, E, E, N, E, E, E, E, E, ENTER TRAM, 6, A 123.

Media

Representation

Strong female character?FailThere are no women.
Bechdel test?FailThere are no women
Strong person of color character?FailNobody's race is described.
Queer character?FailNobody's sexual preference is described.

Download

This collection includes the oldest source code I could find (version 2B), a QuickBASIC port I made which combines the original files and fixes some spelling errors, and a binary of that version.

Title

Although the game's title screen reads simply "Alien," the comments show that the game had a working title of "Adventure 2000" and "Adventure II."

Links

Link-MobyGames.png