Lurkley Manor

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Title screen.

Lurkley Manor is an adventure game created by Richard Ramella for the TRS-80 Color Computer and published in The Rainbow magazine in 1985. It uses a style similar to the adventure games published by Sierra On-Line in the early 1980s.

I first saw this game at my cousin's house on their TRS-80. This is the very first computer game I can remember ever seeing (around age 5 or 6). It may even be the first video game I ever saw in person, though my family may have had our Atari 2600 first. The quirkiness of the game made an impression on my young mind and, 30 years later, I still remembered enough about the game to find it without being able to remember the title. At one point in my late teens, I even tried to remake the game using QuickBASIC, though I didn't remember enough to get very far.


This game's source was published in a magazine. I have beaten the game.


  • Overall: 1/10
  • Best Version: TRS-80 Color Computer

— This section contains spoilers! —


  • The game is quirky. It's quaint to see rooms and animation drawn with BASIC primitives like DRAW and CIRCLE. The script is kind of funny too.


  • The game looks and sounds awful.
  • Even for its time, the game was technically weak (Déjà Vu: A Nightmare Comes True!! was released the same year).
  • It's annoying to have to watch all the text be slowly drawn across the screen, only to have it erased the moment it finishes being written.


  • Death is frequent and unexpected, and every single time it happens, you have to restart the game from the beginning and re-watch the introduction. Although this mechanic was typical for games of this type, it's still not fun.
  • The game is so linear, even if you follow the hints the game gives you, you can still die if you don't perform them in the order expected by the designer.
  • The game is extremely short. If you know what to do, you can beat the game in about 3 minutes, and most of that time is waiting for the screens to draw. If screen drawing wasn't an issue, you could beat the game in a few seconds. It's actually nice that the game is so short, since restarting a long game from the beginning after every death would be unacceptable.