Adventure in Time and Space is the first text adventure on my list that was written by Dorothy Millard. I’d come across Dorothy’s name before, but I had never really looked into her or her backstory, so let’s start with that before we get onto the game itself.
Dorothy wrote 16 games in all, according to an interview from 1999 I read over at the Solution Archive site, plus a few she ‘fixed up’ for other people. She lived in Australia for many years but was born in England and, like me, started her love of computers with the Commodore 64. Early games were written in BASIC but she also wrote quite a few using The Quill, a system most of you will be familiar with, and one I am really trying to get to get grips with of late.
Alas, Dorothy’s website appears to be no more, but thankfully there are several early captures on the Wayback Machine, including all of her hand-typed solutions for many, many different adventure games! I am in the process of downloading all of those solutions to help preserve them – another backup can’t hurt!
If you want to read the whole interview you can do so here, but let’s turn our attention to the game itself.
The game, written in 1989, is in 2 parts of several sections each. It takes us to many different places, such as a deserted space station, medieval England, up into the Alps, a far-off planet, and the London suburbs, in our search for the golden key which has been stolen by ‘the evil time warrior’. We are told that in order to find the golden key we must first find the other 6 coloured keys.
We are called The Professor, and the game is about traveling through time and space in our time machine. So yeah, it’s unashamedly Doctor Who 🙂
The game starts in the laboratory and we are already introduced to the professor’s time machine, although we can’t get in it yet. Have a good look around and examine everything here, but it soon becomes fairly obvious we need to leave here and go look outside. Like a lot of text adventures, you have the illusion of choice but really there is nowhere else to go but North to the car park and (I assume) the professor’s nice red car.
Again, examining is key, and once you’ve looked and picked up anything you find, you will make your way down the road, in the car, to a house.
This is a very good text adventure and really showcases, I think, the power of The Quill as an authoring solution. The Quill itself is quite tricky to get to grips with – something I am working on solving currently and I hope to release something into the wild soon!
It’s also very big – too big for me to go through each section and area, and too big really for a map – I did sketch one on paper as I played it through and will, one day, create that properly and include it here. Instead I need to try and review these text adventures in a new format otherwise I will never get through them all – some background info, a few screen shots, a bit of context etc. followed by a magazine style review.
One thing I do want to start including is my other passion, music. I’ll start including what I would be playing in the background in the month and/or year of release.
Thanks for reading, and feedback is welcome on the new format. I suspect it will keep getting tweaked as we go along – there are a LOT of adventures to get through.
Adventure In Time & Space: A large, complex text adventure. This one will take you a while to complete and really get you thinking. It's an impressive title, and one that showcases The Quill to its full potential. A map is essential but it does get very complicated, especially with the time and location hopping. – jon
1989 saw the release of The Wonder Stuff’s second album, Hup. I was a big fan, and was lucky enough to bump into the bass player in Woolworths one day whilst browsing the bargain singles, and get his autograph in my (now lost) copy of NME – they were recording in Rockfield Studios (I think they were recording their first album then). Anyway, I played this a lot in 1989 so it is very fitting to be included here in the first text adventure gaming soundtrack.