Midwinter Rites – Ahh winter, the season of Orc-love

Apr13Remember back in the day when games were still 2D, and you had to use your imagination to make that lonely pixel turn into a space ship, or a human, or a mouse in a maze?  Okay now remember earlier than that?  You know back in the back in the day.  You had to type everything and REALLY use your imagination to make that word conjure up images of daring sword fights, dangerous pirate battles, or exciting princess rescues?  Yeah, okay so go back even farther, you know when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.  ER maybe that was too far.  Let’s fast forward to the days of wine and text adventures.  The days where one wrong move could kill you, and if you didn’t have a save game you had to play the whole blasted thing over.  Or where you could ultimately get stuck and not ever be able to finish the game and not know where you went wrong.  Well those days are over, so get over it!


Actually they’re not really over.  You can search for Interactive Fiction all over the web, and get tons of hits as they have a strong community.  In fact there are even a few people actually selling text adventures which is amazing in itself.  In any case some people really like the challenge those old games created.  Granted some of it was just trying to guess the correct phrase or verbiage.  But still like a book you have to use your imagination a bit along with the author’s description, except as a game they’re interactive.  Instead of the typical point’n’click graphic adventures I’ve been doing lately, I’ve decided to take a crack at a text adventure called Midwinter Rites developed by Colossus Entertainment (otherwise known as Mattias Gustavsson).  Apparently he wanted to create the look and feel of an adventure on a c64, complete with low-res low color graphics (I’ll get to this little discrepancy in a bit) , and 3 channel-sounding music.


The interface is real easy.  Simply type stuff in, and stuff happens.  Menus are navigated by the spacebar usually.  The words or nouns you can use are highlighted in white.  For instance in the first “screen” the words inn, north, and south, are highlighted.  It also displays the exits.  You can simply go directions that are displayed as exits.  If you type in a noun, it will give a description, which is the same thing as “look noun”.  For instance if you type inn, it’s like typing look inn, and gives you a description of the inn.  However if you type east, it moves you into the inn, because that’s where it is.  Look also gives you your current description, like when you walked in there in the first place.  Other than that, it’s pretty straight forward.  Try to solve puzzles by looking and interacting with objects that are around.  I’ve died a couple of times already, and you can too, but that is part of the challenge.


Okay so let’s see, what about this graphics thing?  Well the author tried to make it look and feel like a c64 (remember Commodore 64 , yes Europe, they were even popular here in the US :-) ).  So it starts up like a c64 starts up, and then goes into the game.  It has a few graphics for the title screen, very low res and low color.  It also plays some music which sounds similar to the old c64 three-channel (SID music).  The text is large as well and attempts to look like the original c64 fonts.  Pretty neat.  But to be sure there’s no actual in-game graphics.  For all it has (or doesn’t have) it does it’s thing pretty well.  I think some of you c64 nuts will appreciate this.  Or anyone into interactive fiction.  So give it a try, there’s nothing to lose, but time, as it’s free.

Final Analysis:  Fun in texty, sort of way.  Not for you short attention span types, or anyone actually born in the 80’s or after.

Name: Midwinter Rites

Developer: Colossus Entertainment

Price: Free

Where you can get it: Here

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