The Early Years

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Adventure
Adventure
Fantasy
Fantasy
Mystery
Mystery
ScienceFiction
Science
Fiction
Building
Building
Crazy quilt
Crazy quilt
Fort
Fort
Outer space
Outer space
Under­ground
Under­ground
Wilderness
Wilderness
CYOA
CYOA
The Early Years
Author(s) Samuel Stoddard
Publisher(s) n/a
Release date(s) 30 January 2005
Authoring system Smash
Platform(s) HTML
Language(s) English
License(s) Freeware
Multimedia
Color effects none
Graphics none
Sound/Music none
Ratings
Cruelty scale Merciful

How It Begins

The game begins with a foreword describing that the author had written various games using an Apple IIe computer between the ages of 11 and 17, before writing Fantasy Quest using GW-BASIC. After porting Fantasy Quest to RinkWorks.com in 1998, he remade several of the games using his Smash authoring system. The player is then given a menu of games to play and notes about them.

Notable Features

  • 22 games are included, though only two are available at first, the rest are unlocked by completing other games. 12 games are required to complete the game, the other 10 are optional.
  • Developer's notes are available from the menu as the games are completed.
  • Notes (in italics) are shown along with the main game text, usually explaining the oddities of childhood writing and narrative.

The Games

  • Required for completion
    • Adventure, a treasure hunt set in an old mansion. This was the first game to be written in 1981.
    • Gold Rush, an early game where the player must search for gold, and the second to use a parser (the first being The Haunted Inn, deemed too problematic to translate to Smash). Stoddard notes that in its original form the command interface was so crude the game could be won on the first turn using the Elided puzzle bug.
    • Trapped in Castle Bombadier, where the player must escape from the titular castle.
    • Space-Man, an early command-driven game where the player travels the solar system solving illogical puzzles. The first of the Haplay series, involving many of the compilation's recurring characters for the first time.
    • Spider Attack, a maze game written before Stoddard knew what an adventure game looked like. Notably, the directions linking rooms do not match, and there are several descriptionless areas. Inspired by The Hobbit.
    • Save Crewshade, storywise the last game in the Haplay series in which the player saves the world from the "creator of evil".
    • Camelot's Curse, a fantasy game considered the first logically playable game written. A favourite of the author, containing several features used in later games.
    • Trapped in Castle Bombadier 2, a sequel to the original.
    • Time Machine, where the player is lost in the past and has to recover their time machine.
    • Vampire Hall, a game where the player navigates a castle to defeat the vampires there.
    • Magical Journey, a light-hearted fantasy game.
    • The Quest of Kael, an epic quest considered the best of the games.
  • Optional
    • Tower of Terror, a simple linear game where the player climbs to the top of a tower before they go insane from the monsters within. Adapted from a computer programming magazine.
    • Granny's Garden, where the player is searching for missing children. The title is meaningless and there is no granny and no garden in the game.
    • Shibble, a continuation of Spider Attack featuring many of the former's elements, and a part of the Haplay series in which the player searches for the Shivering Shibble, an artefact that is never elaborated on.
    • The Spinning Stone, also part of the Haplay series and involving a stone that spins hidden in a cave.
    • Mini-Adventure, a short game in a fantasy setting.
    • Dragon, a short game in which the player hunts for a dragon. Written by Stoddard's brother.
    • Jewel of Montol, a fantasy treasure hunt for the titular gem.
    • Compu-Maze, a basic maze game.
    • Forest, the prototype of another RinkWorks adventure game, Enchanted Forest.
    • Murder, a Clue-inspired murder mystery game.

Versions

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