Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Matt Barton covers Autoduel in his History of CRPGs

Matt Barton has written up a comprehensive account of the development of Computer Role Playing Games.  Autoduel stands firmly in the Golden Age and is noted there for being one of the first “open ended” games.  The only other game like that at the time would have been Firebird’s Elite, which was a sort of computerized Traveller.  (Thanks to The Vintage Gamer for bringing parts I and II of the series to my attention.)

I saw a demo of Ultima I while in elementary school and was blown away.  I played pirated copies of Ultima II and III until the disks wore out.  When I finally could spend money on these things I was sorely disappointed.  A copy of Amber Star refused to run on my Atari ST… and my version of Temple of Apshai Trilogy would crash randomly.  I got completely stuck very early on in a later “martian” themed Ultima game written for the IBM.  I played a free text game on the ST called Hack compulsively and thought a graphical over the counter version would be even better… but the one I payed money for just plain stunk.

The idea of CRPG’s has always fascinated me, but I’ve honestly never really had that good of an experience with them.


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