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Just finished it today. Loved the sci-fi setting and really enjoyed it all round. Definitely one of the easier text adventures I’ve played but that’s not a bad thing. The difficulty ramped up nicely as the game went on and I really liked how breaking the VR was brought back at the end. The only bit that really bugged me was needing the gun to kill the spider. It didn’t occur to me for the longest time that I would need an item from Gateway when everything had been so self contained prior to this.

I completely missed out on all of Legend’s games at the time they came out but they seem to have a really solid catalogue. I’ve caught up with some of their later point and clicks before now (Death Gate and Blackstone Chronicles are both superb) but the only text adventure of theirs I’d played was Spellcasting 101. That was decent but a bit of a let-down compared to other Meretzky games I’ve played. I much preferred Gateway.

The interface for these games is kind of strange. Did anyone actually use the keyword list? I pretty much ignored it the whole way through myself other than maybe seeing what was in the room. I struggle to imagine anyone clicking on keywords to form their sentences. To me at least, it does smack of a desperate attempt to keep the text adventure relevant at a time when point and click was taking over. I really like just using the text parser myself. It opens up so many more options than point and click and makes you actually think rather than being able to brute force puzzles.

I can’t even remember after all this time but the truth is I probably ignored Legend as a teenager purely because these were text adventures. I associated the genre with slightly clunky 8-bit titles like The Hobbit or Worm in Paradise so it’s people like me that helped kill it off. It’s a hard sell to a teenager when put up against games like Monkey Island but at least I can appreciate them 30 years after the fact I suppose. I’ll be firing up Gateway 2 next.