Type-in books once promised full computer games encoded in the pages of a printed paperback. But the delicate balancing act of a game easy enough to type in but complex enough to be interesting was hard to get right...
Aaron, 50 years of Text Games is an ABSOLUTE JOY to read! I grew up with many of these games and my career has been in tech through the ARPANET, BITNET, and now the Internet. I learned about a computer system that I never knew existed and I have no idea how I've missed it but it's the Plato IV! This book is gorgeous and I love the organization. I find myself skipping all around, following your references and just getting lost, in a good way :) This is just a joy, thanks so much and a job well done capturing some amazing history and gaming and technology.
I feel like this has come full circle with the home "escape room" games that provide physical puzzles and documents to examine that then link to further puzzles located online that you access via QR codes and then back and forth between the 2 types of media until you solve the overall mystery.
Feeling inspired to make one of my own. Thanx for a great article and the inspiration!
Thanks for the great article! Sounds like a neat concept that was released a little too early. The idea of having to spend a full week typing in nonsense code into BASIC only to find the code is broken is sadly hilarious.
I remember doing the type-ins in educational magazines like 3-2-1 Contact. When I didn’t make a typo, or get bored halfway through and give up, they were kind of magical!