Z-Machine Wednesday: A Mind Forever Voyaging (1985)

What are the first things that come to your mind when you think about the game titles Infocom produced in the 1980’s? Groundbreaking game design? Imaginative puzzles? Intriguing Interactive Stories? Grues? I admit I generally think of Grues.

In 1985, Steve Meretzky (Planetfall, Sorcerer, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Leather Goddesses of Phobos, Stationfall, and Zork: Zero) programmed the 17th title in the interactive fiction line…that most Infocom fans were not ready to embrace. Advertised as “Interactive Fiction Plus”, A Mind Forever Voyaging had only a single puzzle near the end of the game. Instead you were tasked to play as a sentient computer named PRISM, a machine that has been living 20 years in a simulation as a human named “Perry Simm”. Your programmer, Dr. Perelman, awakens you to inform you that you are to carry out a vital mission for the Goverment, a new simulation that will determine if Senator Richard Ryder’s Plan for Renewed National Purpose can succeed. Perry will live through various timelines that detail how the plan will affect the world and unlike other Infocom titles you goal was not to solve puzzles to advance but live through these timelines, learn what has gone wrong with the plan.

Unlike most of Meretzky’s titles, A Mind Forever Voyaging, was a strictly serious political Sci-Fi tale. The game as I mentioned above was not welcomed with open arms by Infocom fans but critics gave it high approval for its storyline. Thanks as always to The Infocom Gallery for the scanned box art and the collection of Feelies posted below. I’m trying something a little different this week, besides the box cover, I’m using thumbnails you may click and expand to see the full image.

VicSage

Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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