When it comes to Portal I am of two minds. When I first saw the game in action on The Orange Box in 2007 I was blown away. I do have a fondness for puzzle titles but something about the videos I was seeing made me hesitant. While the idea of wielding an Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device was thrilling.
The truth of the matter is I’m one of those souls who is in fact affected by motion sickness. In first person games like Portal this is something of an issue as you might imagine. Still, the lure of not just Portal but Half-Life 2 and of course Team Fortress 2 . Made sure I was there on release day at my local game store to pick up my copy.
The results were as to be expected. In addition my crippling weakness of motion sickness also affected me when playing Half-Life 2. However at the very least I was able to engage in another type of science with Team Fortress 2!
That’s how I lost my medical license!
Thankfully my Wife was able to make use of Portal – so I got the story of Chell, even if I had to leave the room and lay down every 15 minutes to do so. But all of that nasty motion sickness is behind us now thanks to Vince Weaver!
Who not only happens to be an assistant professor at the University of Maine -in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. But also sports a nice flux capacitor behind him and managed to program Portal on the Apple II. Worries of being struck down by motion sickness are a thing of the past!
Not too shabby a feat for a system that was built 24 years before Portal arrived on the scene, right? In addition Vince was able to pull this off using Applesoft Basic. He also managed to include a chiptune version of Still Alive!
Now that you know a bit about Portal for the Apple II, why not watch it in action? A walkthrough of sorts hosted by Vince Weaver!
Oh, hey! Sorry – didn’t realize you were finished with that video. I was just enjoying this delicious and rather moist cake sent over by our friends from Aperture Laboratories. Why not let GLaDOS entertain you with an uplifting song while I finish this cake?
In 1983’s Oil’s Well by Sierra (before they were Sierra Online), players control a drill bit and must “devour” pellets of oil. Your drill bit can be broken by hitting land mines and various critters roaming the tunnels beneath the earth. The game is almost identical to another popular game released for home computers in 1983, Datamost’s Ardy the Aardvark, which apparently was based on the 1982 arcade game Anteater.
The dinosaur seen above is Slater the Petrosaur, as seen in the 1990 PC version of the manual. Slater has essentially nothing to do with the game. I guess they just needed a cute mascot to put in the manual for marketing purposes.
Oil’s Well was released for the Apple II, Atari 8-bit, ColecoVision, Commodore 64, MSX, and the IBM PC. I spent some time playing the Apple II version this week and it’s really addictive. Your drill bit is controlled by the joystick, while the button retracts it quickly. If a critter touches any part of your drill bit it breaks, so getting all the oil located on the bottom levels is quite challenging.
My current “retrocomputing desk” consists of two Raspberry Pi computers, a Commodore 64, an Apple IIe, and a MiST (Amiga and Atari ST) machine. I had hoped to try out a few more games last night but all I did was play Oil’s Well for a couple of hours.
Here’s some footage of the Commodore 64 version of Oil’s Well…
…and here’s some footage from the 1990 MS-DOS version. Keep an eye out for Slater!
With its built in floppy drive and a handle on the back of the case, the Apple IIc (released in the Summer of 1988) was the company’s attempt at a portable Apple II computer (the “c” stood for “compact”). “Compact” had a slightly different definition back in 1988. Today it means “fits in your pocket” — in 1988, it meant “fits in your trunk”.
Each Apple IIc came with a small white box containing these five floppy disks. Containing a series of tutorials and utilities, these disks were enough to get the average user something to do until they went down to the mall and bought a copy of Oregon Trail or Ultima …
Today’s Photo of the Day was uploaded by Randy Troppmann and shows a younger Randy playing the arcade classic Robotron 2084 on his Apple II. This photo is great for a few reasons.
– It shows classic technology being used in its appropriate era.
– The game Randy is playing is one of the best arcade titles for the Apple II.
– You see see wonderful computer ephemera in the form of a ComputerLand Disc Holder.
If you wonder how the game played on the Apple II, here is a gameplay video: