Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
AdventureSoft is a UK-based video game developer which was established in the 1980s by Mike Woodroffe, then owner of Callisto Computers, one of the very early computer shops. Callisto Computers was, amongst other things, an importer and reseller of Adventure International games.
In the beginning Adventure Soft operated out of Birmingham converting the Adventure International games by Scott Adams to run on microcomputers found in the United Kingdom market which were not currently supported. Adventure Soft employed Brian Howarth whose Mysterious Adventure series was the British answer to Scott Adams games, and who used the same game system as Scott to perform the ports.
After a time the rate of release of games by Adventure International slowed and the company began to write other games using the same system. The first and perhaps most successful of these was a 1984 game based on Gremlins written by Brian Howarth and with artwork from Teoman Irmak , whose artwork was to become legendary amongst early microcomputer enthusiasts for its quality.
1985 saw the release of a game based on the television series "Robin of Sherwood", based on the Robin Hood legend. This game was the first containing game design by Mike Woodroffe, and also compression and a graphics system capable of very limited animation.
By 1986 Adventure International in the USA was bankrupt. AdventureSoft signed deals that gave it access to the Fighting Fantasy Game Books by Steve Jackson (UK) and Ian Livingstone, as well as a new more sophisticated game system.
The first fruits of this deal were "Seas Of Blood" by Michael Woodroffe and Alan Cox, followed by Stefan Ufnowski 's Rebel Planet. "Temple Of Terror" by Mike and Simon Woodroffe followed shortly afterwards.
"Blizzard Pass" (a single player game closely related to AberMUD) by Alan Cox and "Kayleth" (by Stefan Ufnowski and Ann Ufnowski ) followed as the company diversified the game range. Adventure Soft also began producing games for Tynesoft including the game of Supergran and "Terraquake" (featuring He-Man).
With the rise of powerful systems like the Commodore Amiga and a growing disinterest in text focussed games AdventureSoft began to actively exploit the graphical and multimedia angle of the games. The first 32bit game "Personal Nightmare" based on a design by Keith Wadhams featured music, animation and some mouse control coupled with a traditional text based game system. It was followed by two games based around Elvira Mistress of the Dark which moved away from keyboard command input to mouse driven gaming with animation and music from Jezz Woodroffe (a session musician with Robert Plant, Black Sabbath and other bands). The Elvira games used a modified AberMUD 5 game engine.
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