Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Lost Treasures of Infocom
The Lost Treasures of Infocom is a collection of 20 computer games from interactive fiction pioneer Infocom, released in 1991. It was available in MS-DOS and Amiga versions. Infocom was closed in 1989 by its then-parent company Activision. Still holding the copyright to nearly all the past Infocom titles, Activision bundled 20 of the most popular into this package. The games included are:
- Zork I
- Zork II
- Zork III
- Beyond Zork
- Zork Zero
- The Witness
- The Lurking Horror
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The package contains all the instructions (bound in one volume) and maps for each game as well as all the InvisiClues, printed normally instead of using "invisible" ink. The package also features a launch menu which lets the user select which one of the 20 games they wish to play.
An additional bonus was the updated version of Hitchhiker's Guide. The game was repackaged using a later version of the Z-machine than the original, and now featured a built-in hint system.
Some significant omissions from the package were the "feelies" for which Infocom had become known. The package merely contained photocopies or pictures of these items, such as the sunglasses from Hitchhiker's Guide and the Stellar Patrol ID card from Planetfall. Including these items would have significantly increased the production costs and package weight of the release, however, so the decision is understandable if lamentable.
Many fans complained about the quality of the enclosed documents. Not only did the feelies lose much of their "realism", but many of the original items were reduced in size and scanned at such low resolution that they were nearly unreadable. In addition, some items were accidentally omitted. At least one game (Ballyhoo) was rendered unwinnable due to these oversights. Regardless of this lapse in quality control, The Lost Treasures of Infocom sold well.
The Lost Treasures of Infocom II
The success of the original Lost Treasures of Infocom prompted a follow-up collection, appropriately titled The Lost Treasures of Infocom II. This package contained 11 more classic Infocom titles. The games included in Lost Treasures II were:
- Border Zone
- A Mind Forever Voyaging
- Plundered Hearts
- Hollywood Hijinx
- Sherlock: The Riddle of the Crown Jewels
- Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head or Tail of It
(Leather Goddesses of Phobos was not actually included, but could be ordered for $9.95 via an enclosed coupon.)
The quality of the photocopied feelies and manuals was, in general, slightly better than those in the original Lost Treasures package. A few items were reproduced quite faithfully, such as the Trinity site plan and a newspaper and map of London from Sherlock. However, the games' InvisiClues were not included as before; instead, a card advertising a pay-per-minute hint line was included in the package.
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