Classic Computer Magazine Archive CREATIVE COMPUTING VOL. 11, NO. 9 / SEPTEMBER 1985 / PAGE 78

Mindwheel. (computer program) (evaluation)

The world teeters on the brink of destruction. The future points toward nuclear annihilation, and the past lies forgotten in the march of time. No one can turn back the clock. Death appears certain--unless you can travel telepathically back to the germination of civilization and retrieve the Wheel of Wisdom, a "mysterious object that contains the secret of your planet's best values."

You see, a mind is a terrible thing to waste, and Nature never wastes anything. Thought patterns of a mind--the soul, if you will--are trapped within the neuro-electronic matrix of time and space. Corporeal death translates into mental immortality. The more powerful the mind, like an Einstein, a Shake-speare, or even a Hitler, the more accessible within the matrix.

Your mission is to journey into the matrix, tame four of the most powerful minds (a scientist, a poet, a dictator, and a rock star) in history, and wrest the Wheel of Wisdom from the ageless Cave Master.

Written by Robert Pinsky, poetry editor for The New Republic, this text-only adventure game propels you through a bizarre series of puzzles and encounters. Like a cross between Dante's Inferno and a Kurt Vonnegut novel, the prose remains engaging, imaginative, and provoking throughout--a testimony to using real authors rather than programmers to write adventure games.

The game comes with a 93-page hardcover book that provides an introduction to the adventure. About 20 pages are blank ("adventurer's notes"). The anti-piracy scheme is well-done: the program requires a password, which is a certain word on a certain line on a certain page in the book. This password changes with each play, rendering the disk useless without the book.

Synapse (Broderbund) calls Mindwheel an "electronic novel." We call it an enchanting adventure game featuring deathless prose, an intriguing plot, and a solid parser structure.

Products: Mindwheel (computer program)