If a name such as Michael Crichton appears at the beginning of an interactive adventure, it has to stand for something. OK, at the time I first played this game on C64 I haven’t heard of Crichton and I wasn’t really into text adventures, still this one looked cool, but I never really was able to play it too much (as a pre-school kid I didn’t understand enough English). Returning back to this game (although the PC port) was a bit scary, because my expectations were high, but I was not disappointed.
Amazon is an excellent piece of interactive fiction. A game that really guides you through itself. There’s also some graphics, which are there just for the effect, but they are nice.
You even get to choose your name and have a little conversation with the computer every now and again, but most importantly you can select one of three different difficulty settings.
The story is intriguing enough, although not the most original one (or maybe it still was back in the day). The expedition that went to the Amazon (thus the name) has been slaughtered and the satellite picture shows a strange intruder being present at the massacre site of the research camp. If this sounds familiar, try to remember Crichton’s Congo (it does start very much alike it).
The game even features sounds (mostly from the internal speaker), but they try to be of as good a quality as they got back then. Better then just bleeps and peeps (especially if you run the game in DOSBox).
A small problem:
There’s a little problem with the game though. If you wish to save the game will require an old floppy B drive, so unless you have it and can enter an empty diskette into it, you won’t be able to save. Do not even attempt to save, because the game will stop at that point and you’ll have to exit it the hard way. So you will have to play it thorough in one goal (which is a downside, but not due to the game’s fault), unless you’re able to emulate the B drive (or actually have it).
EDIT: Our very own member Luchsen has supplied us with a zip file that will solve this problem. You can find it as an extra to the game. Excellent job Luchsen!