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Old 05-02-2008, 02:04 AM   #1
Blood-Pigggy
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Default A Mind Forever Voyaging

Amongst the guidelines of making a text-based adventure game lies the little rule "plenty of puzzles". Fortunately, this rule came with an asterisk marking it as optional. The result of this is a fabulous title by the name of A Mind Forever Voyaging which manages to take the conventionalities of everyday text-based games and make something entirely different.
Probably the most common thing you will hear while browsing through text-based titles is the claim "interactive fiction". While this is usually just a general description of the genre used by industry-men, there are very few games that actually fit into this area. Some titles such as Zork are little more than puzzle infested ventures with some character interaction and a few interesting areas. While Zork and other such titles are by no means bad games, they're also not entirely what I would call interactive fiction.

There are really only one or two text-based titles I would bless with the name interactive fiction, and A Mind Forever Voyaging is one of those.

The storyline presents a unique concept right off the bat. Although most of the back story is presented neatly in the manual, I'll chalk up one of the negatives of A Mind Forever Voyaging right from the beginning, the back story is revealed even less in this title than it is in other Infogrames text-based titles. This leaves the beginning a rather bit confusing, and it may take some people a little time to realize what is fully going on, especially since you're not going to be finding this game in a store anytime soon these days, and most people will find this title off of Abandonware sites or the like.
But as I was saying, A Mind Forever Voyaging has a fantastically unique story. You are an AI, a computer that for the past 21 years of your life has been living a simulated life. Throughout this simulation, you have witnessed the waking moments into this world as a new born, until the day a fateful interview for a job leads to the discovery of who you truly are. As PRISM, you were created to live through this simulation in order to create the first truly human AI. And as your creators bring you to awareness of your true self, you are almost immediately sent on an assignment. As you come to terms with your new self and the facts being laid out upon you, you have the honor of recording choice events and activities through your simulation mode in order for some scientists to collect data.
The true purpose behind all this is revealed as the story unravels, and its filled with social commentary and very clever writing. The story is by far one of A Mind Forever Voyaging's strong suits, and it holds up through the entire experience. The writing is almost always consistent, and areas are outlined in suitable detail. I must commend Infogrames for the fantastic work done on this title's writing, since it's surely one of the best in their line up of text-based games.

One thing that separates A Mind Forever Voyaging from most text-based games is the fact that there are VERY few puzzles, in fact, I can go as far to say that there are only two real puzzles in the entirety of the game. This is where the term interactive fiction comes into play. A Mind Forever Voyaging is much like you're venturing through the story, you are the protagonist, and you're all in the middle of it. Unlike other text-based games where it feels like you are just overcoming obstacles in order to advance yourself in the story, A Mind Forever Voyaging actually "happens" to you. This makes the game a truly unique experience, and it's extremely well done. The characters are incredibly memorable, and leave the game with a very satisfying feeling once you've finished it, since it will feel like these characters are just as unassuming as you are to the final outcome of the game.

I must complain of a few things though, and mainly that is the strange lack of options when it comes to dialog. There aren't that many things you can say or ask of people, and usually it's pretty difficult to figure out exactly what you can ask others. Being unable to scry answers from characters may leave you in the dark during some segments, and it can make some areas irritating since you aren't entirely clear on what you should be doing.
Another negative is that the library part of your AI is rather poorly organized and presents a very confusing interface. Attempting to read important documents that reveal deeper layers of the story and current events in the game's world can be difficult due to the fact that there are far too many categories to what could simply be a larger database in one selection. Once again, this is quite confusing, and trying to find your personal messages when you first play the game can be an exercise in tedium.

The shining point in A Mind Forever Voyaging is the simulation mode, where you explore areas in the world as you attempt to record events assigned to you. Your creator Dr. Perelman informs you of this exercise from the beginning , and soon you are set free into your simulation mode where you can wander wherever you wish. There are plenty of areas detailed in A Mind Forever Voyaging, all of them taking place a few years in the future. At first navigating the city through the subway system and attempting to establish a good method of nitpickiness that will allow you to see everything there is to see can be confusing, but fortunately you soon wise up to the game's system and will be walking through areas with ease. The sections of the city in A Mind Forever Voyaging is thankfully well organized, and finding yourself from a park on side of the city to a hotel on the other is quite easy once you've learned the layout of the place and maybe constructed a map on a piece of paper.

Unfortunately the worst part of A Mind Forever Voyaging is finding out exactly where the events you must record are to be done. It took me forever to do the simple task of "record yourself having a meal" whereas I completed stumbled upon "record yourself sleeping" while wandering around aimlessly. A Mind Forever Voyaging seems to thrust you into the world and leave it to you to stumble around almost blindly more than other text-based titles. Although this is the games worst point, it's also not that bad, since as I've said before, you catch up quite quickly.

As far as the final impression went, I was incredibly surprised at the depth of A Mind Forever Voyaging. Several topics are touched upon in the story, war, oil, transportation, terror, and quite predictably (although entertaining) population control. Although some of these points have lost relevance since the 80s, most of the game's commentary is still relevant and is quite thought provoking.
Because of this, I left A Mind Forever Voyaging feeling quite satisfied at the story and presentation, there's a lot to mill over once you've reached the finishing point, and the separation of AI and humanity is a nice touch that is done more subtly and much better than say, The Matrix or some other tripe.

Overall, A Mind Forever Voyaging is a fantastically unique piece of interactive fiction that should leave most gamers with a good impression. I enjoyed this game immensely and found its writing to be some of the best I've encountered in Infogrames' lineup. While it does have its share of problems, you can't go wrong with this one if you like good old text based titles.
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Last edited by Blood-Pigggy; 05-02-2008 at 02:09 AM.
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Old 04-06-2008, 12:40 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Blood-Pigggy View Post
Amongst the guidelines of making a text-based adventure game lies the little rule "plenty of puzzles". Fortunately, this rule came with an asterisk marking it as optional. The result of this is a fabulous title by the name of A Mind Forever Voyaging which manages to take the conventionalities of everyday text-based games and make something entirely different.
Probably the most common thing you will hear while browsing through text-based titles is the claim "interactive fiction". While this is usually just a general description of the genre used by industry-men, there are very few games that actually fit into this area. Some titles such as Zork are little more than puzzle infested ventures with some character interaction and a few interesting areas. While Zork and other such titles are by no means bad games, they're also not entirely what I would call interactive fiction.

There are really only one or two text-based titles I would bless with the name interactive fiction, and A Mind Forever Voyaging is one of those.

The storyline presents a unique concept right off the bat. Although most of the back story is presented neatly in the manual, I'll chalk up one of the negatives of A Mind Forever Voyaging right from the beginning, the back story is revealed even less in this title than it is in other Infogrames text-based titles. This leaves the beginning a rather bit confusing, and it may take some people a little time to realize what is fully going on, especially ce you're not going to be finding this game in a store anytime soon these days, and most people will find this title off of Abandonware sites or the like.
But as I was saying, A Mind Forever Voyaging has a fantastically unique story. You are an AI, a computer that for the past 21 years of your life has been living a simulated life. Throughout this simulation, you have witnessed the waking moments into this world as a new born, until the day a fateful interview for a job leads to the discovery of who you truly are. As PRISM, you were created to live through this simulation in order to create the first truly human AI. And as your creators bring you to awareness of your true self, you are almost immediately sent on an assignment. As you come to terms with your new self and the facts being laid out upon you, you have the honor of recording choice events and activities through your simulation mode in order for some scientists to collect data.
The true purpose behind all this is revealed as the story unravels, and its filled with social commentary and very clever writing. The story is by far one of A Mind Forever Voyaging's strong suits, and it holds up through the entire experience. The writing is almost always consistent, and areas are outlined in suitable detail. I must commend Infogrames for the fantastic work done on this title's writing, since it's surely one of the best in their line up of text-based games.

One thing that separates A Mind Forever Voyaging from most text-based games is the fact that there are VERY few puzzles, in fact, I can go as far to say that there are only two real puzzles in the entirety of the game. This is where the term interactive fiction comes into play. A Mind Forever Voyaging is much like you're venturing through the story, you are the protagonist, and you're all in the middle of it. Unlike other text-based games where it feels like you are just overcoming obstacles in order to advance yourself in the story, A Mind Forever Voyaging actually "happens" to you. This makes the game a truly unique experience, and it's extremely well done. The characters are incredibly memorable, and leave the game with a very satisfying feeling once you've finished it, since it will feel like these characters are just as unassuming as you are to the final outcome of the game.

I must complain of a few things though, and mainly that is the strange lack of options when it comes to dialog. There aren't that many things you can say or ask of people, and usually it's pretty difficult to figure out exactly what you can ask others. Being unable to scry answers from characters may leave you in the dark during some segments, and it can make some areas irritating since you aren't entirely clear on what you should be doing.
Another negative is that the library part of your AI is rather poorly organized and presents a very confusing interface. Attempting to read important documents that reveal deeper layers of the story and current events in the game's world can be difficult due to the fact that there are far too many categories to what could simply be a larger database in one selection. Once again, this is quite confusing, and trying to find your personal messages when you first play the game can be an exercise in tedium.

The shining point in A Mind Forever Voyaging is the simulation mode, where you explore areas in the world as you attempt to record events assigned to you. Your creator Dr. Perelman informs you of this exercise from the beginning , and soon you are set free into your simulation mode where you can wander wherever you wish. There are plenty of areas detailed in A Mind Forever Voyaging, all of them taking place a few years in the future. At first navigating the city through the subway system and attempting to establish a good method of nitpickiness that will allow you to see everything there is to see can be confusing, but fortunately you soon wise up to the game's system and will be walking through areas with ease. The sections of the city in A Mind Forever Voyaging is thankfully well organized, and finding yourself from a park on side of the city to a hotel on the other is quite easy once you've learned the layout of the place and maybe constructed a map on a piece of paper.

Unfortunately the worst part of A Mind Forever Voyaging is finding out exactly where the events you must record are to be done. It took me forever to do the simple task of "record yourself having a meal" whereas I completed stumbled upon "record yourself sleeping" while wandering around aimlessly. A Mind Forever Voyaging seems to thrust you into the world and leave it to you to stumble around almost blindly more than other text-based titles. Although this is the games worst point, it's also not that bad, since as I've said before, you catch up quite quickly.

As far as the final impression went, I was incredibly surprised at the depth of A Mind Forever Voyaging. Several topics are touched upon in the story, war, oil, transportation, terror, and quite predictably (although entertaining) population control. Although some of these points have lost relevance since the 80s, most of the game's commentary is still relevant and is quite thought provoking.
Because of this, I left A Mind Forever Voyaging feeling quite satisfied at the story and presentation, there's a lot to mill over once you've reached the finishing point, and the separation of AI and humanity is a nice touch that is done more subtly and much better than say, The Matrix or some other tripe.

Overall, A Mind Forever Voyaging is a fantastically unique piece of interactive fiction that should leave most gamers with a good impression. I enjoyed this game immensely and found its writing to be some of the best I've encountered in Infogrames' lineup. While it does have its share of problems, you can't go wrong with this one if you like good old text based titles.
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Old 04-06-2008, 03:46 PM   #3
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Hey Analbaba 1.
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:34 PM   #4
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Holy hell.
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:57 PM   #5
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the second post is best in months so far :laugh:
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:27 PM   #6
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The review does the game justice. Long live Perry Simm...Perry Simm...Pry..Sim...PRISM
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Old 13-10-2011, 05:48 PM   #7
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I'd love to add this review to the site
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Old 14-10-2011, 05:39 AM   #8
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You already have a review for A Mind Forever Voyaging...
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Old 14-10-2011, 09:15 AM   #9
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But this one's soo much better
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