Simon reviews NP:LTS

Simon is a self confessed misadventurer, taking the odd events in his life and sharing them. He tells people he is old enough to know better, but this doesn’t seem to stop him blogging about it.

From first seeing the map of “The North 2065”, the title emblazoned on a pie, I knew I was in for something special. Northern Powerhouse: Last Towns Standing is evocative of the text adventures of my youth. Echoes of The Hobbit, Zork, and the HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy sprung to mind as I embarked on my quest.

Watching out for technology dead zones, robots, and the impenetrable Pennines. I set out to investigate the future as imagined by the youth of Wigan, Burnley and Hull. Continue reading Simon reviews NP:LTS

Gilbert plays NP:LTS

Gilbert Lowe overcomes his childhood frustrations of text adventure games, and takes Northern Powerhouse for a spin with his teenage daughter.

I was a 12 year old ignoramus in 1983, the year I first got my hands on a Commodore 64, the Zork series was in full swing and soon after, Hitchhiker’s was released. The Tri-Lambs and Omega Mus amongst my classmates were obsessed. But did I indulge? Not a chance. Those “games” were too much like homework for me. Borrrrrrring, why would I want to spend hours or even days pondering over whether or not to open doors, envelopes and even more doors when I could be mastering The Way of the Exploding Fist? ‘Text Adventure Game’: a contradiction in terms if ever there was one, as far as I was concerned.

Now it’s thirty three – or should that be eighty two – years later and my hand-eye coordination has predictably rendered my fighting days a distant memory. So when I was presented with the opportunity to open those doors and envelopes and even more doors all these years later my reply was, unsurprisingly, a less than enthusiastic “Erm, sure, ok, I suppose so. Can’t wait, I guess”. And who better to drag along for the ride with me than my hyper-critical eighteen year old daughter – to call her reluctant would be an understatement. One tough crowd to please indeed. Continue reading Gilbert plays NP:LTS

Oscar (15) reviews Northern Powerhouse: Last Towns Standing

I was excited to be asked to write this review before this text adventure game went live, says our young blogger Oscar (aged 15). You can play the game now too, just click here.

First of all, what a brilliant original idea this game is! The young people who created it (who are all of a similar age to me) deserve a lot of credit for all their hard work. This online text adventure game is set in 2065 after a nuclear attack in Britain leaves just three towns standing: Burnley, Wigan and Hull. It has been made by young people from these three towns with the help of artists Re-dock for their expert advice and support. The collaboration and partnership must have been a lot of fun for all involved! Continue reading Oscar (15) reviews Northern Powerhouse: Last Towns Standing

Get Lamp

Get Lamp is a documentary by Jason Scott, the most prolific and pioneering digital archivist of the modern age. There are many things Jason does to be thankful for, but in this post we’ll be taking a look at his oral history documentary of interactive fiction. This will be a personal review, as seen through the eyes of an old for whom this documentary fills in the edges of a misspent youth. This is a live, first-pass review of just the main feature, on the first disc. We’ll be screening this at Small Cinema Liverpool on 25th October 2015 – alternately, you can order it online from the film’s site.





> THE CONTINUE RE... Hey! this isn't even a game! I just want to read the review! Who stuck a parser here?

Continue reading Get Lamp

Hit Troll With Axe: A ZORK Review


This is an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door.
There is a small mailbox here.
A rubber mat saying ‘Welcome to Zork!’ lies by the door

This is the opening scene of Zork, and believe it or not, in it’s total freedom of interaction, it’s sheer number of possibilities, it’s one of the most important and iconic moments in gaming! Continue reading Hit Troll With Axe: A ZORK Review