A Galactic Experience

In 2009 I asked on rec.games.int-fiction if anyone knew about an old scifi game I vaguely remembered (this post) playing on a Zenith Z89 in the early 80’s, but no one could come up with a correct answer. I have spent way too much time thinking about what game that could have been, but since not even anyone in that group knew I did not expect to ever find it. In 2014 in desperation I asked on reddit, not really expecting anyone there to figure it out. But to my surprise today I saw that I had an old unread message. Someone contacted me 3 years ago to answer that last call for help. That led me to the name of the game A Galactic Experience and what little is written about it online.

The scanned manual can be found here: sebhc.lesbird.com/documentation.html#GAMES It promises a “massive” adventure of 250 locations, a 300 words vocabulary.

I also saw this page where a Mark Garlanger is asking for anyone that knows where to find the publishers of this game to contact him, because he wants permission to post that game (and the two other games from the same publisher, A Remarkable Experience, and A Physical Experience). So if anyone happens to know where to find Hughes Hoyle or whomever now may own the rights to those games please contact him. :slight_smile:

That is pretty much everything I have been able to find. Anyone else knows something more?

I do not even have a copy of this game on floppy, and even if I had it my dad’s old Zenith Z89 is not fully functional, so would have to figure out how to play in an emulator anyway. It would be fun just to try. Pretty sure I would never manage to play for very long in a very oldschool game like.


If you can find the game, you may be able to run it on something like a Z80 retro computer such as an RC2014 found at: https://rc2014.co.uk/. It can run CP/M which was one of the operating systems the Heath/Zenith Z89 supported. An emulator is also probably available. I remember the Heath computers. I built many of the kits but not any of their computers.

Don’t give up.

Thanks! That retro computer looks amazing, but I know if I had one it would not be used anyway (something like that but IBM PC XT though…). An emulator is as far as I would go and there are several for the Z89/H89.

I was able to play this game on one of the Heathkit H-89 emulators out there. I played it as a kid and never beat it. I was so obsessed with beating this game that I disassembled the executable and I can safely say that I would never have beaten the game. There are many ways to silently make the game unwinnable and there is a puzzle that, even with the answer, I am unable to solve. I do have a full-point walkthrough of the game.

1 Like

Hello, I discovered this game recently and I was intrigued, since it’s not mentioned in the usual game databases. My hobby is the history of computer games and I could find very little on the publisher Hoyle & Hoyle and their games (they also released two other adventures). I would love to do a presentation of the game but I’m stuck. Could you possibly share the walkthrough?
Also, since you disassembled the executable: I suspect it uses Gordon Letwin’s code from his conversion of Adventure to Heathkit H8s. Is this founded? Have you discovered anything in the code?
Thank you

1 Like

All three games are also listed as being available for TRS 80 Model I/III in 1983.

Are there any active downloads links?

(Edit: These seems to be the Galactic Experience game sebhc/A-GALACTIC-EXPERIENCE-C-COPYRIGHT-HUGHES-HOYLE-III-1981_00A5C76D.H8D at master · sebhc/sebhc · GitHub

I see that, when originally approached back in the day, that Hoyle & Hoyle refused permission for their games to be archived. Which is a shame, as it probably means the other two will be lost forever)

This Github repo has all of my efforts into A Galactic Adventure.

I don’t think it used code from anywhere else. It’s some serious spaghetti


Your Github site on the game is great. :slight_smile: Thanks for sharing.

There is one puzzle in the game that I cannot figure out. The text is:

   You are at the main entrance to the underground.  A huge sign on
   the door reads:

The answer is DOLAT but I have no idea how or why.

This is truly great work, thanks for sharing! Hire bartender…I would have never thought of that. Alright I will get into it.

“hire bartender” frustrated me and my dad for 5 years.

“find locker” is where we stopped after several years of trying.

1 Like

I played it up to “find locker”. Then when it showed the top down view of the lockers the emulator I was using crapped out on me. It’s for the best because at that point I had absolutely no interest of continuing the torture. Yeah, the game is bad. Even for 1981 standards it’s bad. I think it’s on purpose frustrating in order to force you give up and buy the hintbook they were selling. But it has no redeeming future to make you persevere. I haven’t encountered a clever puzzle so far, just frustrating ones. And from what I’ve seen from the walkthrough and the game message text you have on your site, things don’t get better.

And the writing is cringeworthy. Let’s say we can excuse bad gameplay mechanics because it’s early, there’s no excuse for the story. It was trying to tell some sort of story as you were moving from room to room in the Grand Central Station, but this whole thing with the doctor who had just discovered he has two duaghters, one good and one evil…WTF? True, it may have more prose than the average text adventure of the day but I kinda wish it didn’t. It’s so embarassingly bad.

I don’t know, perhaps I am too harsh, it’s a 1981 effort after all. It’s not like the rest of the text adventures of the day were of Tolstoy quality.

1 Like