Elf 1802 Retro Computer with Adventureland by Scott Adams

I recently built a COSMAC Elf retro computer kit. Its 8 bit CPU is an RCA 1802 from the early 70s. I had built one back at the time after reading articles in an electronics magazine. What piqued my interest was an extension ROM chip that includes Scott Adam’s Adventureland IF game.

The game runs exceptionally well for an 8 bit computer displayed in a virtual text terminal on my Raspberry Pi. The intro splash art drawn with ASCII art i incredible. The game plays just as it would on any computer with no lag or hesitation once you are into the game. It does take a minute or so to load the intro screen art.

I have inserted a couple of pictures of the assembled Elf and a screen shot of Adventureland. The kit is less than $100 and takes a couple of days to assemble. (Believe it or not, the assembled Elf will fit in an Altoids tin.)

The kit is described at the 1802 Membership Card website.


This looks really cool, especially the 1802 chip.

Sadly, there appears no modern development software for it, such as a working C compiler.

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You are correct, assembly and BASIC are the only development options. But that is part of the nostalgia. When I built the initial version in the 70s and then an Altair shortly after, assembly was the only option. Fortunately, computing moved quickly and we can easily develop with any of 100s of programming languages on a $35 SBC.

A Z80 based RC2014 retro is another 8 bit SBC that can boot with CP/M and is much more flexible.

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