Psychosphere: the most missingest Apple II text adventure of all time?

I’ve been slowly going through old hint book collections adding missing games to IFDB (quite a few omissions, which–how?–but okay I’ll do my part) and I’ve come across an outlier: a game not listed in IFDB, MobyGames, or… almost anywhere, really.

Psychosphere by Software Unlimited.

Wrote Kim Schuette:

“You’ve been transported to an alien ship, and if you don’t escape you’ll doubtlessly die. There’s a shuttle craft waiting for you, but you have to find it and figure out how to fly it. As you play you’ll learn why you’re there and be called upon to repair several parts of the ship, including its brain, which proves to be an interesting sequence of moves.”

Forman has it on his old want list and the last trace of it being publicly discussed I’ve found is a 2009 RGIF conversation concluding yup, there it is in Book Of Adventure Games II, no trace of the actual software.

I’ve been able to dig up games that weren’t mainstream enough to warrant precious Kim Schuette book space based on second-hand memories like “there was a submarine”, but this one seems to be Really Not Available.

So, if you see this orphaned game in your neighborhood, please alert your local archiving authorities.


Aside from those mentions there’s an Aussie looking for it in the ‘Swap Shop’ section of a couple of old QuestBusters magazines (e.g. October 1990) where it’s mentioned in the same breath as other ‘graphic adventures’ for the Apple II like Lantern of D’gamma and Lion’s Share… so it must’ve had a certain degree of fame…

But, yeah, not many traces of it in the usual places.

A company named “Software Unlimited” is described in this issue of Family Computing:

Every single game listed as wanted by that reader is also found in The Book Of Adventure Games II. I doubt that is a coincidence.

Is it possible that “Unlimited Software” is related to Distinctive Software, an 80s game company which seems to have used that name once (and was later acquired by EA Canada)?

I don’t think “Unlimited Software” is likely the same as “Software Unlimited” in this case.

There is an actual Software Unlimited still out there, apparently founded in 1979, and doing school accounting software… which is a fairly plausible evolutionary path for a company that once published an Apple II text adventure to take.