I’m a mapper from way back. I always enjoy drawing my own maps with pencil and paper, then drawing up a nice map with Trizbort once the game is finished. I’ve played hundreds of adventures and drawn hundreds of maps, yet there are very few that stand out where the map itself was part of the puzzle. Here are a few examples of adventures with interesting maps from the SoftSide ‘Adventure of the Month’ series, as these are games that most people are unfamiliar with:
‘Alaskan Adventure’ by Peter Kirsch. This starts in snowy Alaska. You have to collect huskies to form a dog team, then use them to go to the next area. The game continues in this way until you return to the start area. There are eight areas in the cycle. Each area is a mini-maze liberally sprinkled with puzzles.
‘Around the World’ by Peter Kirsch. Follow the travels of Fineas Fogg as you travel around the world by ship, train, elephant, balloon and so on to eventually return to your original location. There were some interesting challenges when drawing the map, particularly the train and the elephant.
‘Arrow One’ by Peter Kirsch. A science fiction theme with lots of transporters, conditional one-way exits, a mini-maze with some random exits and an interesting weightless room.
‘Atlantis’ by Peter Kirsch. The game starts in a challenging maze benath the ocean, but you soon find your way into the lost city of Atlantis. Once it’s mapped, you find that it has a central hub with self-contained areas to the north, south, east and west. Each area has diagonal exits so that the rooms are arranged like a hexagon with another room at the centre of the hexagon. This one was quite a challenge to draw it up nicely.
‘The Dalton Gang’ by Peter Kirsch. This is quite a large game set in the old west with a fairly straight forward town, a very challenging (yet logical) desert maze and another smaller maze in a dimly-lit mine with lots of diagonals and one-way exits.
‘Danger Is My Business’ by Peter Kirsch. This has quite a large map with lots of diagonal exits, but most notable for the jungles of India all through the game. These are fairly easy to map, but hard to draw. For every one of these rooms, you can climb a tree. Most of the trees are actually the same room, but just a couple of them are unique, so you have to make sure to climb every tree in every jungle location and a couple of these are crucial for escaping from protagonists.
‘Deathworld’ by Peter Kirsch. A science fiction theme with more diagonal exits, but most memorable for rooms joined by concentric hexagons. This is one of the few where the map is important to a puzzle where you have to run a wire around the perimeter of a lake in order to electrocute a monster. Very cleverly executed.
‘It’s About Time’ by Peter Kirsch. This is a wonderful game oriented around time travel. You travel through eight time periods and the map is essentially the same in each time period, but rooms are added, deleted or changed depending on the events that have happened in the intervening time periods. Very cleverly executed once again.
This is just a small sample. All games available for Apple II, Atari 8-bit (that’s what I played them on) and TRS-80. My maps are available on CASA.