(An entertaining AGT game from 1989. Sir Ramic Hobbs and the High Level Gorilla - Details (tads.org))
Suicide by vitamin C
Wow! This game sure doesn’t beat around the bush. You, as Sir Ramic Hobbs, an out-of-shape and severely hung-over knight, are dropped in a bear cave. An agreement which you do not remember signing says you swear to save the damsel from the High Level Gorilla. Now on your way, start adventuring!
Sir Ramic Hobbs and the High Level Gorilla is a text-adventure from the old ages. Within the first few turns, a ton of anachronisms and wildly differing rooms have flown by. Each on its own, these are pretty funny. As a whole however … uhm, they don’t make a whole.
The gameworld is totally off its rockers. The locations and the mood are wildly inconsistent. The only thing holding this game together is whatever the author’s impulses thought was funny at the time. This incoherent setting and atmosphere may get a few laughs, but it sure is not engaging or immersive.
Fortunately, this setting is home to some good puzzles. Apart from getting the right objects to use in the right spot, you also have to watch out that you move from room to room at the right time. If not, some invincible adversary will stop you from progressing further or just kill you on the spot. There are lots of opportunities to forget an object or an action in a room that you cannot get back to later. This means that the metacommands SAVE, RESTORE and UNDO are completely legitimate adventuring commands. Go explore the neighboring rooms and restore when you are confident that you have the lay of the land memorized.
There are two in-game help-resources: an overly humble “Bloodcurdling Owl”, whose responses are so selfdeprecating they sound insulting to you, and the disembodied voice of Wizard Prang, your narrator (who doesn’t seem to think very highly of your knightly skills…) Up to you to decide whether to trust the advice this odd pair gives.
The absolute zaniness of this game amused me enough to keep looking just a bit further, and I’m glad I did. About three quarters into the game I encountered a Great Puzzle: the rope. The kind of puzzle that would be so obvious in real life, but that somehow manages to keep evading your wits in an adventure game. When I finally found the solution, I smiled. Nay, I grinned. Ear to ear. You know what I mean…
The High Level Gorilla is an uneven mix of dumb jokes, funny juxtapositions and non-sequiturs, frustrating deaths and at least one glorious puzzle moment.