Review: The Great Archeological Race

(This early TADS game was lying ratinglessly around in a corner of the IFDB. It’s a fun and not too hard treasure hunt. Somewhat reminiscent of Indiana Jones. Could use a bit more spit and polish though. The Great Archeological Race - Details (

Saving your museum requires some work.

The Great Archeological Race and I got off on the wrong foot. It threw a bunch of typos at me and I responded with some harsh words shouted at the screen.

Escalation of the argument ensued. The Great Archeological Race tested my patience to no end with a 10-move-long cab drive where each Z was followed by a boring description of a city block, with nothing to do. I retaliated in a threatening manner, typing QUIT and only at the last second answering “NO” to the confirmationary question (“Do you really want to quit?” it asked in a more docile tone).

We had arrived at the airport by then. Wandering through the terminal in search of the correct departure gate, we settled into an uneasy peace. I started to realize that maybe The Great Archeological Race was really doing its best, that it simply was not made for literary greatness. Even then, the least it could do was make an effort to understand the simple English sentences I spoke to it despondently and perhaps have a synonym or two or three in its vocabulary.

But finally, when we arrived in a little village called Hareda in the middle of the Brazilian Jungle, perseverance was rewarded.

We found a strange machine to produce some necessary gear, and we promised to help out the desperate rubber manufacturer whose mailbag of post orders had been stolen. We prevailed over the bandit in a random and haphazardly sort of way.

And we found the fabled cave of treasures. There was a rather heated argument once again when I found The Great Archeological Race had not properly signalled a matchbook I needed to infiltrate the dark tunnels, resulting in our repeating the whole ordeal with the cab ride and the tedious airport corridors. But now we were focused, joined in our shared goal of finding the hidden treasures that would help us open the doors to the inner sanctum.

After cleverly putting together the clues to navigate the cave halls and their obstacles, and after mapping out an easy maze, we basked in the glory of having found the Crystal Cave.

It glittered.