Seeking testers for former Hangtown and Adventures in Danger trilogies

The Hangtown and Adventures in Danger! trilogies were originally written in Turbo BASIC by John H Doolittle (@Dooriddle) back in the early 1990s. John recently asked for help to port these to a modern platform.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been working with John to bring these games up to date for a modern audience. This included enhancing the games with multi-word parser and expanded vocabulary; ability to examine things; new or changed puzzles; richer story, descriptions, responses and NPCs; and more. For further background, see I need to hire someone to write a TA .

The games are now ready for testing. You can play them online or download them to play with your favourite z-code interpreter. There are probably still bugs to be squashed and warts to be removed, so I’m seeking fans of old-school text adventures to test one or more of these games. The games consist of:

Escape from the Troll’s Cave
You’ve wandered into the Troll’s Cave at the local carnival. Unbeknown to you, this was not a free ride, but an administrative area and the troll won’t let you leave until you pay his toll. This is a ridiculously easy game, intended for beginners to text adventures.

The Babysitter
You’ve been left to babysit little Anna when you fall asleep on the couch and have a dream that Anna has gone missing. You wake up in a cold sweat and figure that you’d better check on her. This is a fairly easy game that introduces you to more puzzles.

Hangman’s Gulch
You’re a grizzled old prospector down on his luck, so you head to town for supplies only to find that it’s been abandoned. You decide to scavenge the town for treasures so that you can fund your trip back home. This is a classic treasure hunt in the Scott Adams style. Medium difficulty.

Stranded in Kansas
When returning home for the semester break, your car ran out of petrol. You decide to get some petrol from the service station down the road when you realise that you left your wallet back at uni. Can you scrounge up enough money from the surrounding farmland to purchase some petrol? Medium difficulty with an NPC that follows you around (after you find him) to offer cryptic clues.

Captive at Pirate Island
You were in the sick bay with malaria when pirates captured your ship, threw you in the brig and sailed it to Pirate Island. The ship’s parrot can give you cryptic clues to help you find items that will help you escape your bonds, find your crewmates and recapture the ship from the pirates. Medium difficulty.

Nightmare Castle
While on holidays in Scotland, you fall asleep and find yourself in a dream inside a castle with a human-eating giant. Can you get past the giant and find the secret to get out of this dream? John reckons this is the hardest of the series. Fans of puzzle hunts and escape rooms should enjoy the meta puzzle.

If interested in testing one or more of these games, send me a personal message and I’ll send you the relevant urls and passwords. Make sure you specify which games you want to test. You’re free to test them all if you feel inclined. There is no urgency, so if you’re busy with IFComp obligations, perhaps let me know and I can put you on a waiting list if I don’t get enough testers.


I have still the judging period ahead, but reading the thread you linked, I make a minor note: after a certain point, the thread drifted into historical matters, but the drift passed unnoticed to the resident historian because the original thread title was at this point misleading. In other words, it’s a case where thread splitting can be needed, and with hindsight, potentially very productive.

anyway, my kudos for the excellent historical work in that debate !

Sorry for the little OT, and
Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.

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