The recent release of two games for the iPod by XO Play has brought back a flood of memories to seasoned Mac gamers and introduced the pain of text-based adventuring to a whole new generation.
University of Washington freshman and iPod owner Jeff Klein recently took the game for a spin.
“OK. Let’s see… ‘You are in the middle of a wide field. Head North, South, East or West?’ I don’t get it. Is this it? Uhhh… OK. Just… give it a chance, Jeff. OK. East.
“‘You are in the middle of a wide field. Head North, South, East or…’ I thought I just… Well, um, uh, OK. North, this time.
“‘You are in the middle of a wide…’ What the f…”
Author Tom Negrino fondly recalled, “Oh, I remember years ago spending hours hunched over a Mac Plus, winding my way through a text-based dungeon! You could turn east, turn west… choose to fight kobolds or… choose to not fight kobolds. Back then they only had kobolds. I think orcs were an add-on pack. Ha-ha! Aaaaaaaahhhhh…
“God, I wish I had those hours back. What a tremendous waste of time.”
XO Play spokesperson Paul Munro was unapologetic.
“Well, you know, it’s not like the iPod’s got an NVIDIA card. Sheesh.”
XO Play has plans to introduce more advanced and slightly less painful game technologies for the iPod in the future, such as “random click around the black and white bitmap of a castle wall to find the hidden clue to get to the next black and white bitmap.”
Peter Cohen of MacCentral is reportedly considering an online petition asking XO Play to just stop it.