Videogame (1979). EduWare Services (EW). Designed by Steven Pederson, Sherwin Steffin. Platforms: AppleII.
Space was the first science-fictional Computer Role Playing Game to be made available commercially. The game was very much influenced by Traveller (1977), to the extent that both it and its sequel were removed from sale in 1982 following a lawsuit by Game Designers' Workshop for unauthorized use of their intellectual property. The largely text-based gameplay involves participating in the early life of a character serving in the military forces of a Far Future Galactic Empire and then choosing various scenarios to participate in; options include planetary exploration, interstellar trading, financial speculation and defending against an alien invasion. These modules are essentially unconnected, but can be played through in sequence to create the appearance of a long and varied life lived in a diverse interstellar society. The final effect of the design can be quite frustrating, however, since the characters generated by the system are frequently severely disabled and tend to die before they have completed training. This feature is also found in the first edition of Traveller – one of the few RPGs in which a character can die before their player has finished creating them – but is much amplified in Space, perhaps in an attempt to extend the length of the game. The sequel, Space II (1979 EW, AppleII) designed by David Mullich, is broadly similar, but presents two new scenarios based on propagating a Religious cult and experimenting with psychedelic Drugs. [NT]
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