Videogame (1982). Infocom. Designed by Dave Lebling. Platforms: AppleII, Atari8, DOS, PCBoot (1982); C64 (1983); Mac (1984); AtariST (1985); Amiga (1986).
Starcross was one of the first text-based Adventure games to use an sf theme. The game's story is Hard SF, reminiscent of Arthur C Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama (1973) and John Varley's "The Black Hole Passes" (June 1975 F&SF); the player adopts the role of a quantum Black Hole miner who discovers a huge and apparently abandoned Alien vessel in deep space. On entering the mysterious spacecraft, the player must travel through a range of internal environments and solve a variety of difficult puzzles before they can pilot it back to Earth, thus winning the game. Starcross is perhaps the least interesting of Infocom's sf adventures, being essentially a collection of intellectual problems without much in the way of characterization or atmosphere. It is, however, enlivened by moments of wry humour, particularly when the player issues an instruction which the software considers foolish. [NT]
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