Tandy TRS-80 – Asylum

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After playing this, you might as well put me in one.

Not because it’s bad, but really hard.
Asylum was released in 1981 by Mad Systems Software and is basically a text adventure with 3D enviroments, so you can move character in first person via arrow keys.
Impressive stuff.

Storywise, you are locked into an asylum and you have 8 (realtime) hours to break free. You pick locks, hit guards, meet other inmates and solve many, bizarre puzzles.
Like breaking a mirror with a fake nose or using the pins from a grenade to make a key. Also, if you look up a piano will land on you and it’s game over.
A lot of the game is trial and error and you will often find yourself in a situation that requires you to start over.
Annoying, but as always: save often!

Another cool feature are abbreavations for commands.
So instead of ‘Unlock Door With Silver Key‘ you can just type ‘U D W Silver‘. A real timesaver.

Of course there are mazes. Two big-a** mazes with many dead ends. Having visuals makes mapping much easier but it’s still a major pain. They only function to make the game longer. How about filling them with more than empty walls? Real buzzkills.

Overall, a very charming and humorous but unforgiving game. The cover art will give you nightmares though.

7/10

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