Tandy TRS-80 – Asylum


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.




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