Name that game

Ok, one of my students hit me with two stumpers today.

He seems to recall a computer game from the Myst-era that had a contest attached to it where the first person to solve the game won some kind of cash prize. I’m drawing a total blank here.

The other game was a text adventure that was 2-player splitscreen.


The first one is Treasure Quest. The second one I don’t know, but it’s a wacky, wacky idea.

Interesting site re: Treasure Quest. I had never even heard of this game until now, and looking through the gameplay and “solution,” I can understand why. This stuff makes Myst puzzles look fun and intuitive.

Infocom’s Border Zone wasn’t two-player, but I seem to recall that it was split screen. Could that be the one?


Border Zone’s screen was closer to a 1/3-2/3 split, with the top third being a realtime display of a puzzle, IIRC. Also, it was only really used in one of the three portions of the game.

I don’t remember the name of the second game, but it’s on Underdogs. I remember seeing it there and thinking what a bizarre idea it was. If it’s the same game, then it’s more of a Roguelike than an actual text adventure, but it may have had some puzzley bits with a parser.

Damn. NOW I remember Treasure Quest.

Zyll? I’m pretty sure it wasn’t however, anyone.


The splitscreen game sounds like Zyll to me.

Treasure Quest has a conceptual problem, in trying to appeal beyond the hardest of the hard core adventure gamers.

As a casual gamer with a modest interest in adventures, the thing I dread the most with an adventure game is that I will get stuck, and not be able to solve the story without cheating / using a walkthrough. Or, I’ll just get bored and won’t finish the story - whatever. These games (if they’re good) have interesting stories, but far too often, I can’t finish the story as easily as I’d like.

The concept of Treasure Quest practically GUARANTEES I won’t finish it (assuming I’m playing it when it’s released). The final ending of the story is going to be almost impossibly hard, and there won’t be a full walkthrough until after somebody claims the prize - no way I’d have bought this when it came out.

Back in '83 or so, Atari tried something similar, a series of 4 adventure-ish games (WaterQuest, EarthQuest, etc., I think), with each one awarding a prize supposedly worth $100K+. Of course, it was very cryptic, making for bad gameplay for the (n-1) gamers who DIDN’T solve the puzzle and claim the prize. Anyways, that series basically flopped, too, and I heard that interest had fallen off so badly that they either didn’t release the 4th game or didn’t have a successful solver.

Of course Domark first did the cash prize thing 20 years ago with Eureka for the C64 and Spectrum, which offered a 25,000 quid prize to the first person who finished it. Some 15 year-old kid won it, natch.

On HOMM 1, when we did the Win 95 version (came out 4 months after the DOS version, added a map editor and new maps), New World ran a ‘best user map design’ contest (prize was a $2K computer). The problem was that the contest ran from the game’s release in January until June. During that time, we effectively stifled the prospective map-making community - no users posted decent maps because they all entered theirs in the contest and didn’t want anyone else to steal them for competing entries. So, where we could have had a flourishing fan base, we got nada.

The good news is we did no such contest for HOMM 2, and got a very active fan/mapmaking community from day 1.

Could be Blue Ice as well.