Arthur: The Quest for Excalibur (Infocom, 1989 or so)

Arthurian legend was one area of literature computer games had left relatively unexplored for a number of years. Arthur: The Quest for Excalibur proved that it had great potential, but was difficult to do well. The game retold the "sword in the stone" portion of Arthurian legend. Some aspects of the game are great: The game is historically very well researched, and a colorful assortment of situations and characters help to fully round-out the atmosphere. It even sports an improved on-line hint system, where the hints are only dispensed once you have acquired the knowledge or information to solve them. Unfortunately, the puzzles are the game's biggest problem. While some were clever, mostly they were very simplistic and didn't fit the story well at all. Most of the time, they seemed to have been thrown in mainly so it could still be called a game. This all resulted in a game far too simplistic and unnecessarily frustrating for experienced and novice adventurers alike. While the individual parts of the game suggest great things could have been done, Arthur: The Quest for Excalibur simply cannot be considered one of Infocom's best games.

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