In my roughly 30 years as a gaming geek, I looked forward to (read: lusted after) no game more than the 1985 masterpiece Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar. And it was worth the wait. Though the graphics (at which true gaming geeks sneer) remained primitive, the gameplay and verisimilitude represented a great stride forward.
There will be no more Ultimas. The last two were bitter disappointments, and their creator is now focused heavenward. Many gaming geeks like me look to indie shareware to enjoy such classic gameplay. It's never the same — not so much because of defects of the indie games, but because I'll never be a teen with no real worries or responsibilities again, whiling away careless hours on an Apple IIe.
Fortunately Ultima IV was released into the public domain a few years ago. And now you don't even need to track it down and make it work on your current operating system. Courtesy of Tales of the Rampant Coyote (an excellent indie crpg resource), I see that some enterprising and talented person achieved the awesome: he made the complete Ultima IV (complete with a few tweaks and improvements) into a browser-based flash game.
You could go play it. Right now. Of course, then your day (or week) is shot.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
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