December 10, 2006

Reminiscing: A Tale of Comic Books and Video Games

Back in the early 1980s I played games on an Atari 2600. I enjoyed, and still enjoy to this day, the game known as Adventure, which had you as a small square cursor that could hold only one object at a time - a sword, one of the various colored keys, a magnet, a bridge, and the chalice, which was the object of the game (let's not forget the small dot that would lead to the easter egg within the game). There were other games I had fun with as well, but another game - a series of games, actually - have gone through my head for the past couple of years - the series known as Swordquest.

The Swordquest games were puzzle games and at the time, Atari had a big contest for each of the games. Like a few of the other games during those days, the Swordquest games had a comic book that was included with the game that was the storyline for the game (other games at the time had Atari Force, which came back as a regular series by DC Comics years later, and comic books for Centipede and Yar's Revenge). The Swordquest games (and comics) were Earthworld, Fireworld, Waterworld, and the unreleased Airworld.

The comic books had words hidden in them for the contest. When you completed puzzles in Earthworld, it would give you the page number and "box" to look at in the comic book for the word. Fireworld was a different matter and was damn difficult to play. Waterworld was a heck of a lot easier - I was also lucky to get a hold of it, as it was a limited release and Atari went bankrupt shortly afterwards. Airworld, as I mentioned above, was never released (or finished).

I really enjoyed the comic books, though, and this was before I really got into comic books (which was a year or two later). It really bugged me that Airworld never came out simply for the fact that I wanted to see how the story ended. Sadly, it was never written, so I'll probably be wondering about that forever.

More information about Swordquest and a page where you can read the Swordquest comic books as well as the other comic books Atari included with some video games.
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