Scott Adams (not the guy that writes Dilbert) founded Adventure International in 1979 to market the text adventure computer game Adventureland, which he had written in 1978.
Adventureland, and the games that followed it used a simple two-word verb-noun command line parser. "GO WEST", "GET KNIFE", and "HIT MUMMY" were the type of commands you could enter. The beauty of these programs were how many puzzles were packed into a very small package (typically 8K bytes on a cassette tape, but the later games got larger). Adventureland could be played on a Commodore PET with 8K memory, no floppy disk drive, and a cassette tape reader.
Adventureland has 33 rooms, 69 words, 65 objects, 169 actions, and 73 messages. All in 8K. The Infocom parser (e.g. Zork) was far superior, but those games were much larger. Adams published BASIC versions of Adventureland and Pirate Adventure in Byte Magazine. The code was a small parser and a whole lot of DATA statements (which I as a 17-year old typed into my Apple ][+).
Adventure International published 15 Scott Adams Adventures:
- Adventureland demo (1979)
- Adventureland (1978)
- Pirate Adventure, a.k.a. Pirate's Cove (1978-1979?)
- Secret Mission, a.k.a. Mission Impossible, Impossible Mission, Atomic Mission (1979)
- Voodoo Castle (1980?)
- The Count (1981?)
- Strange Odyssey (1981?)
- Fun House Mystery, a.k.a. Mystery Fun House (1981)
- Pyramid of Doom (1981)
- Ghost Town (1981?)
- Savage Island, part 1 (1982?)
- Savage Island, part 2 (1982?)
- Golden Voyage (1982?)
- Sorcerer of Claymorgue Castle (1984)
- Return to Pirate's Island (1983)
- The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai (1985)
Adventure International also published 11 Mysterious Adventures, written by Brian Howarth:
- The Golden Baton
- Time Machine
- Arrow of Death Part I
- Arrow of Death Part II
- Escape from Pulsar 7
- Circus of Death
- Feasibility Experiment
- Wizard of Akyrz
- Perseus and Andromeda
- Ten Little Indians
and a few other games.
As computers got larger and text adventures started adding graphics (e.g. Sierra On-Line's The Wizard and the Princess and King's Quest), Adventure International felt the competition. The first 12 Scott Adams adventures were re-released in 1982 with additional graphics as Scott Adams Graphic Adventures. But this was not enough, and in 1985, Adventure International filed for bankruptcy. The copyrights for the Scott Adams Adventures have reverted to Scott Adams. He allows free distribution, but they are not public domain. However, he does ask for donations.