Older readers might also remember another 'Scott Adams', one who did not devise the Dilbert cartoons, but who is nonetheless a candidate for fame as the creator of some of the most fondly remembered - and crushingly hard - text adventure games of all time.

Starting out with 'Adventureland' in 1978 on the TRS-80, he produced thirteen games under the company name 'Adventure International', including a text adventure of 'Buckaroo Banzai' which was not released until the late 1980s, on a compilation called 'Scott Adams' Scoops'. His games were tricky, used simple VERB-NOUN parsers and had a terse style; 'YOU CAN'T DO THAT... YET!' was the standard error message. 'You are in a barbershop. You see: A Stetson Hat' was a typical description. 'Help' was often met with 'SORRY'.

The adventures most remembered nowadays are the 'Questprobe' series of 1984-1985, based around Marvel comics characters; The Incredible Hulk, Spider-man, and the Fantastic Four. As an example of Adams' obtuse puzzle style, the Hulk game opened with Bruce Banner tied to a chair; the two solutions were 'ROCK CHAIR' (which caused you to hit your head on the floor) or 'BITE LIP', both of which caused you pain and transformed you into the Hulk. It is probably the only text adventure in which 'REMEMBER NIGHTMARE' is a frequently-used-command. The opening sequence for the Fantastic Four - which introduced the ability to switch between two different characters, The Thing and The Human Torch -still baffles me today, although it is Adams' favourite child.

He has an official website here:
And an interview and photograph from long ago here:

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