Alchemist Gold is a text adventure written by Garry Francis. It was written in PunyInform and is only 82kb. That’s tiny. Really tiny. My first game was 512kb by the time it was done. I wasn’t using a stripped-down version of the library, but you can only put in so much with a game this small.
In this one, you hear of an Alchemist that lives deep in the woods, having mastered his art with the ability to create gold. The game starts off with a gated puzzle that keeps you out of the magic forest. This is typical for this type of game. Having a small area to get use to before jumping deeper into the game.
And the next part is a bit of doozy. It’s a maze that is navigated by an ASCII map. I like it a lot. It works well for me. Once you figure out the path, it’s not hard to get around. But I did venture back and forth three times, so that got a little old. I would have liked a MAP command that would show you the map. Not X MAP. Just to help speed up the navigation of the forest.
Then there’s the final puzzle – getting in and stealing the gold. I had a few problems with this section, trying to find the right thing I needed, but in the end, with some perseverance, I managed to get the booty and make it back out of the forest. Only to find an alchemist who turned me into a frog. I went back and got all the stuff and tried things like putting the sack on the gold to cover it, hiding it from the alchemist, but nothing worked.
In the end, he got the better of me, and I don’t know if it could have ended differently. You would think there is some way to sneak around the alchemist. When you do find him, you can get him to sort of follow you as you go back, but the idea of venturing through the forest a fourth time was too much, and I let him win.
In the end, it’s a fun game with some meat on the bones. There’s enough puzzle to keep you going for a bit, and it will even run on older machines. Making it a good candidate for some retro streamer to play.
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