Infocom was a software company, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that produced numerous works of interactive fiction for the Apple II. Infocom was founded on June 22, 1979 by MIT staff and students led by Dave Lebling, Marc Blank, Albert Vezza, and Joel Berez and lasted as an independent company until 1986 when it was bought by Activision. Activision finally shut down the Infocom division in 1989, although they released some titles in the 1990s under the Infocom Zork brand. Activision abandoned the Infocom trademark in 2002.
Infocom games are text adventures where users direct the action by entering short strings of words to give commands when prompted. Generally the program will respond by describing the results of the action, often the contents of a room if the player has moved within the virtual world. The user reads this information, decides what to do, and enters another short series of words. Examples include "go west" or "take flashlight".
Infocom was able to release most of their games for most popular home computers of the day simultaneously—the Apple II family, Atari 800,IBM PC compatibles, Amstrad CPC/PCW (one disc worked on both machines), Commodore 64, Commodore Plus/4, Commodore 128, Kaypro CP/M, Texas Instruments TI-99/4A, the Mac, Atari ST, the Commodore Amiga and the Radio Shack TRS-80. The company was also known for shipping creative props, or "feelies" (and even "smellies"), with its games.
Zork I was Infocom's first product.
Titles and authors
· The Zork series:
· The original Zork Trilogy (Marc Blank & Dave Lebling):
· Zork I: The Great Underground Empire (1980)
· Zork II: The Wizard of Frobozz (1981)
· Zork III: The Dungeon Master (1982)
· The Enchanter Trilogy:
· Enchanter (1983, Marc Blank and Dave Lebling)
· Spellbreaker (1985, Dave Lebling)
· Zork Zero: The Revenge of Megaboz (1988, Steve Meretzky)
· The Planetfall series:
· Planetfall (1983, Steve Meretzky)
· Stationfall (1987, Steve Meretzky)
· Deadline (1982, Marc Blank)
· Starcross (1982, Dave Lebling)
· Suspended: A Cryogenic Nightmare (1983, Michael Berlyn)
· Infidel (1983, Michael Berlyn)
· Suspect (1984, Dave Lebling)
· A Mind Forever Voyaging (1985, Steve Meretzky)
· Wishbringer: The Magick Stone of Dreams (1985, Brian Moriarty)
· Leather Goddesses of Phobos (1986, Steve Meretzky)
· Trinity (1986, Brian Moriarty)
· Border Zone (1987, Marc Blank)
· Bureaucracy (1987, Infocom & Douglas Adams)