I have no idea how I missed this one. No idea at all. Way back in 1989, before “Breath of Death VII”, “Cthulhu Saves the World”, “Penny Arcade’s Rain-slick 3”, Robert W. Boyd created “Epiphany in Spaaace!”. He did so without his Zeboyd Games collaborator, Bill Stiernberg. From what I understand, Robert writes the story and does the coding on their games, while Bill creates the art. How did Robert create a game without Bill, you ask? By making a text adventure, naturally. And it’s awesome.
The game plays very much like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book. You make choices, and advance towards one of several (largely un-related) possible endings. The game is full of science fiction references (Star Trek, Red Dwarf, etc.) and humour, and it works. There are features here I’d not seen before, such as the ability to *back up* a choice and select a different option, just in case you wanted to see how that one played out. It’s well enough written that it’s definitely worth 80 Microsoft Points for fans of Red Dwarf-style humour, and SF satire.
Here’s what the developer (RainbowDespair) has to say about the game:
“Set sail on the U.S.S. Epiphany, one of the latest additions to the Universal Galactic Space Corps fleet. As Captain (or not) Philemon K. Bort, will you triumph over all of the trials that beset you or die in obscurity? A host of plot lines and possible endings await you in this tribute (or is that parody?) to all things science fiction.”