A Perfect 10

By Gordon Aplin (January, 2005)
Regular readers of Quandary will know that we are not often given to blowing our own trumpet, preferring instead to let our reviews and articles speak for themselves. However, we have now reached a milestone that we think is pretty special and we hope that you will celebrate it with us. Most of you will know that Quandary has been around for a long time supporting adventure game players on the internet with our reviews and commentary. But I wonder how many of our readers know that Quandary was the very first dedicated adventure game site? We began posting reviews in 1995 and this year we are 10 years old. In internet terms that's a long time so you can imagine that we are quite chuffed to still be here.

Not only are we still here but we are also growing bigger and bolder every year. From our humble beginnings on our local ISP, with a whopping 5MB of space, to the current incarnation where we have our own web address and lots of room to grow, the improvements keep coming and this year is no exception. Last year we gave Quandary a facelift and put all of our reviews and articles into a database, and this year our project is to open a forum so that you can chat and help each other out. Watch out for it very soon. We look forward to meeting you and getting more of your feedback and listening to what you have to say.

Quandary's growth reflects our confidence in the future of adventure games. 2004 continued the positive trend of the previous year with lots of adventure games released. Not bad for a 'dead' genre. Of course, all the new releases kept us very busy and we wouldn't have it any other way :-), though we might have wished for a more even spacing between releases. Often 2 or more games would arrive within days of each other. Still it kept us on our toes.

As did the thorny issue of adding ratings to our reviews, which was another big project we took care of last year. It was a step that we took a little reluctantly as we'd always preferred not to rate games and let our reviews speak for themselves. It was a lot of work to get this done retrospectively and it still is a bit harrowing. Rating games isn't easy, as Steve Ramsey has summed up in his article Stars in Their Eyes.

2004 also saw more good news in the release of improved versions of DOSBox which allows us to run old DOS games in Win XP. Our thanks go to those dedicated people who volunteered their time and expertise to work on improving it. This excellent little emulator has been a boon for adventure game fans who want to replay their older games and for new fans, too, who can now play some of these games for the first time. There really are so many older games that haven't lost any of their charm. Why not try some if you haven't already? Steve Metzler has written a very good guide to help you tackle DOSBox and it's well worth the effort.

All of us here at Quandary are looking forward to the coming year which promises a growing list of new titles. Lee Sheldon is working on an Agatha Christie game for The Adventure Company and Telltale Games are currently teasing us by telling very little about the game they are planning. Other familiar developer's with adventure games in the pipeline include Frogwares, Funcom, Legacy, Microids, Nucleosys, and many more. The signs are very good for a great 2005 and we will be doing our best to make sure that it is.

On that note we wish you all a very happy new year with lots and lots of games. And don't forget to drop in and say hello at the Quandary forum.

Copyright © Gordon Aplin 2005. All rights reserved.