Personal Computer Museum, Canada's Videogame Museum

Little Computer People

Little Computer People
Little Computer People

SystemCommodore 64


Commodore 64

0  47875  44126  2

Release Date: 1/1/1985
Manufacturer: Activision
Donated By: Jim Butterfield
Little Computer People, also called House-on-a-Disk, is a life simulation game/god game released in 1985 by Activision for the Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, ZX Spectrum and Apple II. An Amiga version was released in 1987. A Famicom Disk System version, published in Japan by DOG (A subsidiary of Square), also exists.

The game has no winning conditions, and only one setting: a sideways view of the inside of a three-story house. After a short time, an animated character (always male, except on the Famicom Disk System) will move in and occupy the house. He then goes about a daily routine, doing everyday things like cooking, watching television or reading the newspaper. Players are able to interact with this person in various ways, including furnishing the house, entering simple commands for the character to perform, playing a game of poker with him and offering presents. On occasion, the character initiates contact on his own, inviting the player to a game or writing a letter explaining his feelings and needs.

Each copy of the game generates its own unique character, so no two copies play exactly the same. The documentation that accompanied the game fully kept up the pretense of the "little people" being real, and living inside one's computer (the software merely "bringing them out"), with the player as their caretaker.

Two versions of the game existed for the Commodore 64: the disk version, which played as described above, and the cassette version, which omitted several features (and was considered crippled). On tape versions, the Little Computer Person was generated from scratch every time the game was started up (not only on the first boot, as with other versions), and thus did not go through the "moving in" sequence seen on other versions. Also, on cassette versions the Computer Person had no memory, and did not communicate meaningfully with the user; and the card games, such as Poker, could not be played.

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