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Tass Times in Tonetown

Tass Times in Tonetown
Tass Times in Tonetown

SystemCommodore 64
Floppy (5.25")1


Commodore 64

0  47875  42142  4

Release Date: 1/1/1986
Manufacturer: Activision
Donated By: Paul Gold
Tass Times in Tonetown is a 1986 adventure-themed computer game by Activision for multiple computer platforms. It was written by veteran Infocom designer Michael Berlyn and his long-time collaborator Muffy McClung Berlyn, and programmed by Bill Heineman of Interplay Productions, in cooperation with Brainwave Creations.

Tass Times was released for the Atari ST, Amiga, Commodore 64, Apple II, Apple IIGS, Macintosh and DOS. MobyGames notes that the PC port was released in the form of a booter, making the program effectively OS-agnostic.

The game has the distinction of being the first commercial game made available for the IIGS.

The game's genre was the now nearly extinct "graphical text adventure". Somewhat like classical text adventures or the early Sierra games, players use text commands (e.g. "TAKE HOOPLET") to interact with the game, but like Lucasarts adventure games (or the later Sierra games), they also use an intuitive GUI. The player viewed the world of the game through a small window at the top left of the screen in which their surroundings were displayed. Much like The Bard's Tale, this view was static (or mostly so); it was not animated, though it was context-sensitive (players could click on objects in this window rather than typing their names).

Like many text adventures of this era, Tass Times had at its share of possible unwinnable situations in which players can discover themselves trapped. The most infamous of these is Gramps' lab book, which is found in his cabin at the start of the game, and is used to complete the game at almost its very end. Hapless players can leave the book behind only to realize it is needed for game completion right when they are on the verge of completing it. Other scenarios include many possible instances of saving the game in situations in which death can never be avoided in time, such as in a location too far away from the shopping boutiques, so that Snarl will kill a player still deemed a "tourist" before Tonetown apparel and hairstyles can ever be purchased.

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