Infocom was one of the best known software companies for creating
interactive fiction, also known as text adventures. It was rather like
a computerised version of a novel, but where you, the user played a key
part in the unfolding story and hopefully succeed in discovering the
end of the story.
Highly successful and popular Infocom games released, were Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy and the Zork series. Some Infocom games also had the added distinction of being packaged with comprehensive documentation and other material, to help heighten the atmosphere during play and were required to complete a game.
Although other software companies were developing text based adventures they tended to be extremely limited, with primitive verb/noun style parsers. The advanced nature and technical superiority of Infocom's parser meant that you could type in sentences, or simple words and the game engine would be able to understand and 'parse' your text correctly. Because there were no graphics, the text of the story was of a very high quality and due to the depth and quantity of the text it made for a very engrossing game, which also happened to fire your imagination, trying to visualise situations during a game.
Many years after of Infocom's initial success, other companies tried to replicate Infocom's parser, one of the best was Magnetic Scrolls, who released games, like the Pawn and Corruption, and also Interplay who released Mindshadow and Borrowed Time. These games featured the addition of well drawn graphics. They were known as illustrated text adventures. However, nothing could really beat Infocom's parser or story telling abilities, and they certainly will be remembered as the 'king' of this genre.
Please find below the complete INFOCOM collection for the Commodore 64. This collection was compiled by Dimitris Kiminas for the original Commodore Zone. The C64 emulators available, like CCS64 or Vice, will allow you to play any Infocom game and due to fast disk loading routines that these emulators now employ, the games will load almost instantly. You will also notice no delay when loading new text during a game, unlike on a real C64, making the game play, much more enjoyable!