Wilderness is a unique survival adventure that may well be the most realistic simulation of its kind ever made, even decades after its release. The game casts you as an archaelogist in search of the Croesus statue, rumored to be inside the Lost City of Gold. From the scene of where your plane crashed, you must trek into the wilderness, find the statue, and return alive. |
Although Wilderness may appear to be just another parser-based interactive fiction, the player will soon discover that the game's astounding level of realism and detail more than qualifies it as a simulation. The game was designed by a team of real-life doctors, and it shows: right from the start, the game asks for your height, age, and heart rate – all of which affect hundreds of factors, from stamina, to speed, to resistance to disease. Every decision involved in real-life camping is modeled in this game. For instance, you must WEAR WOOL SOCKS during cold weather to prevent frostbite; PACK and CARRY supplies (each of which has a weight, and you can overburden yourself); MAKE various survival tools from available raw material, such as huts (possible if tree limbs are nearby), or even traps to catch wild game; BOIL WATER gathered from questionable sources; USE SPLINT to treat broken legs or arms; and navigate by the stars at night. The list of options is virtually endless, and there are many random elements (storms, diseases etc.) that you must contend with. The game boasts a 300-word vocabulary, none of which is superfluous. The parser is robust enough to understand long sentences and respond appropriately.
Wilderness features "Panagraphics", a 3D graphics generating system that guarantees a new, random map each time you play. Those who prefer adventure games to realistic simulations can play in "Research Mode", in which you are no longer affected by burdensome parameters such as hunger, thirst, or illness. Overall, Wilderness is a complex simulation that is guaranteed to teach you a few things about real-life survival strategies. Two thumbs up, way up!
Reviewed by: Underdogs