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Fahrenheit 451

DOS - 1984

Also available on: Mac - Apple II - Atari ST - Commodore 64 - MSX

Year 1984
Platform DOS
Released in Australia, United States (1984)
United Kingdom (1986)
Genre Adventure
Theme Interactive Fiction, Licensed Title, Puzzle elements, Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Publisher Audiogenic Software Ltd., Telarium Corp., Trillium Corp.
Developer Byron Preiss Video Productions, Inc., Trillium Corp.
Perspectives Text-based / Spreadsheet, Fixed / Flip-screen
Dosbox support Supported on 0.65
4.5 / 5 - 12 votes

Description of Fahrenheit 451

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I can imagine the Telarium executives brainstorming for this one. A bunch of overweight business men, they smoke their cigars and play with their watch fobs and plot the oppression of good and honest gamers all over the world.

One says, "I know! Why don't we make a text game based on Ray Bradbury's classic, Fahrenheit 451, but leave out all of the good parts?"

Another guffaws, "That's inspired! But why even skirt around the good parts? Why don't we just start the game near the end of the book, after the most interesting parts are over?"

The head honcho pipes in, "Marvelous! But why make the game resemble the book at all? Let's just make our own game with Fahrenheit 451 as the title!"

And so it began. The book is about a fireman, whose job in the future is to burn books instead of fighting fires. His wife keeps on trying to commit suicide but she doesn't know why. Kids go joyriding and hit pedestrians with their cars (I know, I know, Ray Bradbury should sue the makers of Carmageddon). The fireman, Guy Montag, meets a girl and he begins to question his work and society.

Eventually, he becomes a fugitive and joins an underground movement that is trying to save books and independent thought. The game skims over most of that and begins with you, the fugitive, and trying to meet up with the underground and save the world! There are a lot of passwords (words are power!) and silly devices and stuff like that.

As an adaptation of one of my favorite books, this game is quite disappointing. It seems that the main way that the game tries to depict a dystopian future is by including silly deaths every couple of turns. You start off in a city park, but hey, watch out for the tigers! Don't forget about the strange sewer creatures!

All of this isn't to say that the game is completely worthless. Just as one can somewhat enjoy Zork Nemesis when he pretends that it isn't a Zork game, this game could probably be enjoyed if you ignore the fact that it's supposed to be an adaptation of Fahrenheit 451. As a cheesy, fantasy/science fiction game, it might even be kind of fun. I can't say for certain.

As a game from one of the bigger text game companies in the 80s, though, it definitely has its place in history and is worth checking out. Just, please, watch out for the tigers.

Review By HOTUD

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Comments and reviews

grayarcadian 2021-07-02 3 points

The reviewer missed the point by a country mile. This isn't based on the book. This is a sequel created in part by the man himself. It suffers from 80s text adventure-ness, but this is a game where 5th Ave in New York is lovingly rendered in a future setting (but with some real work landmarks, the book quotes are real, and there's even a nod to some of Ray's favorite things like magic shops and Alice in Wonderland.

I can see that they had some more thoughts as to side quests in this game, but they never came to fruition. Too bad.

John 2015-05-19 2 points DOS version

@KAL - I believe you will need to run this game in DOSBox, an MS-DOS emulator as that is the operating system it was created for in 1984. You will see a link above "Supported on 0.65" which is a reference to the first DOSBox version that properly supports the game (current version as of this posting is 0.74). Follow that link and you will go to the DOSBox web site where you can download the current DOSBox (it's freeware) and get some tutorials on how to use DOSBox. I haven't tried running it yet in DOSBox as it's low on my priorities list. I do know if you're using any 64-bit version of Windows (XP, Vista, Win7 or Win8) and not the 32-bit version that you cannot run it natively in a DOS window as its executables are 16-bit and you will get an error message telling you that. A front end utility to consider that uses DOSBox and helps configure DOSBox for many MS-DOS games is D-Fend Reloaded, also freeware:

Setting up the DOSBox emulator (with or without D-Fend Reloaded) to run old MS-DOS games take a little work on your part. It isn't a "3 mouse click" solution, but it will enable playing many old DOS games and using other old DOS software that hasn't been possible to run natively since Win2k.

KAL 2015-02-25 -3 points DOS version

I really want to play this game but can't run it on Windows 8. Any way to update it?



Kenny 2014-02-17 2 points DOS version

I ca't believe it took me so long to make a hunt for thsi game I remember playing this during a particularly anowy and frigid New England winter. between 19851986 Never solved,that's going change as a FYI all ofj these text adventures by this company in this engine setup are aLL WORTHWHILE!!!ENJOY!!

david 2013-02-13 -2 points DOS version

who would make a game out of this book?????????????

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