Rating

A

Specific Ratings

GameplayA+
GraphicsA+
Learning CurveB
Replay ValueC+
SoundA+

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Great history of adventure games
  • Plenty of good games
Cons
  • Typical genre flaws (getting lost, no instruction)
  • The Apple II games can have emulation issues

The Roberta Williams Anthology (PC)

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Summary

A nice amount of Sierra adventure games in one package!

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Description

This collection is an expansive collection consisting of many games that involved Roberta Williams of Sierra and many of her games during her run with the company. This 1997 compilation puts together 15 classic adventure games that go from the primitive illustrated text-based games, to the use of 3-D, to sound card use, to voice acting, and finally to live action actors.

These games look excellent for the respective times that they were made. The simple drawings of games like Mystery House and Time Zone fit the early 80's well and work better than games that only have text such as Zork from a graphical standpoint. The King's Quest games get better as each from part 4-7, but the first three parts use the same engine, so the same graphics are used.

The sound effects are simple beeps from the Apple II when something happens during the game. The King's Quest games go from PC speakers with music, to sound cards that use a sound blaster or Roland MT-32 to enhance the feel of the game. CD audio was used starting with part 5 with voice acting and CD soundtracks.

This collection does have problems the are respective to the genre. There is not too much replay value, but because of the strong stories of the games and how engrossing most of the games are. (Mission Asteroid is definitely the weakest game on the disk.) The games are good to go back to every now and then. It can also be difficult to know where to go and it can be tempting to cheat. It should also be noted that saving the Apple II titles can have problems with the screen. This is mainly a problem if you're saving the game.

This collection can be pricey as some of the games are out of print, but if you can find it for a good price, this is an excellent collection. There are even extra features with video clips with Roberta and her husband Ken. A King's Quest VIII preview is also featured and is the only King's Quest game not on the disk. More games, extras, and versions are found on this version than any other King's Quest collection available, including the currently in-print release of the King's Quest Collection from 2006.

Games List:
Mystery House (First game from the company)
The Wizard and the Princess (Often seen as a predecessor to the King's Quest games)
Mission: Asteroid
Time Zone (Largest size of the first five games on the disk)
The Dark Crystal (Added at the last minute and is not shown on the box. Based on the 1982 film of the same name.)
King's Quest I-VII (Parts V and VI are talkie versions released on CD. Floppy versions are not on this compilation. Includes both versions of the first game (1987 DOS re-release in AGI and 1990 SCI remake.)
Mixed-Up Mother Goose (Contains 1987 original and 1990 CD remake)
The Colonel's Bequest and The Dagger of Amon Ra (Both Laura Bow games with Dagger being talkie version)
Chapter 1 of Phantasmagoria (Just a demo. Full version must be bought separately.)

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