Classic Game Review: Time Traveller 1981

TIME TRAVELER is a text oriented game in which you are sent back in time to find 14 rings. Each ring is hidden in a different time period from 1350 B.C. to 1942 A.D. and has a special power that you may use once you possess that ring. There is a limit to the number of rings you may carry at one time; the others are dropped off at the Time Lab for victory points. The program begins by telling you where each ring is by time era. You decide which ring you will seek first, and you are sent to that era.

On arriving, the program will ask which of two political factions you want to join. You may change sides at any time, but doing so costs points. Then it’s off to find where the ring is hidden. A text map of the area indicates houses, fields, armoury, treasury, and other possible locations.

Amidst the tasks of gathering allies, weapons and gold, you may find yourself taxed, chased by guards (regardless of whose side you’re on), and possibly even imprisoned or slain. However this does not present a problem as the time machine will send you off to another era at full strength to seek out the next ring.

As long as you keep at the game, you should win out in the end. After several false starts, I began to understand how to win the game. I fear that, after a person develops a strategy, the game will quickly become a series of stale replays. There are no differences between eras other than the name of the era and its political factions.

A little flavour in the sayings, or the signs might have helped. I soon tired of seeing “KEEP OFF THE GRASS” everywhere. Documentation is ample; five pages including time periods, general rules, commands with explanations, and descriptions of the rings with their powers. One ring, “escape”, was missing from the list, and the ‘booting’ instructions for Apple are inaccurate. Mine booted straight from the disc.

The disk is in all probability more up to date than the booklet. I would recommend that you try this game several times before deciding whether to buy it or not. Rating for this game is 2.3 out of 5.


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