To celebrate August being C64 Month, we’re writing about a different Commodore 64 game every day! Start from the beginning here!

There are people out there who can look at Telengard, the 1982 role playing adventure game with incredibly simplistic graphics and no real gameplay to speak of, and say that it’s a poor game. These people are right, in a sense, but to be more accurate they are so so so wrong.

Telengard is a Rogue-like, meaning that the dungeons you explore are randomly generated every time you play. I didn’t know that when I played it when I was a kid. I thought that I must have entered the dungeon in a different place or something, and spent ages putting together a map that never pieced together. I was convinced that Telengard’s dungeon was so massive that it would take me months to fully map out.

OK, so I’m an idiot who didn’t read the instructions (uh, they didn’t come with my backup diskette) but it still kept me amused for ages. I liked the challenge of seeing how far I could push my luck by continuing to explore the dungeon instead of going back up to a tavern for much-needed rest. I enjoyed finding new items and weapons on my travels and soon built up a beefy character that could go down a staircase without too much worry.

There was no story, no sullen characters, and no dense medieval terminology to wade through. Just lots of numbers and walking through a maze. These are the basic building blocks of what makes an RPG interesting for me.

Years later I discovered that the whole game was written in BASIC! Blimey, why couldn’t I have made something that good back then? I could have been saved from a life of being a cartoonist!

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