Being a BASIC text adventure from the early 1980-ies, In Search of Dr. Livingston features (quite unsurprisingly) almost no plot and minimalist
descriptions. Those are quite doubtful virtues in themselves; unfortunately, the game has got a few more confusing surprises for the player.
One of them was the way it only understood commands in upper case for the most part; this was especially delusive because some of the commands
(e.g., QUIT) were understood both in upper and in lower case, and as I found out later, at a couple of points in the game lower-case input was required.
Then, there were several minor bugs or, rather, behaviour inconsistencies - sometimes, one action would have different results when repeated for no
apparent reason (like room exits mentioned in the descriptions: some of them were totally unavailable in spite of being listed, but a few of them
would suddenly get you somewhere after you tried entering them several times). The worst of all, however, were the puzzles - mostly of the "try something
random" type. I quickly found myself completely unable to solve the game, and resorted to the source code that came with it. Even then, it wasn't *that*
easy - as mentioned above, the game was written in BASIC, and untangling the spaghetti code turned out to be quite a feat. In fact, I lost patience
before long and gave it up, feeling I already spent more time on it than it was worth. An even harder task, however, was thinking of one single reason
why someone would play this. The only thing I could come up with was nostalgia; since, however, my personal childhood isn't burdened with memories of
playing primitive (or any, for that matter) text adventures, In Search of Dr. Livingston had got no chances on me, sorry.
Reviewed by Valentine Kopteltsev (19 Jul 2004)