Wilderness: A Survival Adventure

Platforms: Apple II, IBM PC/Compatibles


Main Genre:
Adventure , Simulation
Gameplay Style:


IBM PCjr version of Wilderness: A Survival Adventure
IBM PCjr version of Wilderness: A Survival Adventure

Wilderness: A Survival Adventure is a survival adventure game where players a placed in a harsh environment and need to find a way to make it back to civilization. Doing so will entail hunting or locating food, finding or making fresh water, finding shelter as needed, and maintaining health well enough to be able to walk to safety. The game is intended to provide a realistic experience of being stranded in the wilderness and accurately models the weather, terrain, wildlife, and more. Two different scenarios are included which place players either in the Sierra Nevada mountains after a plane crash with the goal of locating a ranger station, or on a quest to locate the Lost City of Gold starting with just a map and a few clues.


Wilderness: A Survival Adventure uses a split screen similar to many interactive fiction games of the era with 3D graphics for the current location taking up majority of the screen and text appearing along the bottom. A topgraphic map view is also available to help players plot their course to safety. Players interact with the game by typing simple commands; the game recognizes 300 different nouns and verbs to perform various actions. When walking, players can also specify a length of time they wish to walk for (e.g. walk for 1 hour). The game world in Wilderness is fairly open; players can explore anywhere on the map and don't have a specific time limit to complete their goal, as long as they are able to survive.

At the start of the game, players are asked a series of questions to roughtly assess their health and body type (such as sex, weight, age, heart rate, and so on). The game attempts to create a realistic simulation and depending on a persons physical characteristics they may be affected differently by weather, food requirements, etc. Once the adventure begins, interaction with other characters is extremely scarce; most of the time players are alone in the wilderness attempting to survive. As players make their way through the environment, they'll need to perform everyday tasks in order to maintain their health: Cooking and eating, drinking, finding shelter from the cold, sleeping, and more are all necessary to make the multi-day journey to safety. Food can be found or there may be animals around to hunt; identifying and avoiding inedible items may also be necessary. Players don't begin the game with many items needed for survival; items (such as tools, weapons, and other useful items) can be crafted by locating the proper materials. Some items or materials may break down over the course of a few days so new materials will need to be found.

The wilderness can be dangerous; changing weather conditions and a day/night cycle are simulated, wild animals can get in the way, and mountains, rivers, trees, and other terrain can make hiking challenging. The game also includes a map generator which will randomly create new terrain of varying difficulty based on parameters the player enters.