Last week I was at the Albuquerque Academy and I spent some time with the smart and friendly high school members of the rocketry club there. They had a lot of great stuff in their on-campus hackerspace, including an Apple ][ and a bunch of software for it. One of the games they had was called Empire 1: World Builders, by Edu-Ware. It's from 1981. I thought the box cover was funny, and the box contained a couple of manuals and the disk to play the game. I didn't play it, but I found the above video on YouTube.

Here's a description of the role-playing game from the Internet Movie Database:

The gateway to the New York Rocket Field is your first step of a space voyage in which you may choose one of three career paths to follow, here at the dawn of the Interstellar Empire. Homesteaders must find a hospitable planet on which to farm, raise a family and conquer the environment. Miners must find a high-density planet in a search for material wealth. Missionaries seek out populated planets to preach to the masses. Each path into the space frontier has its dangers, and a misstep may have bloody consequences.

Empire I: World Builders has one of these clunkiest user interfaces imaginable, much worse than the clunky interface for my favorite Apple II game, Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord. It looks as though direct channel commands must be typed in in their entirety: "ENTER LEFT DOOR," "GO STRAIGHT AHEAD," "PREPARE FOR LAUNCH," etc.

According to the Gallery of Undiscovered Entities, "the Empire series sold in the low thousands."

Download the 58 kB disk image here!


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