Omotesando Adventure (表参道アドベンチャー) is a text adventure game where the player takes the role of an editor at a failing computer magazine that is trying to sneak into ASCII's office building while it is closed on a Sunday. The hope is that the player will somehow be able to sabotage ASCII's magazine in order to dethrone them from their popularity, giving the player's magazine the opportunity to gain prominence. If the player succeeds, he will be promoted to editor-in-chief but if he fails he will be assigned menial tasks as punishment.
Developed by two editors that worked for ASCII's monthly computer magazine, Suguho Takahashi and Hideki Akiyama, the game was initially published in the pages of the magazine's yearly April Fools issue, called "Yearly Ah-SKI!", released in March 1982 with a cassette version releasing sometime later . The game was called "Omotesando" Adventure since that was the name of the street that housed ASCII's offices in the early 1980s, which the player is breaking into. While the title was developed in Japan the game is written completely in English. This is because all of the American adventure games the development team had played were also in English but mainly because formatting requests and analyzing inputs on 8-bit computers was very difficult to do with Japanese characters compared to English.
Omotesando Adventure was a pioneering release for its time since it was the very first Japanese developed adventure game of any kind. While later games like MicroCabin's Mystery House and Yuji Horii's Portopia Serial Murder Case might have had a greater impact on the Japanese adventure genre, Omotesando was the title that introduced the concept of an adventure game to many people in Japan. Koichi Nakamura, founder of Chunsoft and creator of the Famicom port of Portopia as well as the director of the first sound novel, has stated that Omotesando Adventure was the first adventure game he played that sparked his imagination and got him interested in the adventure genre .
External Links and Sources
- Japanese Wikipedia Page
- Omotesando Adventure Walkthrough
- Japanese Adventuring by Jimmy Maher (The Digital Antiquarian, 2012)
- Making a game in the world’s busiest crosswalk: The story behind 428 by Jeremy Parish (Polygon, 2018).
- Omotesando Adventure: A Game about Breaking into and Sabotaging the Editorial Office of ASCII Monthly (Akiba PC Watch, 2021).