Official Blog of the Adventuron Text Adventure Creation System

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

The Beast of Torrack Moor - 30th Anniversary Edition

Announcing the release of:

For the past few months, I've been working (part time) on an Adventuron port of one of my favourite games from the dawn of the twilight era of 8-bit text adventures.

The Beast is the simple tale of a junior reporter, investigate sightings of a wild beast in the moor adjacent to a local village. 

The Beast is a game of three acts, the first being to make your way to the village. The second act is the investigation / preparation section of the game, in and around the village of Puddlecombe-by-the-moor. The third act is an adventure on the moors.

The video below is a solution for the first act. Only watch it if you are sure you won't play the game, as there  are spoilers:


The original version of The Beast was released in 1988, by Linda Doughty, for the ZX Spectrum 128K. It was originally published by Marlin Games, then later released by Zenobi Software.

It is a quintessentially British text adventure. Developed by a Brit, on a British home computer, manufactured in Britain, using a British Adventure Creation utility, set in England, and features tea shops, pubs, village greens, baked beans, and a lot lot more.

Linda self-published her games, as was rather common back in the 80s, and she used the PAW adventure creation utility to create her games. What's quite different about The Beast is that the narrative is front and centre, with Linda skillfully stage managing the npcs movements and behaviors throughout the fictional day.

Linda also created a handful of graphics for The Beast, so technically she could have called it a illustrated text adventure, but Linda is a very honest person, and obviously believes in truth in advertising, as demonstrated in the advert below.

The game received the coveted "Crash Smash" award in the Christmas 1988 issue of Crash. Your Sinclair was slightly less kind, but it was off the back of the YS review, that I put my money in an envelope, and I came to be an owner of The Beast.


This 30th Anniversary version attempts to hold onto what was good about the game, whilst making the process of playing the game as pleasant as possible for modern players.

The visuals and typography have been tightened up, and there has been a lot of work expended on just getting the "feel" of it just right.

This version of The Beast is also made with permission from Linda, and I hope that I've done a good just with respecting her legacy.

There are some changes, but edits are there to help beginners, or to make the game a little bit more accessible.

A huge thank you to Andy Green for his superb artwork, as well as  Paul Van Der Laan, Eeve Somepx, and Pentacom, for their excellent fonts.

The Itch Page has far more detailed information on the project, and I don't wish to repeat myself here, but here is what you can expect from the beast:

There is more information / waffle, on the Itch page.

(1-bit graphics by Andy Green).


  • FREE - Absolutely no cost.
  • CHOICE OF STYLES - Multiple skinning options, including several "retro" skins, and the ability to use modern truetype fonts.
  • NEW ARTWORK - Addition of new retro-style artwork from the wonderful Andy Green. Andy spent a great deal of effort crafting dozens of incidental graphics, a brand new loading screen, and a brand new end-game graphic. (NOTE: Where it made sense, some of Linda's original in-game graphics remain) .
  • TIMETABLE COMMAND - The 30th anniversary ships with a command (TIMES) that will summarize all schedules learned in the world of the Beast so far.
  • WHERE COMMAND - Keep track of (certain) NPCs using this handy command.
  • NEW FONTS - Fantastic fonts by Paul Van Der Laan, Eeve Somepx, and Pentacom, as well as support for system fonts.
  • ADAPTIVE UI - The game adapts to screen size, and will re-format content depending on the device type / screen resolution / screen orientation. ** NOTE : has temporarily rendered the game unplayable on mobile, but I am hopeful for a quick resolution.
  • SUBTLE REFINEMENTS - Bugfixes, and enhanced usability features (such as click to navigate in some skins).
  • BLIP HEAVEN - If you love blips, you got blips. If you hate them, switch them off.
  • MODERN DEVICE SUPPORT - Modern device support via HTML5 technologies.
  • NOT EMULATION - The game has been ported to a new engine that is free of the limitations of emulation (such as being able to have an adaptive layout depending on device type).
  • TOUCH UI - The first release ships with a basic touch event handler. Touch a noun to append it to the command line. Touch a direction word to move in that direction. Long press a noun, to submit an examine command.
  • AUTO-SAVE - A revisit to the game page will resume where you left off.
  • AUTO-COMPLETE - Press Tab to autocomplete known verbs / nouns.


The mobile version of the game is not being served correctly via Itch (locked into horizontal aspect ratio). A bug report has been raised.


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