Q-Bits from my personal collection – Crypts of Terror

Welcome to another Quick Bits article. I’m giving some of Canadian Inhome Software’s games a go and will be doing a few very small blog posts in the coming weeks, nothing more than a short write-up, a few pictures, and a gameplay video.

Daniel Dorey had been writing computer code since high school in the mid-’70s. During University his interest in computers only grew stronger and he enrolled in honours computer science. Following university, he was hired to work for a word processing company in sales and eventually ended up at the Olivetti sales office in Hamilton, Ontario. In 1980 he acquired one of the newly introduced Atari 400 home computers from Electronic Playworld, a chain of electronic stores in the Toronto area.

Dorey wasn’t too impressed with the games available and soon started experimenting with writing his own. His interest in text adventure games and the many graphical but simple action games available on the market led him, in 1980-81 in Atari BASIC, to write his own graphical action adventure, Crypts of Terror.
One day back at the Electronic Playworld store the owner asked why he never bought any games for the computer he had purchased and to that Dorey answered that he wrote his own and they were far better than what was available on the shelves. To prove a point Dorey brought in his Crypts of Terror which was so convincing that the store established its own publishing business, Inhome Software, Inc. solely to publish Dorey’s game.

Daniel Dorey’s Crypts of Terror was released on cassette and disk for the Atari 400/800 in 1981 by Canadian Inhome Software.
A white folder with color artwork was, to my knowledge, released later on

Explore the 50 crypts, fight evil monsters, and find the Magic Ring of Power and bring it back to the first crypt.
As probably one of the very first games, Crypts of Terror required a keyword from the manual to be typed in to start the game. Complete a difficulty level and the next keyword for the following difficulty level would be provided by the game.
Dorey added a small ingenious copy-protection that resulted in the game starting without the sword that was required to play and win the game if the copy was pirated

Following Crypts of Terror in 1981, Dorey continued writing games and had two titles published in 1982 and 83. Sadly he passed away in November of 2022, at 63 years of age.

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