In 1987, Infogrames made the first video game entitled
"Iznogoud". It was a graphic adventure game, and the object
of the game was, of course, to become Caliph instead of the Caliph. But
how to accomplish this? Good question! It was a difficult game to play
with few in-game clues to tell you what was going on.
There were versions of this game made for a number of 80s computer systems, including the Atari ST, Thomson TO8, IBM PC, Amstrad CPC, and Commodore 64. The game can be played on a PC today using various emulators for the different platforms it was originally released for. The games are available to download here, along with links to recommended emulators for each one. (Note: some emulators are easy to use, while others are rather difficult or require extensive configuration before use. Be forewarned...)
The box covers looked like this:
The game also came with a free Iznogoud
Here is an ad for the game, along with
an article on it from the French TEO magazine.
Without instructions the game is very hard to play, so you can download text instructions for the game here, which I did my best at translating from Spanish. Even more helpful, however, is the exclusive Iznogoud comic that was included (linked below, translated from German) which describes graphically how to play the game!
After much effort and plenty of frustration due to not having the instructions at the time, I finally figured out how to solve the game. If you'd like any hints, or if you would like to contribute any information about the game, please contact me and let me know.
Below are some screen shots with title screens and game screens, along with links to disk images of the files for downloading and recommended emulator links:
ATARI ST VERSION
Definitely the best version in terms of overall gameplay, graphics, and sound. The color is great, and the characters are easily recognizable (see if you can spot the Sultan Pullmankar!). The Atari version also features Iznogoud characters running around on the title screen, for an added bit of fun.
THOMSON TO8 VERSION
The Thomson TO8 was a fairly obscure French home computer. This version of Iznogoud is quite good apart from it running a little slow probably due to limitations of the TO8. There is limited sound as well in this version. The color and graphics are great, and it has the full game layout.
It's ironic how today's PC is hundreds of times more powerful than all these other old computer systems now. This was not the case in 1987. The PC CGA graphics version is by comparison very inferior to the other versions. It is nearly identical in graphics and game layout to the Atari version (which is good), but it features only 4 colors and limited PC internal speaker tones for sound. However, on an Amstrad PC 1512 computer with its expanded graphics capability, the game was able to play in 16 colors at 640x200.
AMSTRAD CPC VERSION
Similar to the Atari version in sound and graphics, but limited since it features a game layout about half the size of the Atari and PC versions with less characters as well, making for a more simplified version of the game. However, the graphics and sound are nice. I assume the game size was cut down due to limitations of the Amstrad CPC.
COMMODORE 64 VERSION
On this version for some odd reason the display is flipped the opposite direction of the others and the game title screen says "The Grand Vizir" (sic) instead of "Iznogoud". Graphics are okay but could have been better, as I think the C-64 was capable of nicer graphics than this. This version also has a slightly different game layout than the other versions, and the background graphics are completely redesigned.
So that was the first video game incarnation of Iznogoud. Moving on, we'll take a look at the next Iznogoud game, a decade later...