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Adventure Soft is a UK-based video game developer established by Mike Woodroffe, first as an importer and reseller of Adventure International games. The firm operates out of Sutton Coldfield, and is best known for the Simon the Sorcerer series of games.
Adventure Soft Publishing Ltd.
In the beginning Adventure Soft operated out of Birmingham converting the Adventure International games by Scott Adams to run on microcomputers found in the United Kingdom market which were not currently supported. Adventure Soft employed Brian Howarth, the author of the Mysterious Adventures series.
After a time the rate of release of games by Adventure International slowed and the company began to write other games using the same system. The first and perhaps most successful of these was Gremlins - The Adventure (1984) based on the film Gremlins. 1985 saw the release of a game based on the television series Robin of Sherwood.
By 1986 Adventure International in the USA was bankrupt. Adventure Soft signed deals that gave it access to the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, as well as a new more sophisticated game system. The first fruits of this deal were Seas of Blood by Michael Woodroffe and Alan Cox, followed by Stefan Ufnowski's Rebel Planet; Temple of Terror by Mike and Simon Woodroffe followed shortly afterwards.
Blizzard Pass (a single player game closely related to AberMUD) by Cox and Kayleth (by Stefan and Ann Ufnowski) followed as the company diversified the game range. Adventure Soft also began producing games for Tynesoft including the game of Supergran and Terraquake (featuring He-Man).
With the rise of more powerful systems like the Commodore Amiga and a growing disinterest in text focussed games Adventure Soft began to actively exploit the graphical and multimedia angle of the games.
The first 32 bit game Personal Nightmare based on a design by Keith Wadhams featured music, animation and some mouse control coupled with a traditional text based game system. It was followed by two games based around Elvira, Mistress of the Dark: Elvira: Mistress of the Dark and Elvira II: The Jaws of Cerberus, and a game named Waxworks, all of which moved away from keyboard command input to mouse driven gaming with animation and music from Jezz Woodroffe (a session musician with Robert Plant, Black Sabbath and other bands). Waxworks and the Elvira games used a modified AberMUD 5 game engine.
A remodelled Adventure Soft Publishing was born in 1992 and began to release the very Simon the Sorcerer games, continuing the trend towards more graphical gaming. Simon in the first game being voiced by Chris Barrie who played Rimmer in Red Dwarf. In 1997 Adventure Soft released The Feeble Files, with the lead character being voiced by Robert Llewellyn who played Kryten also in Red Dwarf.
In 1998 Mike and Simon Woodroffe set up Headfirst Productions to allow them to develop non-adventure style games. The now-defunct company released Simon the Sorcerer 3D in 2002 and Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth in 2005.