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In mid-1980s, a small company called Mark Data Products released 6 parser-based graphic adventure games similar to early Polarware and Scott Adams titles. While the games are reasonably successful on Tandy's CoCo computer, the IBM PC versions did not achieve the same level of success. While the graphics are quite good at the time, the parser is quite primitive - only simple verb+noun constructs such as GET HAT are understood, and some verbs that are common in IF games such as SEARCH are not always recognized. Fortunately, the games make up for primitive parser with well-written plot, fun characters, and some clever puzzles.
The plot of Calixto Island: "A valuable museum treasure has been stolen; can you recover it? Calixto Island is a challenging puzzle with and occasional twist of humor. You'll visit a laboratory, a Mayan pyramid and you'll meet crazy Trader Jack - all in living color and exciting detail."
Thanks to the generosity of Bob Withers, co-creator of these old games who put both the games and their source codes up on his website for free download, you can now experience a forgotten past of the early days of adventure gaming. All are recommended, but if you want the best of the bunch, I highly recommend my personal favorites: Trekboer and Calixto Island.
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Calixto Island screenshot
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Bureaucracy, Chimaera, Beyond The Titanic, Calsoon, Apprentice