A Mind Forever Voyaging, often shortened to AMFV, is a 1985 interactive fiction video game. Steve Meretzky designed AMFV and Infocom developed and published it for several home computers and consoles. These systems include the Amiga, Apple II, Atari ST, Commodore 128, MS-DOS, and Macintosh. By today’s standards, AMFV would probably be classified as a text adventure game. Players need to read the text on the screen to understand what’s going on and input their desired commands to advance the story. The game has many outcomes and the story will flow based on the decisions the player makes.
Compared to other computer games of the time that focused almost exclusively on gameplay, Steve Meretzky sought to use the medium to tell a powerful story. A Mind Forever Voyaging’s entire plot is a political commentary and polemical critique of Ronald Reagan’s politics and actions as the 40th President of the United States.
Today, players can find playable versions of A Mind Forever Voyaging on Google. My Abandonware has a downloadable version of AMFV and a version that can be played online. My Abandonware is a great resource for classic video games. It has a large catalog of retro games including Xanadu (1985) and Finders Keepers (1985). Players can also find AMFV on other websites like ClassicReload and Lemon64. Naturally, when searching for a trustworthy place to download and/or play games, potential players should look into their options to make sure they’re comfortable with their choice.
A Mind Forever Voyaging was praised for its innovation and bold political criticism. While some publications, like AllGame, criticized the game for not having a lot of replayability, most players enjoy the experience. AMFV encouraged exploration and challenged players to really think about the information it presented. In 1996, Next Generations ranked AMFV 66 out of 100 on their “Top 100 Games of All Time” list. Today, the game still receives sold reviews. My Abandonware rates it a 4.4 out of 5 and ClassicReload gives it a modest 3.6 out of 5.
A Mind Forever Voyaging Premise
A Mind Forever Voyaging is a text adventure game that seeks to tell a political story. Unlike games like Finders Keepers, which had little in the way of story, AMFV’s entire goal was to tell a story the player could be part of. The game starts in the year 2031 in the futuristic society of the United States of North America. The United States of North America is supposed to mimic the United States as we know it, but technically speaking, they are not the same.
The player plays as PRISM, the first sentient computer mankind has ever seen created by Dr. Abraham Perelman. Dr. Perelman tells PRISM to simulate what would happen to the world under the influence of Senator Richard Ryder’s “Plan for Renewed National Purpose”. Senator Ryder designed the plan with a few purposes in mind. It’s supposed to help boost the United States economy, address high teenage suicide rates, and, of course, strengthen the country’s position in the nuclear arms race. As instructed, PRISM creates a simulation of US citizen, Perry Simm, and views his life ten years after the senator’s plan goes into effect. PRISM reveals that the plan has a positive impact on Perry’s life, but Perelman isn’t convinced.
To ease his suspicions, Perelman has PRISM run a few more simulations. This simulation jumps 20 years into the future. After 20, it increases each simulation by a decade until PRISM reaches 50 years into the future. Each new simulation shows how the senator’s plan had a short-term positive impact, but each consecutive simulation is worse than the last. Validated by PRISM, Perelman makes a presentation to convince the US government not to go through with Senator Ryder’s plan.
A Mind Forever Voyaging Main Characters
A Mind Forever Voyaging features a few prominent characters throughout the interactive story. Each character is vital to the polemical critique tones of the story.
- PRISM: PRISM is the world’s first sentient computer and the game’s playable protagonist. Dr. Abraham Perelman designs PRISM to run hypothetical simulations. This programming allows PRISM to simulate how certain factors impact the future. In AMFV, Dr. Perelman instructs PRISM to simulate Senator Richard Ryder’s “Plan for Renewed National Purpose” to see how harmful it might be. PRISM runs a 10-year simulation on the plan and finds mostly positive results, but the further into the future PRISM goes, the worse the results get. PRISM plays a huge role in outing Senator Ryder’s plans and protecting its designer in the process.
- Dr. Abraham Perelman: Dr. Abraham Perelman is the inventor of PRISM. After Senator Ryder’s “Plan for Renewed National Purpose” went public, Dr. Perelman grew wary of the effects it would have the United States’ future. Dr. Perelman uses PRISM to simulate what effects the plan will have on the future. With PRISM’s simulations as proof, Dr. Perelman makes a presentation to abolish the senator’s plan.
- Senator Richard Ryder: Senator Richard Ryder created the “Plan for Renewed National Purpose”. He is a direct parallel to the real-life 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan. His plan will allegedly help boost the United States economy and help lower teenage suicide rates. These seem like good things until the plan also covers strengthening America in the nuclear arms race. Senator Ryder knows that his plan will harm the country, but he pushes it through anyway. When Dr. Perelman tries to expose the plan for the danger that it is, the senator tries to use military force to silence him. The game wasn’t subtle about Ronald Reagan’s criticisms of this character.
- Perry Simm: Perry Simm is the simulated American citizen that PRISM follows. At first, Perry’s life seems to benefit from Senator Ryder’s plans. The further into the future PRISM goes, though, the worse Perry’s life gets because of the plan.
A Mind Forever Voyaging Titles in the Series
A Mind Forever Voyaging is a stand-alone game with the sole purpose of criticizing the political actions of Ronald Reagan during his time in power. It did not have a sequel or a follow-up game of any kind. It set out to make a point and it accomplished what it wanted to in a single game.
A Mind Forever Voyaging Cheats & Walkthroughs
A Mind Forever Voyaging, as the name suggests, is a non-linear experience that encourages players to explore, choose different options, and experience the game organically. Like most text adventure games, there are many ways to get to the same outcome, but each stage or simulation has a certain number of requirements a player must reach before they can move on to the next simulation. There are also plenty of things players can explore that aren’t required but will provide them with more information or insight.
Naturally, a game like this can be daunting to tackle. The game’s exploration deliberately confuses players and forces them to track many variables. Unfortunately, there are no cheats, cheat codes, or exploits that will make this experience easier. The game plays on one simple mechanic: read and input a response command. The only way players can “cheat” is to look up a walkthrough guide that will take them through the game step-by-step. These guides are usually extremely detailed, meaning just reading one will immediately spoil the player. Complete walkthroughs are helpful to a player who gets stuck, but if they don’t want spoilers, they should avoid them at all costs.
Complete A Mind Forever Voyaging Walkthrough Recommendations:
The guides listed below are complete walkthroughs of the entire AMFV game. These are great resources for players who don’t want to waste a bunch of time aimlessly wandering. They’re also a good place to start looking if you find yourself stuck during your playthrough. Please keep in mind that reading these extremely detailed guides will spoil you.
- GameFAQs’ “A Mind Forever Voyaging – Guide and Walkthrough” by Deborah L. Kearns (username: angeldeb82)
- Universal Hint System’s “A Mind Forever Voyaging Hints from UHS — Not Your Ordinary Walkthrough” – This guide is a little bit better about not spoiling everything right away. Players can click on individual questions to answer immediate issues rather than read the entire guide.
- The Spoiler’s “A Mind Forever Voyaging Walkthrough” by Erik Futtrup – This guide might be on the older side, but it’s still useful. Rather than do a step-by-step guide, Erik lists everything a player should record in each decade.
A Mind Forever Voyaging Cheats FAQ
If a player Googles “A Mind Forever Voyaging cheats”, Google won’t show any FAQ results. Likewise, just Googling “A Mind Forever Voyaging” doesn’t turn up much either. There is a general question about the game’s developer and publisher, Infocom, but it doesn’t specifically relate to AMFV. The only other relevant question is about Senator Richard Ryder’s “Plan for Renewed National Purpose”. Readers can refer to the “main characters” section of this article to read about that.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Geeks With Social Skills / Steve Meretzky / Infocom.