So here I am, standing in front of Mystery House. It doesn't look very mysterious. It doesn't look very Victorian either, for that matter. But whatever. If I wanted an exciting graphical experience, I probably shouldn't have picked an Apple II game to review. So instead of critiquing the bland, boxy house, I think I'll just play the game. Let' see... I'm being asked to input a command. I can type in whatever I want. Any word I want. Hmmm.... what should I type?


      I decided to type in FUCK. I figured it was important to establish dominance over the game early on by using abusive language towards it. Now the game will understand how it's gonna be: I'm the boss and it's my bitch. Needless to say, the game is not happy with this situation. In fact, it "refuses" to play with me anymore. Don't threaten me, Mystery House. You will find me to be quite a deadly adversary indeed. Just you wait and see what I type in next...


      MOTHERFUCKER. The game *actually* quit. Well played, Mystery House; you've won this round. But really, where the hell does a video game get off telling what words I can and cannot use? I paid good money for this game, so it has no right to fucking chastise me. Well, I WOULD have paid good money for this game if I had bought it between the years of 1980 and 1986; Sierra released it into the public domain in 1987. And it's not like Roberta Williams has any right to get all preachy... She appeared on the cover of the racy 1981 text game Softporn Adventure. But hey, whatever. Mystery House, I hope you're ready for me, because I'm coming back for second try. Once I reboot, you'll be in for some serious shit. Only I won't actually type SHIT because I bet you'll just quit again. See? I'm on to you.


      OK, so I didn't learn a damn thing. After restarting the game, the first thing I did was type in FUCK again. But this time, I asked nicely. Luckily for me, the game is so poorly coded that it only understands FUCK within certain contexts and FUCK PLEASE isn't one of them. OK, now I'm done fucking around. It's time to enter the house.


      ...or not. Apparently the game doesn't understand GO NORTH. How the fuck is that possible? I'm sorry, Mystery House. I'll try not to confuse you anymore with my advanced terminology. Let's see if I can't get things right this time...


      Instead of GO NORTH, let's just try NORTH. That doesn't work either. Now I'm confused. The house is in front of me, and the compass direction north is pretty much always synonymous with forward/up in games of this nature. Not a problem though, I'll just try another direct. How about EAST?


Nope. WEST, maybe?


Shit. This is highly improbable, but I guess I'll try SOUTH...


      Dammit! So let's recap: there are four directions that I can move in and none of them work. What the fuck am I supposed to? The instructions weren't lying when they said it could take hours to move. Let's see if I can't figure this out. There's a house, right? And I want to go to the house, right? Maybe GO HOUSE will work!






      Let's try GO DOOR! What a big fucking surprise, that doesn't work either! What do you want from me, Mystery House? What do I need to say to you to advance to the next screen? Give me a hint. Give me a sign. Give me some indication that you're not just a terrible game whose programmers were too lazy to make you properly respond to basic commands using common words. Please? If something doesn't happen soon, I'm gonna fucking quit. And I don't just mean the article either, I mean the whole fucking site. Could this be the end of