Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon

Publisher: Sierra
Developer: Sierra
Year: 1989
Platform: DOS; Mac; Amiga

Near everyone lauds Space Quest 3 as not only the best adventure of the series, but one of the best adventures of the 80’s. I just don’t see it.

Once again, you are Roger Wilco.  Once again, you need to save the universe. And once again, there is no plot. Dying has been toned down a bit in this game, and dying doesn’t seem to be nearly as fun as in the past. With the previous two games in the series, I felt as if dying was a reward of its own for perseverance and patience.  Here, it feels more like a chore. And while the production values, parser, and characters have all improved considerably, I just can’t seem to care.


Perhaps my indifference results from the sheer obviousness that permeates the entire game. The puzzles are painfully easy. Combine this with the game’s brevity and you have a stunning four to six hours of total gameplay, unacceptable considering how much the game cost back in 1989. The characters, while colorful, could hardly be considered unique. As I found none of them unpredictable, I found none of them memorable. And lastly, but most important, the humor takes “obvious” to whole new levels. It began to feel as if the “APPLAUSE” sign was flashed after every joke to remind me that I was supposed to laugh.

To be fair, I did laugh a few times.  And I did enjoy a few of the puzzles. And I did enjoy some of the characters. And a couple of times I even enjoyed dying. But I didn’t see anything in Pirates of Pestulon I hadn’t already found somewhere else.


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