Freedom! for the Apple II

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Game description:

Taking the role of an enslaved African American (either male or female) in the southern United States during 1830, the player must try escaping a plantation and get to one of the free northern states.

First the player must choose what zone of the south they want their journey to begin. Their starting point choice acts as a difficulty level. When the escape begins the slave is given random abilities such as being able to swim or not being able to read or write which can affect how the player approaches the game.

The main gameplay takes place on a screen that shows the countryside. Also on display is the runaway slave’s four personal indicators that indicate his or her nourishment, stamina, health, and injury. Also shown is the time of day which is suppose to be figured out by the position of the sun. The player has regular actions and circumstantial actions they can take during the game.

Regular actions include sleeping, waiting and resting, eating, repairing injuries, checking the player’s inventory, and orienting the direction that the player is heading in. Figuring out the direction is done by either looking at the North Star, finding moss on trees, or using a compass.

Circumstantial actions can include knocking on peoples’ doors that may or may not be sympathetic with the slave’s plight; Running, hiding, fighting, or surrendering when spotted by a patrol; and choosing whether to swim or sidestep around a river.

The game is over when either the player gets recaptured, dies, or escapes to freedom.

What I think:

Nice edutainment game, but also quite challenging if you play it for the first time (this video proves it).

But damn, why got Aunt Nancy such a racist caricature? -_-‘

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13 comments

  1. WTF now that is really going to far for a video Game no wonder they pulled it off the Market. How could then even get away with this as an educational Game?
    thx for posting this vid.

  2. Oh my gosh, this game. Third grade = This, Oregon Trail, and the mighty Karateka all day long.

    Pardon my language, but historically accurate or not – if someone attempted to release a game like this today, there would be lawsuits out the ass.

  3. I remember getting pepper from the aunt and getting the dogs off my trail. I think I beat it once or twice in 4th grade. I liked it much more than Oregon Trail.

  4. Really glad this video is here. I played this a lot in elementary school in the year between release and its demise. It was quite a powerful situation for a white 6th grader living in a almost uniformly white area who had not seen more than one or two African Americans in person ever other than on TV. It's really sad the game disappeared so fast and we instead were left only with crap with no real educational value like Oregon Trail and Number Muncher. Weird how I never knew there was any controversy or what happened to the game until searching for it now.

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