Quest for Quintana Roo

Quest for Quintana Roo

Platform:

Atari 2600

Developer:

VSS, Inc.

Release Date:

1983

Notes:

Quest for Quintana Roo is a ‘shoot and loot’ game, with low historical and representational accuracy. The player’s avatar in this game is named. You act AS Yucatan Sam, and your goal is to traverse the pyramid, seeking keys to unlock doors and the treasure of the Maya, while having the constraining game play factor of a limited air supply, so you can’t theoretically wander forever.

Quest for Quintana Roo is important from a game design standpoint as it gave the player limited choice and narrative agency within the game. Yucatan Sam can travel anywhere in the temple, and isn’t limited to a predetermined path.

It’s important from a representational standpoint, as this is the first game where transmedial tropes about archaeology, as established in novels, films and television, begin to solidify in games. The ideas about what archaeologists look like, what we do, and how we behave, ethically, start to show up here.