You are in cryogenic suspension on the planet Contra. Suddenly a tremor awakens you, and you must solve a complex matrix of life- and planet-threatening crises using the six robots of Contra's underground compound. The game is an all-text adventure, but comes with a map of the compound as well as pieces you can move around to keep track of each robot's position as the game progresses.
The robots are linked to your mind through a "filtering computer" allowing you to control them with your thoughts. Each has specific abilities that you must discover, as well as a unique personality that colors the way he or she describes objects and events. It's useful to ask more than one robot to examine the same item or room--the combination of perceptions will give you a more accurate report. Poet, the diagnostician, sees all life as a stage, though obedient, he talks in riddles. Iris, if you can figure out how to repair her visual sensors, is a subdued Mae West type ("Hey, good looking," she coos). Auda, your ears, and Sensa, who measures electrical forces, are on the quiet side. Whiz, your link to the compound's information stores, is fond of the phrase, "Hmm, that's a tough one." Waldo isn't too bright, but he's the workhorse of the group. The robots' humorous asides ease the frustration of trying to repair Contra before the humans break into the compound and replace you with a clone.
The game includes an advanced level as well as an option in which you can set up the robots' starting positions yourself. Like other Infocom games, the program has such a large vocabulary and good understanding of syntax that you can seemingly type in any relevant command and be understood.
Suspended, by Michael Berlyn. Infocom, Cambridge, MA, on disk for Apple II/II+/Iie, Atari 800/1200, Commodore 64, CP/M, DEC Rainbow, IBM PC, TI Professional, TRS-80 Model III, $50-$60.
Thanks to Chris Mikesell for transcribing and donating this article.