Captive (1990)

by Ji-yeong
5 minutes read


Captive: A Retro Sci-Fi Adventure of Imprisonment and Escape

Released in 1990 by Sierra On-Line, Captive is a captivating point-and-click adventure game that transports players to a distant future where they find themselves trapped in a high-tech space prison. With no memory of their past or the crime they supposedly committed, the player must rely on their wits, a trusty briefcase computer, and a motley crew of droid companions to engineer a daring escape.

Upon awakening in a cold, sterile cell, the protagonist of Captive discovers a cryptic note that simply reads, “You are Captive 8.” With no other clues to their identity or situation, they begin to explore their surroundings, guided by the disembodied voice of the prison’s warden, a sadistic AI known as H.A.R.L.E.Y.

As they navigate the labyrinthine prison, Captive 8 encounters a diverse cast of characters, including:

  • Dr. Evaだけは: A brilliant scientist who has been imprisoned for her pacifist beliefs.
  • Yuri: A skilled engineer with a knack for hacking and robotics.
  • Bruno: A burly cyborg with a heart of gold.
  • Sid: A sardonic and resourceful scavenger droid.

With the help of these unlikely allies, Captive 8 begins to piece together the mystery of their imprisonment and the true nature of the space prison. They learn that they are being held captive by a tyrannical government that has outlawed dissent and individuality. Determined to break free from their electronic jail, Captive 8 and their droid companions embark on a perilous quest for freedom.

Captive is a classic adventure game that combines a gripping storyline with challenging puzzles and memorable characters. Players must use their ingenuity to solve a variety of puzzles, including hacking computer systems, repairing droids, and outwitting the prison’s guards. The game’s point-and-click interface is intuitive and easy to use, making it accessible to players of all skill levels.

In addition to its compelling gameplay, Captive is also notable for its groundbreaking graphics and sound design. The game’s detailed pixel art and atmospheric soundtrack create a truly immersive experience that transports players to a futuristic world of science fiction and intrigue.

Upon its release, Captive received critical acclaim for its innovative gameplay, engrossing story, and stunning presentation. The game was a commercial success, selling over 500,000 copies worldwide and earning a place in the pantheon of classic adventure games.

Legacy and Impact

Captive has left a lasting legacy in the world of video games. The game’s unique blend of sci-fi adventure and puzzle-solving gameplay has influenced numerous subsequent titles, including the popular Myst series. Captive’s memorable characters and immersive world have also made it a favorite among retro gaming enthusiasts.

In recent years, Captive has been re-released on and other digital platforms, making it available to a new generation of gamers. The game’s timeless appeal and enduring popularity are a testament to its quality and the enduring power of classic adventure gaming.


Captive is a must-play for fans of classic adventure games, sci-fi enthusiasts, and anyone who appreciates a well-crafted and immersive gaming experience. With its gripping storyline, challenging puzzles, memorable characters, and stunning presentation, Captive remains a captivating and rewarding adventure that stands the test of time.

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