Call for Questions for Mike Woodroffe

Introduction by Joe Pranevich

If you’re like me, you’ve asked yourself more than once, “Who was it that got the brilliant idea to combine a 1980s horror movie personality with adventure and RPG game elements to create the Elvira series?” Or who it was that brought Scott Adams-style adventure gaming to Europe? Or who was the mad genius behind a cornucopia of licensed adventure games based on He-Man, Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, Robin Hood, and even Super Gran, a British TV series about a grandmother that gets super powers?

The answer to all of these questions and many more is Mike Woodroffe, founder, writer, producer, and programmer for Adventure International UK, AdventureSoft, and HorrorSoft. I am pleased to announce that he has agreed to do a community interview with us!

Just as we did with Scott Adams, the Two Guys from Andromeda, Christy Marx, and others, we will be gathering questions for Mr. Woodroffe from you, our devoted readers. But before you ask the questions, you might want to check out this history of Adventure International UK by RetroGamer or this interview with Mr. Woodroffe, from a HorrorSoft fan page.

Although Mike started in on the business side as a game importer, he also worked on a number of adventure games through the 1980s and early 90s. He seems to have had a particular love for licensed properties. To date, we’ve played only two of his games (Elvira and Elvira II), but as a special Missed Classic we will be reviewing Seas of Blood next week! We may even see another of his games in a few weeks...

  • 1985 - Seas of Blood (with Alan Cox)
  • 1985 - Robin of Sherwood: The Touchstones of Rhiannon (with Brian Howarth)
  • 1987 - Masters of the Universe: Super Adventure (with Teoman Irmak, Stefan Ufnowski, & Graham Lilley)
  • 1989 - Heroes of the Lance (with Teoman Irmak, Graham Lilley, Anthony Scott, Alan Bridgeman, Matt Ellis, Brian Howarth, Tom Lucas, & Simon Woodroffe)

  • 1989 - A Personal Nightmare (with Alan Bridgman, Alan Cox, & Keith Wadhamsa)
  • 1990 - Elvira (with Alan Bridgman, Keith Wadhamsa, & Simon Woodroffe)
  • 1991 - Elvira 2 (with Alan Bridgman & Simon Woodroffe)
  • 1992 - Waxworks (with Alan Bridgman & Simon Woodroffe)
But by the mid-90s, Mike had stepped away game design, working instead as a producer, marketer, or general manager. It was in one of these roles that Michael worked on another series of games that I look forward to seeing on this blog, Simon the Sorcerer. Michael’s son, Simon Woodroffe, would take a leading role in these games and come to prominence as a designer in his own right as we get further into the 90s. I hope we’ll be able to interview Simon once we get into the coincidentally-named (?) Simon the Sorcerer games in a few years time.

  • 1993 - Simon the Sorcerer (also programmer)
  • 1995 - Simon the Sorcerer 2 
  • 1997 - The Feeble Files 
  • 2002 - Simon the Sorcerer 3D (managing director)
  • 2005 - Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth (managing director)
After the third Simon game, Mike is only credited with “additional design” in the fourth game (2007) and received no credit for the fifth game (2009). This is likely due to the property’s transfer to the now-defunct Silver Style Entertainment.

Do you have a question for Mike Woodroffe? Write it in the comments below. Too shy? Mail them to the administrator email on the left column of the blog. After about a week, we will be collating the questions, sorting them, removing all your swear words, pruning the list down to a reasonable number if necessary, and sending them off to be answered.

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