The Swordquest series was an ambitious video game / comic / contest by Atari and DC comics. Originally slated to be 4 Atari 2600 games with corresponding comics (only 3 games were ever produced), each based on one of the classical elements: earth, fire, water, and air, respectively.
Each of the four video games had some common elements. The player wandered from screen to screen in the game, winning mini-games and/or picking up and/or dropping off various items. If the player dropped off the right item(s) in the right room, a clue would show up. The clue was a page number and panel number. The player then had to get the accompanying comic book and turn to that page and panel and decipher what that clue meant. Sometimes it gave a clue as to what other object to put in that screen, but sometimes the comic panel had a hidden word in it, and if the players found all four or five hidden words while the contest was running, they could send Atari the sentence the words made up for a chance at a prize that was related to the game and worth thousands of dollars.The third game Waterworld was released, but the contest for the prize was canceled. The fourth installment, Airworld, was never finished (there are rumors that there are prototypes of the game that exist). There was no fourth comic book ever written or drawn. it was canceled even before the artists could start on it.There were a few reasons why the game series wasn't completed. First of all, the games were made just before the great video crash of 1984, and Atari was in financial trouble. Second, the games played very similarly and were rather boring. Players had to pick up items and drop them off in a particular order, and there were literally thousands of wrong combinations. Players could spend hours of fruitless questing. And if one of these games weren't bad enough, try having four.The comic books that went with the games were about a pair of orphaned twins Torr and Tarra, who were destined to defeat the evil King Tyrannus and claim his throne. But first they had to go through each of the four elemental worlds and defeat terrible monsters and collect artifacts to avenge their parents' murder and end the evil king's reign.
Collected in Atari Classics: Swordquest.