For over a decade, Sierra published its own quirky games magazine called InterAction

From 2010 to 2014 Richard Cobbett wrote Crapshoot, a column about rolling the dice to bring random obscure games back into the light. This week, the dice bring up some history—a time when game companies told it like it was… at least, up to a point.

During the ’80s and ’90s, Sierra Online was one of the companies on the PC. They’re best remembered now for being Lucasarts’ rival in adventure gaming, with the usual nostalgic metaphor being that Lucasarts made movies while Sierra made TV shows. Neither just made adventures though, and Sierra in particular churned out lots of cool stuff over the years. One of those things was InterAction. Then, it was a newsletter that evolved into a magazine that ended up being bundled as an occasional freebie with regular magazines. Now, it’s a quirky little time capsule… with the emphasis on quirky.

Can’t argue with that tagline!

The entire collection is available at Sierra founder Ken Williams’ website, SierraGamers, as part of a more general collection of company history. They’re in PDF form, unlike some other copies floating around, and more interesting than you’d expect for a brochure. 

At least, early on they are. By the end of InterAction’s run, like Sierra itself, it was barely even a shell of what it once was. That great tagline “A blatantly biased look at games from the Sierra family” was swapped for first “An Inside Look At The Products And People Of The Sierra” (presumably around the time that the word ‘family’ was officially deemed too cuddly for the suits who were pulling up in their suitmobiles to trash the place), and ultimately for the message “Praise Mammon for he is God” drawn around a pentagram in invisible ink. You can see it on the scans if you squint hard enough.

Laura Bow was an interesting game. Bad puzzles. Great concept.

Obviously, InterAction made few bones about what it was: a glorified catalogue. Within that though, it managed content that would turn modern marketing types’ hair white. Take for instance a reprinted interview with Roberta Williams, creator of King’s Quest, from 1989.