The following gameplay instruction for Kooky’s Quest was published in Antic Magazine. This was not the exact writeup that the A/W/A submitted with the game, but much of this was borrowed from the original writeup.
Trapped in an evil dungeon, your only hope of escaping is to descend to the lowest level, retrieve the magic key, and use it to unlock the portal at the uppermost level. Playing Kooky's Quest uses the keyboard and a joystick in port one. There are two skill levels. In the beginner game, you're aided by a displayed map of the dungeon, which is erased for the expert game. To move from one dungeon level to another, you must obtain enough treasures-rings and chests. You need only one treasure to descend from the first level to the second, but you'll need five to reach each of the deepest dungeons. Once you have enough treasures to change levels, go to the up or down staircase, shown with a D or U on the map. If you are playing without the map, you can identify a staircase by sound effects, because the stairs aren't in your view.
Getting treasures is not an easy task. In each room, you will find a treasure and a monster. it is important to get to the treasure before the monster gets it, before you kill the monster or the monster kills you. In each case, you'll lose the treasure. If you clear all the rooms on any level and don't have enough treasure, you'll be forced to wander that level forever-or until you stop the game. You have ten lives for the entire game.
You'll be asked to choose a weapon as you enter a room. Available weapons are listed at the bottom of the screen and, can be selected with numbers. The axe, mace and sword are swinging weapons-press the fire button and move the joystick from left or right. The knife, lightning bolt and fireball are throwing weapons. They are used in the same way as swinging weapons-except they continue moving in a straight line until they hit something. Choose your weapons with care. Each has different properties. You'll find that some require six hits to kill, others only one hit. Note that while fighting, you can only attack to the left or right, and can't protect yourself from above or below.
You can encounter six types of monsters-vampire bats, giant hobgoblins, wicked skeletons, venomous serpents, decaying mummies and malevolent spiders that inhabit only the lowest level. Your adventurer, Kooky is shown as a happy face symbol. Instead of escaping the dungeon, you may choose to accumulate points. Treasures are worth five points, defeated monsters ten.
Kooky’s Quest was based on Exidy’s Venture arcade game. In Venture, the primary character was called “Winky” and had a smiley face just like the Kooky’s Quest main character. Venture also took place in an underground maze, where you wander through halls, enter rooms, and battle the villains in the rooms. All of these game traits are also found in Kooky’s Quest.
Kooky’s Quest took quite a long time to write and finish. The game was probably started before Kooky Klimber, but Kooky Klimber was finished first and set the standard for the Kooky-named series of games which included Kooky’s Quest and Kooky Diver. Development got stuck in an almost infinite loop as John Weisgerber tried several techniques to get the scrolling maze to work smoothly. The wait was worth it, since the scrolling effect looks completely smooth in all four directions, and was implemented through manipulation of text strings in memory.
Kooky’s Quest was sold to Antic Magazine for about $200 or $300, and was the first A/W/A program published since Kooky Klimber and Night Rescue were purchased by COMPUTE! Magazine but never published. The A/W/A was so excited when the magazine reached the news racks, that they had their parents take them to Fairlane Mall in Dearborn to purchase the magazine the first day it came out.