Games were different in the '80s. Experimenting with new techniques, blazing a trail of technology, game designers were able to get away with quirks that, today, would cause them to be vilified. Perhaps burned in effigy. Death threats would not be out of the question.
It's hard to find a better example of this than King's Quest III: To Heir Is Human. At the time, the game felt like an epic, deep adventure. Players could dive into the game, exploring its world with a level of detail never before seen on the PC. The dramatically varied landscapes and settings were populated with enough characters and creatures to offer an impression (skeletal though it may have been) of a rich, dense world. It was magical.
At the time.