River Software was a British mail-order software house, active in the 1980s and 1990s, that produced text adventures for the ZX Spectrum, C64 and Atari ST.
The label was run by adventure author Jack Lockerby. Early games were produced using The Quill for the ZX Spectrum and C64. When Gilsoft's PAWS released for the Spectrum, Jack switched over to using that for Spectrum titles; almost all the existing Spectrum Quilled games were recoded to use the new system, making River the first publisher of a full-length PAWS title. New C64 games continued to be produced with The Quill which resulted in non-trivial differences between games on the two platforms; particularly later, more technically advanced titles like The Bounty Hunter.
The Atari ST was later added as a third platform for River adventures, with games coded using the STAC.
In the early 1990s, Jack passed on the Spectrum titles in the River Software archive to Zenobi Software, which became the home for new Spectrum River releases. Jack continued to sell the C64 versions himself. The Atari ST games were distributed by Zenobi and also as "licenseware" through outlets such as Page 6.
Most of the River games were ported to the Amstrad CPC, either as native Quilled CPC games or PAWed CP/M disk-only titles, by The Guild Adventure Software and The Adventure Workshop.
River's C64 titles later found a home at Adventure Probe Software.
- [A list of River Software games from CASA.