"A fascinating science fiction story set in a post-nuclear world of disintegrating technology, dysfunctional society and mutant organisms, Wasteland was the first game many of us played where the other members of the player's adventuring party acted like "real" people instead of inventory cabinets with names and automatons with skill sets. Ask the party to divvy up the cash and one or more might refuse. Try to get a party member to cough up his/her last clip of ammo? No way! But don't take our word for it. Play it yourself." - Computer Gaming World (CGW) review
Wasteland was a successful game, and has been included on numerous best game and hall of fame lists. Computer Gaming World Magazine awarded it the Role-Playing Game of the Year award, and ten years later in 1996, it named Wasteland the #9 computer game of all time.
Wasteland was also known for such combat prose, which prompted an unofficial PG-13 sticker on the game packaging in the United States.
Wasteland was intended to be followed by two separate sequels, but Electronic Arts' Fountain of Dreams was turned into an unrelated game and Interplay's own Meantime was cancelled.
Wasteland was one of the first games featuring a persistent world, where changes to the game world were stored and kept. Returning to areas later in the game, one would find them in the state one left them in, instead of being reset to their original state, as was common for games of the time.