Interactive fiction/text adventure games by Robin Johnson
How to play (read this first if you haven't played a text adventure before!)
The Year of Adventure - game jam to mark 40th anniversary of the original Adventure game
New Losago, 1929 – a town full of creeps, clowns, mobsters, and, if you know where to look, the occasional honest citizen. Guide private investigator Lanson Rose through a series of puzzling cases: solve the city's liquor supply problem in "Speakeasy Street", track down a missing food scientist in "The Big Pickle", and investigate strange goings-on under a dilapidated mansion in "A Study in Squid".
The King of Anachronopolis has ordered you to complete three labours: end the Trojan War, slay the dreaded Bicyclops, and rescue a couple of inmates from Hades. A comic adventure based in Greek mythology.
A loose adaptation of Dracula, faithfully reimagining several characters and ignoring most of the original plot. Guide Jonathan Harker on a trip through Transylvania, interacting with vampires, mad scientists, zombies, annoying magpies, and moustachioed werewolves.
Draculaland is the first game written using a new keyboardless "parser/choice hybrid" engine – available actions appear as context-sensitive clickable links next to your items, so there's no typing.
Campy, wonderfully silly, and packed to the gills with supernatural mayhem – Jay Is Games
Silly in the best possible way – PC Gamer
Friendly and playable – Rock Paper Shotgun
Very enjoyable – Adventure Gamers
Goofy, tropey... short, tight descriptions and puzzles that can be solved in a single flash of inventiveness – Emily Short
There's a lot to be said about this game, but we don't have time – Ryan Veeder
4th place (of 14), First Quadrennial Ryan Veeder Exposition for Good Interactive Fiction|
Featured in PC Gamer's Free Games of the Week
The city of Portcullis has been taken over by an evil sorcerer, because... well, that's what evil sorcerers do.
Join a party of arrogant adventurers in their attempt to overthrow Zapdorf and liberate the town. Or is there something else going on?
Written to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Zork, Portcullis is a tribute to the drily humorous swords-and-sorcery style games that dominated the early days of interactive fiction.
Aunts and Butlers
It's 1920, you're a minor aristocrat fallen on hard times, and your wretched Aunt Cedilla is on the warpath. A comic adventure in the style of P. G. Wodehouse.
Thoroughly enjoyable - Jay is Games
I can establish my credentials to review this game merely by mentioning
that I own a pair of spats. So when I say this is pretty funny, you can take
my word for it. Assuming you think spats are funny, anyway.
– Dan Shiovitz
This is the same problem I had with Hitchhiker's and Bureaucracy
– Emily Short
Best text-based game - slate.com|
Finalist for two Xyzzy awards: Best NPCs, Best Individual NPC (the butler)
16th place (of 42), 12th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition
You're the prince of Denmark, and boy, are you in a sucky mood! You've been grounded again, your friends don't understand you, and your evil uncle has murdered your father to usurp the throne. A collaboration with William Shakespeare.
Superb – Guardian
While the idea is good, the execution lacks some of Shakespeare's poetry – Scotsman
In just five minutes' playing I was hooked. – Neil Gaiman
Oh my goodness – Ryan North
Well-executed, extremely funny – Cory Doctorow
Mildly amusing – Channel 4
The humor was engaging, and the easy puzzles you start out with make you feel triumphant, hooking you in and making you want to finish. – SPAG
This may very well be the way the Elizabethans themselves experienced the Immortal Bard, on their primitive 386-based PCs. – b3ta
|ISE Swan from the Internet Shakespeare Editions|
These games are interactive fiction, or text adventures. Unlike graphical games, which are limited by hardware and software capabilities, these games use a technology of unsurpassed advancement - natural language - to project the images directly into your imagination.
You get a description of what is going on, and you give the game commands by typing them in simple English at the prompt at the bottom and pressing Enter. Including an exhaustive list of words the game understands would spoil your enjoyment of playing, but some simple commands are:
north, east, south, west, in, out, up, down
Walk in the specified direction. (You can abbreviate the compass directions to the letters n/e/s/w.)
look Repeat the description of the room (or other location) you are in. Normally these will not be printed automatically after the first time you are in a room. If you want to see the descriptions every time, type verbose. To turn this off, type terse.
You can also look at (or x for examine) particular objects, characters, or parts of the scenery.
talk to (character)
Find out what one of the other characters in the game has to say. If you want to get more specific, you can ask them about specific topics, e.g. ask the ghost about Claudius.
take (object), drop (object)
Pick up or put down an object. To pick up everything you can see, or drop everything you are carrying, use take all or drop all.
inventory (or i)
Show a list of what you are carrying.
show (object) to (character)
Find out how a character reacts to a particular object, e.g. show skull to Horatio.
save (cookiename), load (cookiename)
This saves your game to a cookie so that you can restore from this point later with load. It's recommended that you do this before trying anything risky or irreversible! dir shows you a list of cookies.
Undoes your previous action. You can do this several times in a row.
The games understand many more commands and finding out what they are is part of the fun. Experiment!