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Text Adventures - Anybody Still Playing?

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I was lovingly looking through my collection of classic text adventures, have most of the infocom's, but also a lot of the later games such as The Pawn, The Guild of Thieves, Knight Orc etc... Lovely big boxes and there fair share of feelies, but unsure if I could really live with playing them any more, puzzles are often crazy hard (bordering on jusr random guess work) and they run so slow, is there still fun to be had?

Anybody found a true love for this genre? or is it all about the memories of playing when you knew no better and sniffing those great manuals?

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It took me some time (approx 25 years :) but I finally started playing text adventures again this year. More importantly, I'm totally enjoying them. Yes, it's possible! (without any hint of nostalgia). The key here is applying the appropriate mindset and remembering this is a different form of videogame entertainment. One bit of advice I have is this: do not try to play them in "one sitting" sessions like other games, expecting huge progress everytime. Sure, sometimes it's possible but mostly you will get stumped real quick and if you don't walk away - frustrated.

 

So now I play in small chunks and whenever I get stuck - quite often almost immediately - I try for a bit and then leave it be. Then return the next, or few days later, play other similar games in the meantime. It's amazing how often after such break a seemingly impossible puzzle gets solved real quick. Perhaps there is something to the claim your brain works on problems subconsciously, or maybe it's just a fresh look that helps. No matter, it works :) If it does not, then I leave it again, come back later...and so on.

 

Text adventures are puzzle games of a peculiar kind, for those who enjoy syntax-related conundrums and also find fun in using abstract thinking to untangle others' imaginations. Quite often those seemingly illogical puzzles actually make sense if you look at them in a certain way and also have appropriate clues scattered around. Some, yeah, can be only broken by brute force approach or looking up the clues...luckily in 2018 it has never been easier, there are large repositories of solutions. If you're of an impatient sort, you can use them to enjoy the stories and narratives, because these are often really great too.

 

Overall, I think it's a totally unique and still immensely rewarding and entertaining pastime. Not for everyone, for sure, but also not as dated and impossible to enjoy as the modern received wisdom has it.

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W

W

W

W

N

N

You are in a dank alter chamber.

Light Poison Candle

Drop Candle

S

Wait

Wait

N

Look

You are surrounded by the decaying carcasses of the forum members. Above you sits an alter. On the alter sits an Ataribox.

Hit Ataribox with golden hammer

The Golden Hammer passes through the Ataribox revealing it was never really there.

Place gold coin on alter

Your gold coin is accepted.

Strange French creatures descend from the ceiling and chain you to the alter facing the Ataribox illusion.

Then the creatures instantly disappear.

As you wait for months and years at the alter, your mind unravels into madness and your body slowly whithers to ash.

Thank you for playing.

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W

W

W

W

N

N

You are in a dank alter chamber.

Light Poison Candle

Drop Candle

S

Wait

Wait

N

Look

You are surrounded by the decaying carcasses of the forum members. Above you sits an alter. On the alter sits an Ataribox.

Hit Ataribox with golden hammer

The Golden Hammer passes through the Ataribox revealing it was never really there.

Place gold coin on alter

Your gold coin is accepted.

Strange French creatures descend from the ceiling and chain you to the alter facing the Ataribox illusion.

Then the creatures instantly disappear.

As you wait for months and years at the alter, your mind unravels into madness and your body slowly whithers to ash.

Thank you for playing.

Brilliant :)

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Check out the Eaten By A Grue podcast, it's great.

 

I never made it more than 10 minutes into a text adventure, but a few months ago i got a ways into Enchanter. I definitely want to get back to it and finish it, i'm really enjoying that one and so far the puzzles haven't been too bad... other than I'm currently stuck. Might have to use a hint to get back on track.

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The thing I hated the most about text adventures from my time plating was how most of them left it to you to determine if you won. About the only thing that told you you finished was running out of places too look. You could display a score by typing score or something, and that would tell you how many points you had out of a maximum possible. Unfortunately, most of them never provided you a satisfactory resolution for all your hunting and pecking. I only learned I beat a couple from way back when I recently looked them up again to confirm there was nothing else to find. I always felt like I gave up, but in truth, I found everything there was to see, er read.

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It's been many years since I have sat down and played one from start to finish. I think we have been spoiled by graphics. My first was Scott Adams' The Count on the VIC-20 and that just blew my mind. Then I think Pirate Adventure on the TI-99 came next. Then Jack the Ripper on the C64. After that it was the Lurking Horror also on the TI. Yes, I like the horror/Lovecraftian themed ones. I think the last classic text adventure I got sucked into was the Hound of Shadow on the Amiga. Then I was more into RPGs.

 

 

But I did put all the Infocom ones on my android tablet recently so I may well set aside some time to play one again. I can have that set up next to my gaming rig. From a programming aspect I always marveled at the Infocom full sentence parser. My own creations were of the two word VERB/NOUN variety. One day I have to just figure out how they did it. Once that is done that may spur me to make another one.

Edited by Arnuphis

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While not on a Commodore system,I recently played "Bronze", a complete example adventure by Emily Short for the Inform "text adventure language". It was a take on "Beauty and the Beast" where you, as Beauty, have returned to the Beast's castle as had been promised. But the Beast is nowhere to be found. You must search the castle and grounds for Beast, learning about some of the history (along with Beauty's past as a "guest" of the castle) and then figure out how to end the story on a high note. It had multiple endings, which was neat.

Edited by Gamemoose

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There's a text adventure game hidden inside Google Search

gtextadv.jpg

There's an old-school text-based adventure game that you can play in the developer console of your browser.

Discovered by a Reddit user attempt_number_1, the game can be accessed by entering the developer console after searching for "text adventure" or "text game." To initialize it, you need to press Ctrl+Shift+J (Cmd+Option+J for Mac users) on the search results page. The game also works on Firefox, Microsoft Edge and, presumably, on all Chromium-based browsers.

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