Text-based games or text games are a classic genre of interactive fiction games. Text games are subtle and very relaxing to play. You can play and enjoy these types of games on any web browser. You don’t need to download or pay for playing text adventure games online. Text games are popular among office workers and those who want to have a relaxing time. This article will present 15 of the best Text-Based Adventure Games (interactive fiction games).
What is a Text Game?
A text-based or text game is a video game that uses a text-based user interface to control a set of commands. The interface will show you results depending on various instructions or commands. Players type in several commands to interact with the game world.
We can trace back the history of text-based games to 1960. At that time, people used teleprinters with mainframe computers as a mode of input. Some of the early text games were The Sumerian Game, Lunar Lander, and The Oregon Trail.
Best 15 Text-Based Adventure Games
Modern online text games became popular in the late 80s. It was in the mid-90s when independent developers started making specific Interactive Fiction games for users online. Very few people know Multi-User Dungeon and Rough-like games result from classic text-based games. Here are some of the top Interactive Fiction games that you can play on your PC.
1. The Dreamhold
The Dreamhold is a fantastic interactive fiction game developed by Andrew Plotkin. The game is perfect for those who are new to text-based games. You can even say that it is a tutorial game for IF. The game is short and easy to play. The tutorial voice will guide you through the steps.
The story of the Dreamhold features the player waking up in a cell. He doesn’t remember how he got there. To play the game, you need to type a verb, and the game will describe a scenario for you. You can then continue from there. If you don’t want the tutorial, type ‘Tutorial Off’ to disable it. For more challenging scenarios, type ‘expert’ and press enter. In expert mode, you will get more challenging puzzles to solve.
Zork is one of the earliest interactive fiction games. The four members of the MIT Dynamic Modelling Group released the game in the late 70s. The game is still famous for its high quality and great interactive story theme. There are four versions of Zork developed from 1977 to 1982. Despite being a classic game, the text parser responds to every word you type.
You can play Zork online for free. It is a single-player game. They split the game into three major parts. In the beginning, you will find yourself in front of a white house. Then, gradually, you will enter the house and gather resources. You can save and restore your progress in the game. Give brief commands and see the magic happen before your eyes.
3. Torn Text Based Adventure Games
Torn is the best text-based role-playing game on the internet. This game is proof that text-based games are not limited to interactive fiction only. Torn is an online game with thousands of active players. In the game, you control your life. You can either be a delinquent and beat up everyone else or go to school and become educated to be successful in life.
Torn is a long-term experience game. You need to sign up to save your progress in the game. The account is free to create. Unlike other games, Torn is a life simulator with the difficulties of life. After completing the tutorial mission, the game will set you free. You can then do whatever you wish in the game. But remember, you have only one life to live. So, make your decisions carefully. Otherwise, you will perish in the long run.
4. Choice of Robots
Choice of Robots is an epic interactive sci-fi novel available for PC and smartphones. The story of Choice of Robots is of an era where AI technology and robots are everywhere. The player takes the role of an intelligent and capable robot engineer. You are to make a robot capable of understanding love and care. The choices you make will determine the outcome of your creation.
Make a unique robot that will decide the fate of our world in the future. The game offers seventy achievements that you can unlock. There are four endings to this interactive novel video game. In the end, you will know if your choices were a success or failed miserably.
5. Reigns: Game of Thrones
Reigns: Game of Thrones is a strategy text-based graphics game. Nerial developed the game with support from HBO. The game features characters from the Game of Thrones franchise. Reigns: Game of Thrones differs from your average text-based game. The players take the role of one of the main characters from the TV series (Jon Snow, Cersei Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, Sansa Stark, and Tyrion Lannister). The game presents players with binary questions to rule the kingdom and take decisions. You can swipe left or right to make your choices. Your choice will directly affect the game’s storyline.
You can enjoy Reigns: Game of Thrones for free. It is available for Windows, macOS, iOS & Android.
6. Spider and Web
Spider and Web is another classic text adventure game by Andrew Plotkin. The game features a spy who has been captured while disguised as a tourist. You play the game and gradually come to know what is happening around you.
The dialogues are very simple compared to other text adventures. You can only answer yes or no when asked a question. It makes interacting with the game much more manageable. But in no way is the game easy. Just like any other RPG game, Spider and Web present challenges and hurdles. After playing for some time, it is relatively challenging to keep track of everything. So, if you are ready to take the challenge, then play Spider and Web.
7. Warsim: The Realm of Aslona
Warsim: The Realm of Aslona is a rich text-based kingdom management video game. It is a premium game, and you can buy the game from Steam. Warsim: The Realm of Aslona features charming ASCII graphics and soundtracks that fit perfectly with the environment. The game aims to run a flourishing kingdom and progress the story.
Warsim: The Realm of Aslona offers a wide range of characters, races, objects, and dialogues. The game is a deep ASCII-based strategy game. If you are looking for a complicated and challenging game, I recommend playing Warsim: The Realm of Aslona.
Lifeline is a text-based adventure game for Android and iOS devices. You can play Lifeline for free. The main character, Taylor, crashes on an unknown planet. He tries to contact his base but is unable to establish a connection. Taylor then explores the planet and discovers that it is infested with a hostile parasitic lifeform known as Greens. He has only one life to get away from the planet. If Taylor dies, the game is over.
It is up to the players to guide and rescue Taylor from the planet. You can type instructions and ask Taylor to follow them. It is a challenging situation, and you have to overcome all the hurdles with Taylor in Lifeline.
9. Night House
Are you a fan of horror games? Do you want to experience the best text-based horror game? If the answer is yes, then I present to you- Night House. It is a must-play game for those who understand the concept of interactive fiction. The game puts you in the shoes of an eight-year-old boy. He wakes up at midnight to use the bathroom. He cannot find his family and soon is engulfed in a scary situation.
Compared to other text-based browser games, Night House has some other ways of giving commands. On the right side of the screen, you can find inventory, places and objects, and a compass. These items will help you progress in the game and keep track of your surroundings. The sound effects of the game add more spookiness to the plot. Give Night House a try if previous games were not suitable to your taste.
10. A Dark Room
A Dark Room is one of the best clicker games to play in 2021. It is a text-focused game that you can control by clicking on different options. The results of your clicks are shown in plain text. You can explore and decide what you want to do in A Dark Room. You can enjoy this game on a web browser, Android, or iOS device.
New items and maps unlock if you choose the suitable options. You can gather resources to survive on cold nights or eat food to survive. To me, A Dark Room is the best text-based game to play in your free time. The game is challenging and enjoyable at the same time.
11. Fallen Hero: Rebirth
Fallen Hero: Rebirth is an interactive adventure novel by Malin Ryden. Los Diablos is an unknown world that is crawling with deadly supernatural creatures. The main character has to use his telepathic powers and build a place in the underworld. He was once part of a crew, but now he needs to abandon his friends. He aims to become the greatest villain to bring changes in the world.
Fallen Hero: Rebirth is a 380,000-word interactive game. You can play the game for a long time. The game sets new challenges and puts you in desperate situations. You have to hone your powers and come out victorious.
12. Champion of the Gods
Champion of the Gods is a text-based online adventure game that is a novel created by Jonathan Valuckas. The mythical Gods of Greek are planning to erase humanity from the earth. You can either choose to serve the gods or dethrone them. It is up to you to stand against the Gods and protect humanity from extinction.
The story progresses rapidly and puts you against difficult choices and decisions. You can collect resources, make friends, and defeat your enemies in Champion of the Gods. You can play Champion of the Gods on your Android device and PC.
13. Subsurface Circular
Subsurface Circular is an interactive text game that also has some 3D visuals. The game tells us a story of Theta One One, an Android-like being known as Tek. He is appointed as a detective to find a missing Tek. Upon investigation, he comes to discover that Red Tek is involved in the disappearance. As the investigation progress, more Teks go missing.
The RPG style of Subsurface Circular makes it different from other text-based games. You can buy Subsurface Circular from Steam at half price. I heavily recommend this game if you want to enjoy a futuristic interactive fiction game.
14. SanctuaryRPG: Black Edition
SanctuaryRPG: Black Edition is a funny turn-based text game available on Steam. The game follows the journey of a lone traveler. The traveler’s main objective is to defeat The Matreon. SanctuaryRPG: Black Edition combines both rough-like and Japanese RPG style into the gameplay. It features ASCII art and sound effects to make it an outstanding game.
Enjoy the classic ASCII art in SanctuaryRPG: Black Edition and experience the beauty of text-based games. SanctuaryRPG: Black Edition will give you hours of gameplay. With sleek combat and interactive story, you won’t be disappointed playing SanctuaryRPG: Black Edition. Get the game from Steam for $6.17 now.
Roadwarden is an upcoming excellent illustrated text adventure RPG. You can play the demo game on Steam. Roadwarden is expected to release in 2022. It is going to be the first game that will feature both pixel art and text-based RPG.
You play as Roadwarden, a brave stranger on a quest. A powerful merchant guild has requested your aid. You must help them and do whatever it takes to make changes in a grim world that are beyond help. You can play the demo version of Roadwarden. To play the complete game, we have to wait till 2022.
I enjoyed making this list for the fans of Text-Based Adventure Games. There are still fans that enjoy playing text-based games. Though there have been no new games coming to this genre, the classic games are enough to fulfill our needs. In the crowd of modern adventure games, we cannot let interactive fiction games go extinct. I hope you will enjoy this list. Let us know in the comment which one is your favorite game.