You are in a dark room; there is a small gathering of relics here.
These look like “Text Adventure Fans”, a dwindling breed of gamer from days when computers had the memory of today’s watches.
You speak the magic incantation, and the relics look vaguely in your direction. You begin to speak.
I can’t be the only 80s throwback who still loves a good text adventure game. Zork, Enchanter, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Leather Goddesses of Phobos, Starcross… and so on. For a dedicated nerd such as myself, it was the best of both worlds - storytelling combined with video gaming. Early on, I developed a very judgmental sense about these things. IMHO, the Scott Adams games, with their two word parser and one-line descriptions, sucked. Almost as a rule, if it wasn’t Infocom, it probably wasn’t good. I wanted big, imaginative descriptions. Challenging, yet integrated, puzzles. Humorous but serious plots. I wanted a lot. Infocom almost always delivered.
Then of course, video gaming really started to take off, and it was all about the graphics. Bigger, brighter, faster. 3 dimensions, ferchrissakes. And commercial text adventures went the way of the dodo, and promptly vanished without so much as a “Plugh”.
A hollow voice sighs in weary disgust.
But then, out of the ashes rose the phoenices of dedicated fans who wouldn’t turn their backs on a beloved genre, and began writing their own games. Some of them, naturally, suckethed very greatly. Some of them, dare I say it, even approached Zork in greatness.
The problem is, figuring out which games are dreck and which rule the world. Every year I download the entries to the Interactive Fiction [oh how I despise that term] Competition, and try to play through at least the winning entries. But as is often the case with me and judges, I don’t always agree with the choices. Some of the best games were left without so much as an honorable mention, while some of the worse were bringing home the gold. But I have played some phenomenal ones (such as The Edifice, by Lucian Smith) that left me stunned and thrilled that give me the motivation to keep weeding through them.
Then it occured to me that maybe some fellow Dopers have their own favorites that they’d like to share. Or better yet, have written some that they’d be willing to offer for our enjoyment. So what say you? Share your own text adventure memories, favorites, recommendations, pans, jeers, what ever…