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To an extent, our imaginations drive our existence in reality.  While we're going about our daily activities, our minds sometimes wander.  We know it as daydreaming.  

Many gamers enjoy using their minds to read, imagine, and interact with text adventure games. Also known as Interactive Fiction, text adventure games are cleverly written stories that can be driven down different path lines based on input from the gamer.  It's one of the earliest forms of computer gaming, requiring only a love of an interesting story and a little imagination.

What is a Text Adventure Game?

Think of it as the leap from bookreading to computer games.  Growing up in a world filled with struggle and strife, I loved to read.  Who remembers the Nancy Drew adventures?  I could sail through Nancy's stories and help solve that mystery!  

Mysteries were my favorites, but I admit to reading just about anything I could get my hands on. Eventually, mysteries, thrillers, and science fiction stories ranked number one--but anything interesting could turn my head.  Some text adventure games were based on popular book stories.  It seems a natural progression.  

The gamer takes on the role of a character in the text story, and uses written commands to wander through the story and find out what happens.  The game title may give a clue as to the type of story you are entering, but to find out the details it must be played through.

How is a Text Adventure Game played?

Before the story begins, a list of accepted commands is explained so that the gamer can start navigating through the story.  After that, a paragraph or more of text is displayed, which the gamer reads.  The story is advanced by written commands from the gamer.  

Moving through the story, a gamer may look at their surroundings to see precisely their location and after finding out, perhaps look out a window or go through a door.  Is there a car parked nearby?  Maybe driving it will lead to some adventure!

Want to try it out?  

One of the most unique text adventure games is from Adam Cadre.  It's titled Photopia, and is a delight to play through.  It can be played online from the browser or downloaded in zip file format.  Like a good book, its presence stays in your mind long after you've played it.  And that's the mark of a Classic Text Adventure Game.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Gamers on Sat Sep 24, 2011 at 11:40 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight and DKOMA.


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