Interactive fiction games, or as some prefer to call them, text based games, were a certain kind of phenomenon.
The idea for their creation was borrowed from the fledgling paragraph literature, which offered readers several possible endings, all depending on the choices they made during reading. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
However, before they arrived in the digital world, they made their debut in paper form almost 50 years ago. In such a format, they were quite well-received, and one of the more popular titles from this time, Tunnels & Trolls, still has its fans today.
Historical Context – The birth of interactive fiction
Does that mean they were boring? Far from it! While today’s creators strive to develop the most realistic and perfect graphics, text-based games primarily relied on the player’s imagination and logical thinking skills.
In the second half of the 1980s, the popularity of text-based games began to decline, and in the 1990s, they were forgotten. Fortunately, only for a while!
Best Text-Based Games in the Modern Age
There are many contemporary titles that inherit the legacy of the old, good text games, primarily focusing on narration. They still offer captivating worlds and stories that linger in memory. Here’s a list of some of them:
|Text based RPG
|Moral Anxiety Studio
|Will A Wonderful World
|4D Door Games
|The Life And Suffering Of Sir Brante
|60 Seconds Reatomized
|Sorcery Parts 1 And 2
|Sorcery Part 3
|Sorcery Part 4
|Doki Doki Literature Club Plus
|Visual novel, horror
|Cape Guy Ltd
|Jump Over The Age
|The Innsmouth Case
|Robot Pumpkin Games GmbH
A Dark Room
The game starts in a dark room, where our hero wakes up after a strange event, with the only thought in mind being… to survive.
A Dark Room is a typical clicker (you can complete the entire game using only the mouse). Although simple visually, it’s incredibly engaging in terms of gameplay. It compels the player to continuous logical and strategy thinking. All decisions are up to us; however, if we want to progress, they must be well-thought-out.
The protagonist of Night House is an eight-year-old boy who, upon waking one night, realizes he’s completely alone at home. He decides to uncover what happened to his family, but in the darkness, everything looks different…
Another clicker with plenty of puzzles to solve. During the game, you gather items to later use or exchange. The horror atmosphere is enhanced by an excellent soundtrack, and plot twists can be pleasantly surprising (of course, in a positive way).
|Cape Guy Ltd
80 Days is based on the novel “Around the World in Eighty Days” by Julius Verne, but our hero isn’t Phileas Fogg; it’s his faithful companion, Jean Passepartout. Phileas takes up the challenge, and together they embark on a journey around the world—thus begins our hero’s grand adventure.
During gameplay, boredom is surely out of the question. Passepartout must manage finances, take care of his employer’s health, and control what’s most crucial in this adventure… time. You’ll also have the chance to acquire, sell, and buy items, with each decision potentially influencing the course of the journey.
Sorcery! Parts 1 & 2
Sorcery! is a series (consisting of 4 parts) of adventure games where the main character is Analander. His main task is to recover the stolen Crown of Kings from the Archmage Mampang.
Sorcery! and especially its first two parts, are atmospheric games full of adventures and puzzles. Analander sets out into the world armed with a sword and magical spells. Throughout the game, everyone has the chance to create their own story.
Choice of the Dragon
|Choice of Games
Choice of the Dragon is an adventure game where you create your own story as a… dragon. Gentle and docile or cruel—devouring princesses for fun.
Choice of the Dragon is almost entirely text-based. However, the writing style is sharp and full of sarcastic humour, guaranteeing great fun. During gameplay, you decide not only what personality your dragon will have, but also its gender and appearance. Remember! Every seemingly innocent choice can have an impact on the story.
While the interactive fiction game market doesn’t offer too many titles, among the contemporary ones, there are several truly noteworthy. We hope you enjoyed our list. Do you have any suggestions of your own? Let us know!