A thoroughly enjoyable adventure game in your browser. You are the AI of a colony starship. Humanity’s future is in your hands.
Monday, January 22nd, 2018
Tuesday, December 5th, 2017
The fascinating history of interactive fiction from adventure game to hypertext.
The split between parsers and hyperlinks reminds me of different approaches to chatbots: free text entry vs. constrained input.
Sunday, December 3rd, 2017
Friday, November 10th, 2017
Oregon Trail, updated for our times. There should be appreciably less dysentery in this game.
Monday, July 3rd, 2017
You are on a website. There are exits to the north, south, east and west.
Sunday, April 16th, 2017
The Internet Archive is now hosting early Macintosh software emulated right in your browser. That means you can play Adventure: the source of subsequent text adventures, natural language parsing, and chatbots.
Colossal Cave Adventure (also known as ADVENT, Colossal Cave, or Adventure) is a text adventure game, developed originally in 1976, by Will Crowther for the PDP-10 mainframe. The game was expanded upon in 1977, with help from Don Woods, and other programmers created variations on the game and ports to other systems in the following years.
In the game, the player controls a character through simple text commands to explore a cave rumored to be filled with wealth.
Monday, April 4th, 2016
The text adventure, like poetry, tends to attract a small band of devoted fans rather than hundreds of millions of casual players. And yet, those who care about writing know that they are where the form starts; and I can’t help feeling that videogames in general would be better if they took as much care over their words, and over their narratives, as text adventures do.
Sunday, March 9th, 2014
BBC Radio 4 Extra - The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Game - 30th Anniversary Edition
One of the most fiendish user-unfriendly (but oh-so-witty) adventure games of all time is now online for you to enjoy with some added graphical flourishes.
Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013
Wednesday, December 19th, 2012
This might well be the best thing Wired has ever published. I wish every article were in this format.
Tuesday, November 13th, 2012
Documenting all the ways you could die in a choose-your-own-adventure book.
Saturday, August 4th, 2012
Lance Arthur uses a tweet from Paul Ford as a starting point for a text adventure.
Thursday, March 1st, 2012
Download and play the Jason Scott Adventure — only you can help Jason save the internet!
Thursday, November 12th, 2009
An in-depth study mapping all the permutations in "choose your own adventure" books.
Monday, January 26th, 2009
The text adventure version of Guitar Hero.
Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008
Another beautiful frosty design from the Erskine chaps.
Monday, April 21st, 2008
Andy has become the gaming world’s equivalent of Howard Carter uncovering the Tutankhamun’s tomb of a hard drive from Infocom containing details of the never-released sequel to The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy game. In his post, he picks out the salient points from the Lost in La Mancha-like story. In the comments, much hand-wringing ensues about what is and isn’t journalism (answer: who cares?).
I missed the Hitchhiker’s game when I was growing up. I cut my teeth on 8-bit computers; first a ZX-81 and then an Amstrad 464. While I didn’t have the chance to play Douglas Adams’ meisterwerk, there were plenty of other text-only adventure games that sucked me in. I recall some quality stuff coming from the Level 9 studio.
I remember learning BASIC specifically so that I could try create my own adventure games complete with mapped-out locations and a simple verb/noun parser. Adventure games seemed like the natural extension to the
choose your own adventure books but far more open to exploration (even if that openness was just a cleverly-crafted illusion). Hypertext—a term used these days almost exclusively to refer to Web-based documents—seems an entirely appropriate way to describe this kind of interactive fiction.
Later this year, I and my fellow adventure game geeks will be able to wallow in nostalgia when the documentary Get Lamp is released. The film will feature interviews with some of the Infocom movers and shakers featured in Andy’s archeological treasure trove.
Friday, March 21st, 2008
Intrepid adventurer Ben Saunders is off again. This time he aims to to set a new world speed record from Ward Hunt Island to the Geographic North Pole. He is armed with a beautiful website courtesy of Colly and the lads at Erskine.
Monday, November 12th, 2007
Pacman as adventure game. Brilliant.
Sunday, October 29th, 2006
First off, there’s Matthew’s game of MP Top Trumps, ‘though he had to call it MP Fab Farts to avoid getting a cease and desist letter.
Then there’s a text adventure built on the API. This is so good! Enter your postcode and you find yourself playing the part of your parliamentary representative with zero experience points and one hundred hit points. You must work your way across the country, doing battle with rival MPs, as you make your way towards Sedgefield, the lair of Blair.
You can play a Web version but for some real old-school fun, try the telnet version. This reminded me of how much I used to love text adventures back in the days of 8-bit computers. I even remember trying to write my own in BASIC.
For what it’s worth, Celia Barlow, MP for Hove, has excellent pesteredness points. I made it all the way up to Sedgefield and defeated Tony Blair in battle. My prize was the source code of the adventure game in Python.
Ah, what larks!
There’s another project that Matthew works on that I find extremely useful. He has created accessible UK train timetables using the data from the National Rail site, a scrAPI if you will. This is where I go whenever I need to plan a train journey.
The latest feature is something that warms the cockles of my heart: beautiful, hackable URLs. If I want a list of trains going from Brighton to London, I can just type:
It handles spaces (or pluses or underscores) too:
The URL can also be extended with a departure time: