text adventure

The Text Adventures That Never Were: Call of Duty: Ghosts

Christopher Livingston at

The holidays are a time for family gatherings, massive dinners, mildly disappointing presents, and visitations by ghosts who show you harrowing visions of what might have been. This year, the Ghost of Video Games Past showed me what the games of 2013 would have been like if graphics cards had never been invented! I have no idea why he did that. The Ghost of Video Games Past is a little weird.

However you feel about the Call of Duty series, we can all agree that the visuals are among the most cinematic in gaming. What happens when you remove the visuals? Follow me (and do exactly what I tell you when I tell you) and we'll find out with Call of Duty: Ghosts: The Text Adventure!

The Text Adventures That Never Were: Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

Christopher Livingston at

The holidays are a time for family gatherings, massive dinners, mildly disappointing presents, and visitations by ghosts who show you harrowing visions of what might have been. This year, the Ghost of Video Games Past showed me what the games of 2013 would have been like if graphics cards had never been invented! I have no idea why he did that. The Ghost of Video Games Past is a little weird.

Last year, Assassin's Creed III taught us something important about the story of the Assassins vs. the Templars: sailing around and ignoring that story is way better than that story. Let's set sail for a bounty of words with Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag: The Text Adventure!

The Joy of Text

Richard Cobbett at

Remember text?

To hear some people talk, it had a decent run before it died. Everyone loved carved stone tablets, until scrolls became the iPads of their day. Later, books picked up the slack. Then came TV and movies, and who’d want to pay to read words after that happened? Yes, they’d have to be a real sucker...

Ahem. The strange situation is that despite the written word getting sadly little respect these days, the average person has never read more. Much of it is short-form, but devices like the Kindle and the iPad have stepped in to make longer reads cool again, and then gone one step further: they’ve helped give birth to a new generation of interactive stories. The text adventure is back.


The Text Adventures That Never Were: Hotline Miami

Christopher Livingston at

Ever wonder what the PC games of 2012 would be like if they were text adventures? Of course not, no one in their right mind would ever wonder that. In related news: I wondered that! So, rip out your GeForce GTX 680, plug in your dusty 10" CRT monitor, and stuff your programmable eight-button mouse in a stocking, because this week we're going to imagine five of this year's games the way all PC games used to be: as text adventures.

With its addictive soundtrack, nerve-wracking combat, top-down view and 8-bit throwback graphics, Hotline Miami is a slick and challenging action game. Luckily, the violence is so over-the-top gruesome and gory that it's hard to feel repulsed by it until you suddenly feel pretty darn repulsed by it. Throw in unsettling masked characters, an arcade-like scoring system, and some disturbing mindgames, and what do you get? I have no idea. This game is bonkers. Take out the graphics, and what do you get? Hotline Miami: The Text Adventure!

The Text Adventures That Never Were: Far Cry 3

Christopher Livingston at

Ever wonder what the PC games of 2012 would be like if they were text adventures? Of course not, no one in their right mind would ever wonder that. In related news: I wondered that! So, rip out your GeForce GTX 680, plug in your dusty 10" CRT monitor, and stuff your programmable eight-button mouse in a stocking, because this week we're going to imagine five of this year's games the way all PC games used to be: as text adventures.

If you're looking at leafy tropical jungles, shimmering oceans, impressive motion-capture performances, and more off-mission activities than you can throw a knife at during a knife-throwing contest, you must be playing open-world shooter Far Cry 3. But wait... that tattoo that suddenly appeared on your arm... it looks like it says... Far Cry 3: The Text Adventure!

The Text Adventures That Never Were: Mass Effect 3

Christopher Livingston at

Ever wonder what the PC games of 2012 would be like if they were text adventures? Of course not, no one in their right mind would ever wonder that. In related news: I wondered that! So, rip out your GeForce GTX 680, plug in your dusty 10" CRT monitor, and stuff your programmable eight-button mouse in a stocking, because this week we're going to imagine five of this year's games the way all PC games used to be: as text adventures.

This year, the third installment of the Mass Effect trilogy gave us memorable characters, beautiful planetscapes, and a highly controversial ending, not to mention huge boobs on everyone from aliens to robots to humans to male humans. Take away the boobs (and the rest of the graphics) and what have you got? Mass Effect 3 : The Text Adventure!

The Text Adventures That Never Were: Dishonored

Christopher Livingston at

Ever wonder what the PC games of 2012 would be like if they were text adventures? Of course not, no one in their right mind would ever wonder that. In related news: I wondered that! So, rip out your GeForce GTX 680, plug in your dusty 10" CRT monitor, and stuff your programmable eight-button mouse in a stocking, because this week we're going to imagine five of this year's games the way all PC games used to be: as text adventures.

This year, Dishonored invited us to sneak, stab, and slide-kick our way through the grimy, rat-infested Victorian-punk streets of Dunwall. The architecture and atmosphere were unforgettable, so let's forget about them while we take a look at Dishonored: The Text Adventure!

Interactive fiction tools StoryNexus and Quest released

Marsh Davies at

You are at PCGamer.com. The proud red, black and white masthead hangs to the NORTH. To the SOUTH lie the website credits, which are direly in need of an update (sorry). Directly in front of you is an article about two powerful and user-friendly interactive fiction tools, which have both been released within day of each other. You feel a faint wind upon your face and a strong desire to read the article.

>click on article link


Crap Shoot: Leather Goddesses of Phobos

Richard Cobbett at

Richard Cobbett spends a quiet evening investigating an army of psychopathic ladies who want more than just your planet. People of Earth: Phobos needs talcum powder!

Let's be honest, the main reason that anyone remembers Leather Goddesses of Phobos is because it's called Leather Goddesses of Phobos. Here's a list of game names from 1986. Alex Higgins' World Snooker. Chessmaster 2000. Karateka. Space Quest: The Sarien Encounter. Leather Goddesses of Phobos. Tank Wars. Be honest. Which of those would have jumped out at you on a games shelf back then? It definitely wouldn't have hurt that it was written by Infocom, then-Princes of the text adventure genre, or was written by the main guy behind both the Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy game (which was awful, incidentally, no matter how rose-tinted your glasses) and A Mind Forever Voyaging (which was utterly brilliant, and we'll be looking at in this column at some point). This was pre-Leisure Suit Larry too, when the mere idea of a game including (*whisper*) sex seemed daring and new. For many people, the Leather Goddesses of Phobos would be their first time... at least with a computer.

PLEASE NOTE: You must be 18 or over to read this week's Crap Shoot. Don't you dare read on if you're not! Your young mind is not ready for the thrilling sexy adventures that await you!

Get Lamp: text adventure documentary

Graham Smith at

"They were called 'computer adventure games', and they used the most powerful graphics processor in the world: the human mind." Get Lamp oozes love. A documentary that tells the story of text adventures through the words of the people who made them, it's taken digital historian Jason Scott five years of researching, interviewing, filming, editing and polishing. Finally, the results of his work are available to buy. Check the trailer below.