Torn City: discover the power of text-based games

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Torn City is a sprawling, unruly place. There are dark alleys you may not want to walk down. People passing give you sidelong glances, trying to decide if you are a threat—or maybe a potential victim. You place a hand on the weapon at your belt for reassurance.

You're going to meet a man who has a job for you to do. You're a little scared of him, but the pay is very good. And he promises that, if you wind up in hospital, he'll send you flowers. There are worse ways to succeed in Torn City.

If you haven't yet visited Torn City, let this be your pocket guide.


Torn is a massively multiplayer fully-responsive browser game, set in a gritty virtual world known as Torn City. Each day, more than 20,000 players log in multiple times by computer, tablet or smartphone to build up their strength, improve their position, or carry out dark deeds. Torn has over 1 million registered players—hardly surprising since it’s 100% free to play.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of, the Torn City developers have just unlocked a plethora of new and improved in-city features. Torn rivals in its richness and depth any other virtual world on the ‘real life’ planet.

Torn City is the world’s largest text-based RPG. The "text-based" part puts the game in a bit of a niche, but in many ways provides a richer, more powerful and more entertaining experience than you get with graphics-heavy virtual worlds.

Why is Torn richer? Because it has to be! There are no flashy CGIs to cover-up mediocre gameplay. On top of that, reading a game is active: you bring your wit, your imagination, and the stunning theater of your mind into play. When you play a graphics-heavy game, a lot of the time, you are just supposed to sit back and receive what the game developers cobbled together.

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Many virtual worlds are graphic-heavy, with great music tracks, but lack real soul. When you get tired of the eye candy and the ear worms, you may find yourself bored with the game. With Torn, your imagination helps build the experience, and the more you play, the more ways you can find to move toward your goal.

The aim of the game is simple, but there are many paths to success.

Create your character and make them strong and agile. Gather resources so you can take on bigger and more dangerous tasks. Make alliances. Stab people in the back as necessary. You are soon on your way to being one of the most powerful and respected citizens of Torn.

There are no resets, so you can build your character to infinite strengths. You’re always competing against others of your age and experience, so the challenges will always stretch you.

Torn is not your typical quick fix game. It’s deep, it’s engaging, and it can become a life partner. The average Torn City player logs in seven times a day and plays every day, year after year.

Torn players are loyal because the game is free, addictive, accessible, and welcomes bright ideas for new features. In Torn, you can do much more than just win a game: you can help build a world.

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As your character gains experience and becomes stronger, quicker, and more deadly, they move up through the levels of Torn City. With each new level, you unlock more features and new areas within the city.

[Spoiler Alert] During your first 15 levels you can expect to commit crimes, train in the gyms to build up stats, unlock more effective gyms, start or join a faction, take part in faction wars, collect and trade items, invest in Torn City stocks, get into—and out of—jail and hospital, undertake agent missions, buy and modify cars to race at the track, get married, get a job, start a company and employ residents, take education courses, win big at the casino, play poker against other residents, invest in the city banks, shop for items, program viruses to unleash on other residents, read or write for the Torn City Times newspaper, buy multiple properties, travel to other countries and even hunt.


We’re challenging you to step outside your comfort zone and give a text-based game a chance. It's not for everyone, but it may turn out to be a revelation for you. The longer you play, the more interesting it gets.

So the challenge is to sign up for Torn, move to Torn City, and reach level 5. Then give us your feedback below: what did you love? What would you like more of?