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Text Adventures: reviews, comments, opinions

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Phlebas - 14 September 2017 10:33 AM

Hmm. So you only get one ‘command’, but it can actually be multiple commands in a single line? Or have I misunderstood?

Yes and no. You can’t say something like: Get book, read it, give it to wizard. But you can use nested verbs/objects. Actually, I’ve already said too much, that’s for the player to discover. There are lots of hints in the text. It’s fun, try it.

(I liked Aisle a lot, but found it a bit frustrating that the results weren’t all consistent - I appreciated that there were multiple complete stories in there depending on which cues you followed up, but thinking in terms of investigation it made it a bit less satisfying. If this is more puzzle-oriented I guess it has to be consistent to be solvable.)

Don’t worry, Rematch is consistent in all relevant areas.

     

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Karlok - 14 September 2017 09:47 AM

Rematch by Andrew Pontious (2000)

Nice
Since I likes Aisle a lot I played it for half an hour now, no idea what to do Smile
Damn it Nick, why did you have to play softball, why the multicolour cellphone! I’ll say if I get any progress

     
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FInished Rematch, Although the single command gameplay is the same as Aisle it feels very different. Mostly because Aisle was all about exploring and in here it’s about the one big puzzle. An enjoyable game for that moment when you finally figure out how to get it right.

     
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Another text adventure that consists of one big, complex puzzle is Lock&Key; (2002) by Adam Cadre – the same guy who gave us Photopia. Smile I liked this one even better than Rematch. As an architect, it’s your job to place 14 different traps in your King’s dungeon to prevent prisoners from escaping. You choose from a list of lovely traps, like man-eating sharks and a sanity-blasting labyrinth. At first it’s trial-and-error, you just place them somewhere on the grid. The learning curve kicks in when the King wants to test your solution and releases a prisoner who has many tricks up his sleeve. I found the intro and story uninteresting. But the puzzle is great and funny in places. There’s only one correct way to place the 14 traps. Fortunately, the game provides a grid which shows the traps after you’ve placed them. You’ll still need pen and paper though. 

You can download the game
here or play it online.

     

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Rematch isn’t playable online, is it?
Maybe I’ll give Lock&Key; a go - sounds like my kind of thing!

     
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Phlebas - 18 September 2017 08:57 AM

Rematch isn’t playable online, is it?

I don’t think so. But all you have to do is download a TADS interpreter here http://www.tads.org/tads2.htm
Works fine for me. 

Maybe I’ll give Lock&Key; a go - sounds like my kind of thing!

Be sure to save after all the IMO needlessly complicated preliminary stuff and write down the necessary commands. If you don’t you will have to go through it all again when you fail.

     

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Karlok - 18 September 2017 09:35 AM
Phlebas - 18 September 2017 08:57 AM

Rematch isn’t playable online, is it?

I don’t think so. But all you have to do is download a TADS interpreter here http://www.tads.org/tads2.htm
Works fine for me.

Oh, that works fine for me too - except that I probably shouldn’t be installing it on my work computer. If it’s playable online I can just open the page and have a go in my lunchbreak, otherwise it has to wait until I have time to install and play at home.

Maybe I’ll give Lock&Key; a go - sounds like my kind of thing!

Be sure to save after all the IMO needlessly complicated preliminary stuff and write down the necessary commands. If you don’t you will have to go through it all again when you fail.

I’ll bear that in mind - thanks!

     
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Phlebas - 18 September 2017 09:54 AM
Karlok - 18 September 2017 09:35 AM
Phlebas - 18 September 2017 08:57 AM

Rematch isn’t playable online, is it?

I don’t think so. But all you have to do is download a TADS interpreter here http://www.tads.org/tads2.htm
Works fine for me.

Oh, that works fine for me too - except that I probably shouldn’t be installing it on my work computer.

Of course you should! Text adventures are the only games that look like you are doing work while playing them. They are made for the workplace!

Smile

     
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BitingWit - 18 September 2017 10:14 AM
Phlebas - 18 September 2017 09:54 AM
Karlok - 18 September 2017 09:35 AM
Phlebas - 18 September 2017 08:57 AM

Rematch isn’t playable online, is it?

I don’t think so. But all you have to do is download a TADS interpreter here http://www.tads.org/tads2.htm
Works fine for me.

Oh, that works fine for me too - except that I probably shouldn’t be installing it on my work computer.

Of course you should! Text adventures are the only games that look like you are doing work while playing them. They are made for the workplace!

Smile

     
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Stanley, is that you?

     

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BitingWit - 18 September 2017 10:14 AM
Phlebas - 18 September 2017 09:54 AM
Karlok - 18 September 2017 09:35 AM
Phlebas - 18 September 2017 08:57 AM

Rematch isn’t playable online, is it?

I don’t think so. But all you have to do is download a TADS interpreter here http://www.tads.org/tads2.htm
Works fine for me.

Oh, that works fine for me too - except that I probably shouldn’t be installing it on my work computer.

Of course you should! Text adventures are the only games that look like you are doing work while playing them. They are made for the workplace!

Smile

It isn’t the conspicuousness though - the IT department can be a bit fussy about what software gets installed on the company’s hardware. Opening a web page is fine.

Text adventures aren’t quite the only games that would be camouflaged though! I work as a programmer and I love programming/engineering games - some of Zachtronics’ games wouldn’t look out of place here at all.
And don’t get me started on spreadsheets Smile

     
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Stories Untold (2017)
Four stories, one nightmare

Although Stories Untold has a thread of its own in the adventure forum, I feel it should also be mentioned in this thread. I was blown away by the clever, novel combination of text adventure and other forms of gameplay. Played it twice. The less said about the 4 stories the better, they should be experienced.  The first story (The House Abandon) is entirely played as a text adventure and is a free demo.

One thing I found frustrating at first: Some traditional commands are not recognized at all and neither are abbreviations. IMO a deliberate design decision for reasons which have to do with the stories. The game wants you to type look around instead of look; go to instead of north, south, etcetera; look at instead of examine. I discovered after a while that the command use can be used as a substitute for many other verbs. For instance, you can type use key to unlock a door, which would not have been possible in the old text adventures. It was plain sailing after that.

Highly recommended.

PS: Each story takes about 30-45 minutes to finish.

     

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This time of year is text adventure time, since new releases are quite rare.

I’m playing Endless, Nameless and despite it being quite clever, it’s driving me to my wits’ end. Not the puzzles, but that I have to be holding things in my hands to use them and the sheer frustration of juggling inventory items in and out of pockets and cloaks to achieve that.

Here’s me trying to hold at the same time a marlin, a mackerel and a wand:

>get mackerel
Taken.

>get marlin
Your hands are already too full to pick up something as cumbersome as the wooden marlin!

>i
Inventory:
  a mackerel
  a wand
  a large ampule of clear fluid
  a shield (being worn)
  a belt (being worn) with a scabbard containing your sword
  two gold
  a brown cloak (being worn)
  a rock
  a spellbook
  a leaflet

>drop shield
(first taking the shield off)
You take off the shield.
You gently put down the shield. It looks like a large bowl on the ground.

>get marlin
Your hands are already too full to pick up something as cumbersome as the wooden marlin!

>drop belt
(first taking the belt with a scabbard containing your sword off)
You take off the belt with a scabbard containing your sword.
Dropped.

>get marlin
Your hands are already too full to pick up something as cumbersome as the wooden marlin!

>i
Inventory:
  a mackerel
  a wand
  a large ampule of clear fluid
  two gold
  a brown cloak (being worn)
  a rock
  a spellbook
  a leaflet

>drop gold
You’re not going to just throw your money away!

>i
Inventory:
  a mackerel
  a wand
  a large ampule of clear fluid
  two gold
  a brown cloak (being worn)
  a rock
  a spellbook
  a leaflet

>put gold in cloak
It’s already there!

>get all
belt with a scabbard containing your sword: Taken.
shield: Your hands are already too full to pick up something as cumbersome as the shield!
wooden marlin: Your hands are already too full to pick up something as cumbersome as the wooden marlin!
yellow pennant: The pennant is up too high.
sword: Your hands are already too full to pick up something as cumbersome as the sword!
mackerel: You already have that.
wand: You already have that.
large ampule of clear fluid: Your hands are already too full to pick up something as cumbersome as the large ampule of clear fluid!
rock: Your hands are already too full to pick up something as cumbersome as the rock!
spellbook: Your hands are already too full to pick up something as cumbersome as the spellbook!
leaflet: Taken.

>i
Inventory:
  a leaflet
  a belt (being held, not worn) with a scabbard containing your sword
  a mackerel
  a wand
  a large ampule of clear fluid
  two gold
  a brown cloak (being worn)
  a rock
  a spellbook

>wear belt
You strap on your belt.

>get all
shield: Taken.
wooden marlin: Your hands are already too full to pick up something as cumbersome as the wooden marlin!
yellow pennant: The pennant is up too high.
leaflet: You already have that.
belt with a scabbard containing your sword: You already have that.
sword: Your hands are already too full to pick up something as cumbersome as the sword!
mackerel: You already have that.
wand: You already have that.
large ampule of clear fluid: Your hands are already too full to pick up something as cumbersome as the large ampule of clear fluid!
rock: Your hands are already too full to pick up something as cumbersome as the rock!
spellbook: Your hands are already too full to pick up something as cumbersome as the spellbook!

>i
Inventory:
  a shield (being held, not worn)
  a leaflet
  a belt (being worn) with a scabbard containing your sword
  a mackerel
  a wand
  a large ampule of clear fluid
  two gold
  a brown cloak (being worn)
  a rock
  a spellbook

>wear shield
You put on the shield.

>i
Inventory:
  a shield (being worn)
  a leaflet
  a belt (being worn) with a scabbard containing your sword
  a mackerel
  a wand
  a large ampule of clear fluid
  two gold
  a brown cloak (being worn)
  a rock
  a spellbook

>put leaflet in cloak
You put the leaflet into the brown cloak.

>i
Inventory:
  a shield (being worn)
  a belt (being worn) with a scabbard containing your sword
  a mackerel
  a wand
  a large ampule of clear fluid
  two gold
  a brown cloak (being worn)
  a leaflet
  a rock
  a spellbook

>get marlin
Your hands are already too full to pick up something as cumbersome as the wooden marlin!

Angry

     
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I think this counts as a text adventure. I’ve recently written blog posts about Sierra Hi-Res games, which fit the bill. I don’t think they are well preserved nor are they very sophisticated text adventures, but someone might find my musings interesting.

My most recent is Time Zone, which is insanely huge and messy experience: http://playernone.blogspot.com/2018/01/hi-res-adventures-5-time-zone-1982.html

Only one left for me is the Dark Crystal, which is the last game in the Hi-res line as well as Sierra’s first official license title.

     
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Played two text adventures in a row and it’s so nice to be back in that very special world that I will play a few more before the year is over.

Someone here (Grue22? sorry, don’t remember) mentioned Map by Ade McT and I was intrigued when I checked it in The Interactive Fiction Database. You are a 40-year old woman who notices that the house she lives in with her husband is getting bigger on the inside. The house grows a new room every day. When she enters those rooms she relives scenes from her life and gets the chance to change major decisions she made in the past, which has an impact on the present.

Map is all psychology and story, no puzzles. You wander around the expanding house, talk to your husband and other people, and decide whether to alter the past or not. I love the premise of the game and played it twice to see different outcomes. No fairy story endings, which is very satisfying. Unfortunately I took an instant dislike to the main character. You gradually learn what made her the person she is, but I still didn’t feel much sympathy for her.

One of my favorite twitch streamers announced his next game would be Endless, Nameless by Adam Cadre and I immediately wanted to play it myself and watch the stream later. Over the years I’ve played several text adventures by Cadre and I regard him as one of the best and most versatile IF-developers. I was not disappointed, Endless, Nameless is brilliant. It uses traditional elements from ancient games (dragons, trolls, spells, sorcerers, even death and hints) in new ways. Lots of twists. For once I agree with Rock, Paper, Shotgun: People who are still interested in text adventures should play this one.

     

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