Free Browser Text-Based Games
In this technology-filled world, it’s hard to choose a game that fits your character perfectly. There are a lot of choices available nowadays, but sometimes it’s good to feel nostalgic. That’s where browser text-based games come in. If you don’t have many hours to commit to this hobby, these games should do the trick in entertaining you for shorter periods.
This article will review some of the best browser text-based games out there.
Free Browser Text-Based Games Genres
Text-based games are perfect for people who enjoy good storytelling. They combine the kind of dynamic story found in books and the visual element of movies. In a text-based game, you’re the main character and you get to decide how the story will begin and how it will end.
Text-Based games have three different genres:
Here you follow the narrative and respond to text commands and quests, interacting with NPCs in different worlds, and exploring the environment. This genre is also called Interactive Fiction or IF.
Multi-User Dungeon, or Multi-User Dimension and Multi-User Domain, features role-playing elements, hack-and-slash, and online chat. Players can interact with each other, read descriptions of rooms, tasks, and so on.
This role-playing game has a couple of very different features. Roguelike games are known as subgenres of RPG. They include the permanent death of a player’s character and turn-based dungeon crawl throughout different levels. A high fantasy narrative like Dungeons and Dragons is what distinguishes the game.
Free Text-Based Games for Browser
Colossal Cave Adventure
When talking about adventure text-based games, Colossal Cave is the first one that comes to mind. This game is also known as Adventure or ADVENT. The originator of the genre, it’s the first Interactive Fiction game and the first adventure game played on computers. Widely popular in the late 1970s, Colossal Cave is now known to tens of millions of gamers around the world.
The gameplay consists of exploring an ancient cave filled with treasure, gold, and trinkets. The player must solve the puzzle in the cave by typing in commands, using objects, looting treasure, and picking up items for the inventory. The commands are contextual, meaning the player can’t just type the same things for every room. The player can also interact with other characters, such as Troll, who is stationed at the Troll Bridge, a snake, dwarves, and a pirate. The main quest is to gather all the treasure while solving puzzles.
Zork is another adventure text-based game and a descendant of this genre. This game was inspired by none other than Colossal Cave and later influenced the MUD genre. During the 1980s, the game sold over 600,00 copies and critics called it “one of the greatest video games.“ You could say that Zork is a better version of Colossal Cave considering it has more than just two-word commandsmore possibilities, puzzles, and more complex, bigger lore.
In Zork, the player has to explore the ruins of the Great Underground Empire. In this game, you type text commands, solve puzzles, and seek treasure as well. The world contains hundreds of locations each with a unique name and description. The commands in Zork could be one or two-word commands such as “Get Torch“ or it can be a whole sentence. Of course, the commands are again contextual, and you can’t get a torch in a room where there isn’t one. The answers the program gives are usually like a Dungeon Master in D&D, humorous and conversational.
Rogue can be also characterized as an adventure text-based game, and the name of the genre Roguelike comes from this game. Like Zork, this single-player game was inspiredby Colossal Cave and the high fantasy settings characteristic of Dungeons and Dragons. Rogue or Rogue: Exploring the Dungeons of Doom is another game set in a dungeon. The main goal of this game is to retrieve an artifact called the Amulet of Yendor. To get to it, the player must reach the lowest dungeon level in a turn base manner. This type of gameplay allows the player to think out their next move as dungeon levels get harder and harder the lower you go. This is extremely important in Rogue, considering the permadeath feature.
Not being able to respawn or revive your character is the biggest challenge in this game. Learning how to outlast your enemies and reach the end is much more rewarding when you can’t just save the game and try again. To make the situation worse, each dungeon level is different, with different monsters, while the treasure is randomized with each playthrough.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Based on the science fiction series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, this interactive game was released in 1984. The main character in the game is Arthur Dent, the protagonist in the series of the same name. The Hitchhiker’s Guide is a text-based adventure game where the player has to solve various puzzles to win.
In this game, you can also pick up items and store them in your inventory, but the commands are limited. The most basic ones for moving, interacting, and observing are “look,” “north,” and “inventory.” When solving puzzles, the player has only a certain amount of tries. If they fail, the game ends but can be restarted from a saved point. The Dreamhold
The interactive fiction game The Dreamhold was released in 2004 by Andrew Plotkin, making it the second newest entry on this list. It won awards for Best Puzzles and Best Use of Medium, in the year of the game’s release. This game differs from the others in one important aspect – the tutorial. While some think tutorials make the game too easy to finish, others think it’s a helpful tool for a gamer who has never played IF games. The Dreamhold has an expert mode, added by the author, where the puzzles are more difficult to solve. Alternatively, a simple tutorial off button will turn the feature off.
In this classic text adventure game, there are no graphics. You simply type in commands and see what happens. The plot begins in a cell, where you wake up on the floor with a headache not knowing where you are. In order to move on, the player needs to explore and solve puzzles.
Night House brings horror elements into the text-based genre. Released in 2016, and it is an exciting and engaging game. What’s unique about Night House is that it doesn’t just contain text and commands a player must enter. On the right of the screen, the player can see an inventory, objects, and places. They also have a compass to help them move around.
The story begins when an 8-year-old boy wakes up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom but discovers the house is empty. The game is set in the 90s. The goal of Night House is to search the house and find unusual objects, something that doesn’t belong there. As soon as the player does so, the spooky, scary elements will begin. The sound of a thunderstorm is just the cherry on top of the cake.
Try the Best Text-Based Games
There are many other text-based games out there that you may want to play. From Genesis MUD, AI Dungeon, and Scott Adams’ Pirate Adventure, to Torn, Spider and Web, The Hobbit, and more. Even though text-based games have graphics limitations, you can still enjoy them even in the modern world.
Do you play text-based games? What is your favorite title? Let us know in the comments section below.