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Loyalists Preserve Past Through Text-Only Games 399

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the graphics-are-just-bloat dept.
Carl Bialik from the WSJ writes "'You are at the edge of a clearing with an impressive view of the mountains. A trail splits off toward some standing stones to the southwest, while the main road emerges from the forest to the east and continues westward down the hill, via a series of switchbacks.' So begins 'A New Life' (downloadable from here), part of a group of game hobbyists going back to text-only basics. They try to keep the genre alive by posting their titles online for free and meeting in chat rooms dedicated to the craft, the Wall Street Journal Online reports. 'Console games are demanding,' says Mike Snyder, a 33-year-old computer programmer in Wichita, Kan. 'With text games, you can sit there at the prompt, go make a sandwich, then come back and play more.'"
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Loyalists Preserve Past Through Text-Only Games

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  • d'oh (Score:5, Funny)

    by rbochan (827946) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:27AM (#14034805) Homepage
    I have been eaten by a grue :(
  • What fun (Score:5, Funny)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) <<akaimbatman> <at> <gmail.com>> on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:28AM (#14034809) Homepage Journal
    You wake up.

    > get up

    You can't get up, it's dark.

    > turn on light

    You turn on the lamp.

    > get up

    You can't get up. You've got a headache from that hangover.

    > look in pockets

    While you look in pockets, your house is demolished by a bulldozer.

    Try Again?[y/n]

    #$@@#$! That's the third time in a row! !@#%!#@ text games!
    • Re:What fun (Score:5, Interesting)

      by OakDragon (885217) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:37AM (#14034909) Journal
      The games that I really hated involved you having to perform some off-the-wall action to get a result that made no sense what so ever. An example: there was one game (it was graphical - you moved your little guy around, but the principal was the same) where you needed to boil some water for something. The water was available, but no bucket to fetch and boil it in. Well, there was this slug, and at another place there was a shaker of salt. Dump the salt on the slug, and voila - a bucket! Makes sense, huh?

      Well at least I knew the game wanted me to put the salt on the slug. There are worse examples.

      • Re:What fun (Score:5, Funny)

        by Pollardito (781263) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @01:16PM (#14035878)
        that's more of a cultural problem, as apparently bucket-excreting slugs aren't common in north america. if they were, that solution would have been obvious
      • by typical (886006)
        The games that I really hated involved you having to perform some off-the-wall action to get a result that made no sense what so ever.

        Modern text adventures no longer do that. There were a couple of playability problems that have been largely addressed by modern games. Remember that this is a genre that has seen a huge amount of input from many people fixing irritations (much like the OSS community) and has had two decades to polish out imperfections:

        * Parsing -- Well, this will never be perfect as long a
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:28AM (#14034810)
    ...all alike.
  • > kill troll with nasty knife
  • Love text adventures (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ooze (307871) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:29AM (#14034820)
    Was the main exercise that tought me English pretty early. You just cannot go on without understanding, and you cannot go on without writing yourself. That forces you to learn the language in contrast to just cross-reading books or (blasphemy for actually learning English) chatting.
    • by Snarfangel (203258) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:34AM (#14034875) Homepage
      You have to realize, though, that we only use words like "xyzzy," "zorkmid," and "blorple" on formal occasions.
      • You have to realize, though, that we only use words like "xyzzy," "zorkmid," and "blorple" on formal occasions.

        Glad I checked before posting those, but don't forget "plugh"!
    • by BasilBrush (643681) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:45AM (#14034975)
      Yes. In fact I've often thought that some Interactive Fiction games should be written specifically to learn a foreign languages from scratch. It's one area where the technology would could still produce commercially viable products. I'd do it myself... if only I could speak a foreign language.

      Assume this was version in English for people who want to speak French.
      To start with, the game engine could describe things to you in English, but be set in France. Any signs or non-player characters you come across would be French. Where you have to speak to characters you'd have to do it in French, with there being clues around if you don't know what to say. At an advanced stage of the game, the language that the game itself uses for descriptions etc. could switch to French.

      As the parent poster says, you would be unable to progress without understanding.
    • by meringuoid (568297) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:55AM (#14035098)
      Um... you learned English from text adventures?

      Please tell me that when you first met a native English-speaker, you did not greet them with 'Hello sailor'...

    • by Golias (176380) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:59AM (#14035155)
      Was the main exercise that tought me English pretty early.

      You must be a lot of fun around the office.

      "Hey, which way is it to the bathroom in this building?"

      "Get up; go left; y; y; door; light; use stall."

      "Uh... thanks."
  • by Ragetech (97458) <slashdot@frellu[ ]om ['s.c' in gap]> on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:30AM (#14034825) Homepage
    QUAKE II
    Copyright (c) 1991-2001. All rights reserved.

    West of steaming pit of hell
    You are standing in an open room west of a steaming pit of hell leading down.
    There is a gun here.

    >

    (recycled: http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=01/12/31/ 043214&tid=112 [slashdot.org])

    --

    RageTech
  • Nethack (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pedestrian crossing (802349) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:30AM (#14034832) Homepage Journal
    Does Nethack qualify? Not quite text-only, but it will run on a terminal. IMNSHO, the greatest game of all time...
    • Nethack is somewhat of a hybrid; text-mode graphics paired with a healthy doese of narrative description. I wouldn't go around calling it a "text based adventure," though. Certainly, nethack is graphical, taking its heritage from Rogue, the first graphical computer game ever written. That's right! *shakes his cane* Young whippersnappers...

      • Re:Nethack (Score:5, Interesting)

        by KiloByte (825081) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:59AM (#14035154)
        NetHack is console-mode, but not purely text. It does have some graphics, even if the graphics is on the tty level.

        For a pure text game, try a MUD; I would say the Two Towers [t2tmud.org] is the best one in existence.

        Of course, note that around 99% of development time in a game goes into graphics and sound. If you take these two away, you suddenly get something with two times of magnitude more depth. And if a game has been developed for more than ten years (like NetHack or T2T), you get extreme results, a lot better than the typical sell&forget new-fangled stuff.

        Just compare NetHack and Diablo. Or, T2T and MMORPGs. If you're literate, the extra playability is worth a lot more than the graphical bells&whistles.
    • Re:Nethack (Score:5, Informative)

      by spydir31 (312329) * <hastur@hasturkun3.14159.com minus pi> on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:44AM (#14034965) Homepage
      I prefer SLASH'EM [sourceforge.net] myself, like Nethack but much, much worse.
      • Re:Nethack (Score:3, Informative)

        by MonoNexo (843458) *
        Check out this collection of java text adventures http://www.materiamagica.com/towne/tavern/index.ph p [materiamagica.com] There's a few different story lines to try out there.
      • Re:Nethack (Score:3, Interesting)

        by pthisis (27352)
        I prefer SLASH'EM myself, like Nethack but much, much worse.

        SLASH'EM is generally regarded as significantly easier than Nethack once you learn how to play them both.

        It's a lot harder when you're starting out (especially coming from a Nethack background, and learning that things like drain resistance are just as integral a part of a safe ascension kit as magic resistanc, reflection, etc), but once you've ascended a few times in each then slash'em has a lot more "outs".
  • ... My blood pressure has gone up.
  • by NardofDoom (821951) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:32AM (#14034852)
    They'll produce wonderful text-based games, and people from the cities of MMORPG and FPS will travel out to them to buy blankets and marvel at their monochrome screens.
  • by ninji (703783) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:33AM (#14034859)
    The biggest part of these games, and the highest value of attraction:

    No games graphics will ever beat text only's games:

    WHY - Becuase its not limited by your PC, by its programming, and by Your Graphics Card, only your MIND.

    You get a general mental version of the world your in, and you can assume its more detailed then wandering the plains in EQ2, unless your imaginaionally inept.
    • You get a general mental version of the world your in, and you can assume its more detailed then wandering the plains in EQ2, unless your imaginaionally inept.

      Damn right. I've played so many RPGs over the years and some of them have been absolutely magnificent, but nothing was ever so perfectly rendered as the environment around Flood Control Dam #3...

      * sniffle * ... oh, the nostalgia...

    • Becuase its not limited by [..] by its programming

      Actually, it most certainly is limited by its programming. I think it's a real shame the game engines have advanced so little - it used to be that the real limiting factor was the hardware - you had so little memory - now the limiting factor is the engines, and those have hardly advanced at all.
    • by Tim Browse (9263) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:53PM (#14035670)
      Becuase its not limited by your PC, by its programming, and by Your Graphics Card, only your MIND.

      So for most people then, graphics games will beat text-only games? :-)

  • turn based (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Janek Kozicki (722688) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:35AM (#14034888) Journal
    With text games, you can sit there at the prompt, go make a sandwich, then come back and play more.

    same goes with all turn based games. like adom, chess, nethack and others. There is one problem about turns however - they are not MMORPG-able by definition. Some tweaks to the turn system must be made, so that other players wouldn't have to wait for other players. I'm dreaming about MMORPG version of adom, just like I'm dreaming about Diablo-like graphical version of adom. Sad is - that they will probably never happen...
    • MMO Adom? Question -- would you ever encounter anyone in the Infinite Dungeon, since it's generated anew each time you ascend/descend?
  • solely for playing text-based infocom games : Trinity, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Enchanter... I've found a few online emulators for these accessible through SSH, but there's nothing like booting up the ol' Apple and getting blown up by the Vogons.
  • If you want to.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by myspys (204685) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:37AM (#14034902) Homepage
    .. play those games linked, have a look at http://nickm.com/if/faq.html [nickm.com]
  • The Era of Infocom is fondly remembered indeed.

    http://www.latz.org/infocom/ [latz.org]

    Unfortunately it looks like at the moment the various collections from Activision are out of print. It's too bad. The design of the games seperated data from code quite cleanly making it possible to write a play enine for just about any platform. I have many of these wonderful classics on my Palm handheld.

    Frotz!
    • Re:Infocom (Score:3, Informative)

      by harrkev (623093)
      Other than eBay, there is ONE other source of Infocom games... You can buy from here..

      http://www.lacegem.com/ [lacegem.com]

      One CD with every Infocom game that Activision could legaly put on one disc. Activision lost the rights for games like HHGTG and Shogun. Yes, they are in the UK, and yes, they ship to the USA. I ordered this from them a few years ago. I have no affiliation with the company other than being a satisfied customer.
      • Re:Infocom (Score:3, Informative)

        I visited Lacegem, unfortunately they list the Infocom collections as being out of stock. There are resellers on Amazon that list the Infocom titles, however at collector's prices.

  • You young 'uns and your fancy schmancy "text games". In my day, we didn't need any of these uppity "console games" to entertain us. We got by with a % shell prompt and a blinking cursor if we were lucky.

    No sirree, none of these sophisticated "text games" for us. Sometimes, a couple of us guys would get together over a few beers and try race a cursor off the line - without character repeat, and without them sissy arrow keys.

    That is how we built character, and we liked it that way.

    • I've got the original source code to Adventure on my Mac. (Or, at least I think I've still got it. I might have deleted it. Worst case, it's in the Usenet archives somewhere.) Amazingly, the shell design has changed so much over the years that it doesn't run anymore. Most of the issues would be easy to fix (though time consuming), but it's just interesting how much the code has changed over the years.
  • There are a lot of very good games available at www.ifarchive.org Many of them will take weeks to solve, have great story lines, and well designed puzzles/problems. Some of my favorates: "Cristminster", "Curses", "Jigsaw", "Anchorhead". For new players, "Theatre" is a good first game.
  • I've played Zork and Adventure and the like and, while very good, they're not quite as exciting as the games Sierra used to put out (KQ/PQ/SQ/etc), up until they went with the new mouse UI.

    Oh well, back to playing Astro-Chicken.
  • Gemstone 3 (Score:5, Informative)

    by dividedsky319 (907852) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:44AM (#14034973) Homepage
    Ahh... this brings me back to my days in Elanthia as Lord Sharvan Darvenshire, half elven ranger. In 9th grade I must have spent 50% of my time outside of school playing online with my friends. Computer dork, I know... but hey, you're reading /., so you're probably not one to talk! ;-)

    The great thing about text MUDs was how easily (and quickly) GMs could add content. There was no 3d modeling, no conceptual drawings, downloadable patches, etc, so a festival or merchant could be whipped up in a matter of hours to days (depending on the extent)

    Another nice thing about the "special events"? It was a REAL PERSON you interacted with. The merchant would alter your items, enchant them, etc.

    Sharvan has since moved onto World of Warcraft... but I still have a soft spot for GS III (now Gemstone IV), as it introduced me to the world of online gaming. There are a lot of things that were in GS that I wish WoW had as well, but it's an entirely different environment so it's pretty much impossible. Totally different experiences.

    I actually attribute my ability to type >120wpm to Gemstone. When you spend so much time in the game, and typing is the only way to interact, you learn to get around the keyboard quite well. Who ever said gaming was pointless?!
  • Not new (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hakubi_Washu (594267) <robert.kosten@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:45AM (#14034987) Homepage
    People creating Text-Adventures have been around a long time, they were never gone, so to speak.


    And, for the more graphically inclined, check out these:
  • Old Skool (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dekortage (697532) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:46AM (#14034991) Homepage

    Interesting that this made it to the Wall Street Journal. (nostalgia) My first video game was Zork I running on an Osborne I, and I still remember figuring out to give Marvin "tea" and "no tea" in Hitchhiker's.... (/nostalgia)

    I do think this is an unfair statement (FTA): "The plots of the games are often as minimalist as the graphics: To win, players must solve a series of puzzles, like finding the key to a castle door."

    How is that less complex than any of today's graphics-intensive games? If anything, text adventures are more complex, because you have to read and use your imagination instead of simply killing villians and "walking" over their corpses to collect power-ups or keys or whatever. It's still "find the key to the door," just more literary than visual.

  • MUDs all the way! (Score:2, Informative)

    by NaNO2x (856759)
    I have been a MUDer for over nine years now, I have tried MMORPGs like Shadowbane, Ultima, and WoW to name a few, but I always keep coming back to the MUD that I have been with for all this time. There are many reasons, one is the community, on a MUD like the one I play there are only about 40 of us and we know each other well. Another reason is that the MUD that I play at least is about Role Playing, which is not something that can be truely done on a MMORPG. A good balance of PK and RP is what is needed,
    • "Another reason is that the MUD that I play at least is about Role Playing, which is not something that can be truely done on a MMORPG"

      Not true! You often stumble upon real role players in MMO's, as can be seen here [deceiveguild.org]!
  • by Raynach (713366)
    The one game that has held my interest the longest, from Super Mario 3 on the NES, Mortal Kombat and Sonic on the Genesis, up to now with HL2, Doom 3, and even crazy stuff like Katamari Damacy, has been the MUD that introduced me to mudding. CoreMUD [coremud.org] (although it seems to be down at the moment) keeps me coming back, no matter how much I try to disassociate myself from it.

    But why? I think, because this game has an amazing commitment to making the game a social environment that anyone can get into. Even

  • Using the same game engine the Scott Adams text adventures had, there was an editor you could get for the TI-99/4A to make your own text adventures.

    I remember using it to look through the source code of some impossibly-hard(or broken) text adventure games made in shareware land. One of them was based off of Fast Times at Ridgemount High, complete with Mr. Hand.

    Ah, fun times. Never made anything useful out of it, but it was a nice entry into programming.
  • by Hulkster (722642) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:47AM (#14035019) Homepage
    Computer is on
    > Surf to /.
    Page Loads - no recent stories
    > Reload 7,512 times
    A new story pops up
    > Click on the story
    Nothing to see here - move along
    > Reload 389 times
    You see the new story
    > Write pithy First Post comment - hit Submit
    Comment accepted - 8/8
    > Reload page
    Your comment is gibberish because you didn't preview it
    > Reload page again
    Comment moderated to -1 as Troll
    > Change race to Elf
    Change not accepted - you are now permanently cursed as a Troll.
  • "With text games, you can sit there at the prompt, go make a sandwich, then come back and play more."

    Not true. If you were playing L.O.R.D. [rtsoft.com], getting that sandwich could mean you got slaughtered, or missed that opportunity to get laid by a (female) character.

  • by pubjames (468013) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:56AM (#14035116)

    I used to write text adventure games on the BBC micro. Only 32Kb memory as I remember, and you had to get the whole game and all data into that. Even with those limitations, the engines were getting pretty interesting. A lot of time was spent thinking how to compress the info down.

    I remember thinking back then, I wonder how amazing the games will be when we have much more memory, like 128Kb or even 256Kb! Couldn't even conceive of 1Mb of memory.

    I returned to it a few years ago because I'd heard there were still people developing them, but the engines really haven't advanced at all. It's a shame, with the capacities that computers have these days we really should be able to develop truely interactive fiction, but I don't think it's ever going to happen. A pity.
     
    • Ah, the good old Beeb. Not only did I write text adventures on it, I wrote a program for writing text adventures - BAPS, it was called. Even had a couple of adventures on the Acorn User cover disc - first games I got real money for, I believe.

      There have been some innovative games since then, but they're few and far between. What advancements would you like to see in the genre, though? I feel a lot of the things people think of as possible advancements would actually be detrimental to the game nature of the
      • What advancements would you like to see in the genre, though?

        Well, basically I never want a response like "I don't understand what you mean", and want to be able to have proper conversations with in game characters, etc. Yes, I know it's hard, but not impossible and we no longer have the limitations of hardware that we used to have.
    • by metamatic (202216) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:19PM (#14035332) Homepage Journal
      The problem is that natural language comprehension and real-world reasoning are difficult problems to solve in software.

      There have been advances in the engines--look at Glulx--but the problem is that there haven't been the kinds of advances in AI needed to really open up the game world.
  • by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann...slashdot@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:56AM (#14035117) Homepage Journal
    There is no light.

    > Improvise a light using the minerals from the cave walls, putting it in a piece of my shirt so the combustion can be controlled. I'll use some flints to light it up. The sweat in the shirt can provide enough moisture

    Sorry, Macgyverisms not supported in this game.

    > WTF? :(
  • Some of the very first computer games I ever played were text.
    I used to play some sort of game, I can't remember what, on a teletype in highschool in the mid 70's.. Then I got a Ratshack cocoo and played text games on there. I got an IBM early on and played Zork and HHGTTG on a green screen..

    Those were the days! I still have a copy of Zork I, II, and III text only on disk, I play them about once a year on a real IBM XT that I still have.
    Hard to belive that these games were only about 30k total in size an
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @11:58AM (#14035139)
    You are in a Slashdot article with 3 mod points left. There's an obvious Troll on your left that deserves to be modded down to negative infinity. Ahead of you is a post you really want to respond to. The Reply button beacons to the right, offering you a chance to get your original thoughts higher up on the page. The Back button will return you to the mundane world.

    >_

  • I'm somewhat surprised that nobody has mentioned the 11th annual Interactive Fiction Competition [ifcomp.org] going on right now. However, today is the last day to be a judge.
  • This space intentionally left blank
  • Long live Infocom! (Score:4, Informative)

    by fak3r (917687) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:09PM (#14035246) Homepage
    As someone who played Zork I/II/III back on his Apple //e - let's not forget the other great text-only games Infocome produced. Deadline was a Clue like game, but my fav was always Hitchhiker's guide. You can play it online now here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/hitchhikers/game_nolan .shtml [bbc.co.uk]

    Yes, they do put some basic graphics up, but the whole text game is still there!
  • by ChaosDiscord (4913) * on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:29PM (#14035427) Homepage Journal
    If you're interesting in text adventures, or have fond memories of them but haven't played in a while, check out some of the new stuff. Most modern games have better parsers than the old games, better even than Infocoms. And many eschew the old "learn by dying" style so popular in the eighties. As the article suggests, the Interactive Fiction Competition [wurb.com] is a great place to start. As a general rule the top few positions are great games. The Interactive Fiction Archive is full of great stuff, but not well organized for browsing. I prefer Baf's Guide [wurb.com] which indexes the Archive. Finally, if you're into Lovecraftian horror, I strongly recommend Anchorhead [wurb.com]. Anchorhead is the only horror text adventure I've ever found to be creepy. It's got solid, well integrated puzzles and a compelling story.

    Text adventures are great. To dismiss them as obsolete because we have graphics now is as foolish as dismissing novels because we have movies. I'm a big fan of graphic adventures (and just about any other type of game), but I still appreciate text adventures. There is a level of interactivity in modern text adventures that graphic games haven't yet achieved. The extremely low development costs mean that lots of interesting and quirky stuff gets made.

    The WSJ article oversimplifies a few important things. The IF competition is supposed to be limited to games that take two hours. The idea is to get more people writing games under the idea that a two hour game is much easier to make than a twenty hour game. But people still regularly release longer games. Anchorhead, mentioned above, too me about 30 hours.

    It's also not fair to say that "just" 174 people voted. Judging is time consuming; you're expected to play to the conclusion (or for two hours, whichever comes first) at least 5 games. And while there is lots of good stuff, there is a lot of junk. So being a proper judge takes a healthy chunk of time and a willingness to suffer some bad games. It's far easier to just wait until the competition ends, then download the top rated ones. While text adventures are a niche market, I expect we're talking thousands of people who play the competition games. It's just that only a small subset vote.

  • by Feneric (765069) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:31PM (#14035452) Homepage

    There are a few contests out there dedicated to Interactive Fiction, and these contests tend to view it more as a literary form than a style of computer game.

    The biggest is of course IF Comp [ifcomp.org], but there are other smaller ones dedicated to particular themes (like the annual Saugus.net Ghost Story Contest [saugus.net] that invite both prose and interactive fiction entries).

    Viewing interactive fiction as just a type of computer game is a little like viewing an audio book as just a type of CD. While it's in some sense true, a typical I-F title has just as much in common with a typical computer game as a typical audio book has with a typical pop CD...

  • by southpolesammy (150094) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:31PM (#14035454) Journal
    This text-based game wasted so much of my time at the SUNY-Buffalo in the late 80's, I cringe to think about it.

    Therefore, I would be remiss not to unleash it on the rest of you now once again.

    Galactic Trader Online [gamingmuseum.com]
    Galtrader Telnet client [gamingmuseum.com]

    Enjoy...
  • Oh Man... (Score:3, Funny)

    by psbrogna (611644) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @12:38PM (#14035523)
    Oh man, I have to know how to read to play these games!? That doesn't sound like much fun at all.
  • by Ranger (1783) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @01:31PM (#14036052) Homepage
    You find yourself transported to a site containing a worthless slashdot story about text adventure games. You make a witty comment that you hear FORTRAN is making a comeback. Your post is moderated Troll.
  • by ChrisF79 (829953) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @02:02PM (#14036330) Homepage
    FTA: 'With text games, you can sit there at the prompt, go make a sandwich, then come back and play more.'

    And that's the kind of excitement I'm looking for.
  • by seebs (15766) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @02:06PM (#14036364) Homepage
    There was an arcade game called Icebreaker (I only ever saw it for 3DO and Macintosh) of which there was a text adventure version. It was quite pretty, actually.
    You stand between earth and sky, as every human stands balanced between ape and
    angel. Except that actually you're a pyramid.

    ICEBREAKER
    An Interactive Thingie
    (First-time players should type "about".)
    Release 2 / Serial number 950912 / Inform v1405 Library 5/8

    Grassland
    You are in a pleasant grassy meadow. To the north, south, east, northeast,
    southeast, and southwest is a meadow; to the west and northwest is seething
    lava.
    A red pyramid stands to the north.
    A green pyramid stands to the south.
    A blue pyramid stands to the east.

    >shoot red pyramid
    Your bolt smashes into the red crystal. Threads of fire flare through the
    pyramid, and it burns quickly away into nothingness.

    [Your score has just gone up by one point.]

    >_
  • by Sierpinski (266120) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @03:07PM (#14036881)
    'With text games, you can sit there at the prompt, go make a sandwich, then come back and play more.'"

    I do this in WoW all the time. Hit 'Stealth'. Go make a sandwich, etc. Come back, and I'm still stealthed. In the unlikely event (mostly depending on where I am when I go afk) that I die, I can just resurrect. Sure I'm out a few silver for repairs, but at least I have a sandwich!
  • Back to Basics? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kevlar_Sindome (763483) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @04:49PM (#14037859) Homepage
    part of a group of game hobbyists going back to text-only basics

    Back? Some of us never left. [sindome.org]

What this country needs is a good five dollar plasma weapon.

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