Good command-line/text games?

Apr 13, 2021
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Especially games that are entirely made up of text.
I recently got REALLY INTO a bunch of old command-line games like Zork ( and Humbug ( and I found them to be SUPER COMFORTABLE to play. There's just something about playing a game that is 100% text on a full-screen cli/emulator that puts me in a specific mood...

I tried looking up more of these online and I found a list on Wikipedia. However, these are all old computer games, none of them is recent. While I can play most of these older games just fine, I wondered if there were any recent games that could put me in the same mood.
I looked up on Steam, itch, Newgrounds, etc. but most games I found just weren't what I was looking for. I found one called "Terminal" ( ), which was fun (and free) but too short and the story wasn't really my cup of tea, and another one called qeys ( ), which was SURPRISINGLY addictive and fast paced for a 1€ itch game, even though I was looking for a more adventure oriented game.

Do you have any recommendations? I would prefer adventure/RPG games, but any game would do (for as long as I can run/emulate it). They can be old, new, AAA, indie, paid, free, you name it.
Perhaps try a MUD, a sort of text-based MMO. There's also an app for that.

Not really a game, but AI Dungeon is interesting as well and also has an Android app

Do ASCII graphics count? You can play Angband and variants thereof at, which features a chat with other people playing the game who are always happy to help if you have questions. There's also an Android port of NetHack and Angband, though in my experience you need an actual keyboard to play comfortably.

And I can't mention ASCII graphics without mentioning Dwarf Fortress.
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When I was a kid, I would spend entire weekends playing the original Zork. The ritual of it was huge. I used to set the color of my C-64 to all black with white text, then just disappear into something I would describe as akin to the Lord of the Rings movies when I was 8 years old.

Kept a big sheet of graph paper to map the maze with the Thief's lair. Such incredible times.
You might find something around the text adventure engine sites and whatever communities they might have:
- Twine
• No code f simple, basic stories
• Variables, conditional
• JavaScript, CSS, images
- Quest
• No code f simple, basic stories
• Built-in scripting f complex logic
• Sound, music, images, video
• Can sell games
• Active community
- Adrift
• No code f non-trivial stories
• GUI, drag-&-drop, folders, menus
• Must be played thru Adrift Runner
- Inform
• Not updated since 2015
• Not f novice, cumbersome
• Poor UTF-8
- Inklewriter
• Web-based, easy, fun
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Community Contributor
Well, if you liked Zork, the old Infocom games are the ones to watch. Planetfall was fun and had Floyd, who still has some of the best lines in gaming.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy game is... special. It was funny but Douglas Adams likes messing with you. Like lying about where the exits are. (His death was 20 years ago next month - might need to find some towels for that.)

P.S. Nethack actually has a nod to Zork. If you get to the very bottom level, you need a bell, a book, and a candle to get to the Wizard of Yendor.


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