July 05, 2013, 6:22 AM — Ever hear your grandfather's speech about how back in his day they needed to use their imagination to have fun? Well now you can give yours a nice workout while venturing through creepy morgues, lost empires and barren forests with these awesome free text adventure games. They all offer their own spin on the genre and each has something unique for the imaginative adventurer. Nostalgia ahoy!
Scary movies make you laugh and horror games just bore you. Your imagination is 100 times scarier--and now you can put it to the test. A user named Hero Robb created First Times, a text adventure that is reminiscent of the Silent Hill series.
Using strong, vivid descriptions, the game starts you in a morgue with some pretty creepy setpieces. Navigate your way around the room and discover everything from a life-sized mannequin that bleeds and mysterious "clanging" coming from a morgue drawer.
The game relies on the classic text-style input but has some modern UI luxuries such as an inventory, compass and a list of the objects in the room that lets you easily interact with them. Just when you feel you are completely stuck and have tried everything--go down the list of objects and use every action on them. You're bound to discover something new.
A Dark Room
Like all great text adventure games, this one starts off telling you nothing. Light a fire in A Dark Room and get ready to plunge deep into an addicting rabbit hole.
If you're the type who hates typing and guessing commands time and time again this is the game for you. Click on buttons to do things like light the fire, gather some wood and set or check some traps--the buttons work off a cooldown timer that give more items and bonus supplies. Keep clicking away every 45 seconds!
It doesn't end there: this is an open world RPG in your browser. Start building a village to entice wanderers to come work for you. Assign them specific tasks to build your supply cache and start to gear up for the open road. Take on randomly-generated events that keep you on your toes. Explore your surrounding for caves and mines that will supply you with even more stuff!
Can you turn your dark room into a thriving metropolis?
If these knockoffs and homages aren't doing it for you, just start at the beginning. The one and only Zork is the original PC adventure game. Read the descriptions, type in commands and dive deep into the puzzle story.
A bit of trivia: Zork was written in 1977 to 1979 by an MIT group called Dynamic Modeling Group. The name came from their slang word for an unfinished program--though it sounds more like an alien race. Don't worry, the game takes place in a totally "normal" place (an underground ancient empire filled to the brim with treasure--nothing out of the ordinary here).
Use your imagination (and commanding grasp of verbs and nouns) to navigate through the world finding items, solving puzzles and discovering secrets--just like they did on the old-school computers.