Text-Based Games

Here are some games I've written. Pretend you are walking around in a new world. The computer describes the world to you. You respond by typing commands like and so on.

Play a Game

Click here to play Metadunnet 2 online. If your browser asks about running scripts, Java, or ActiveX controls, say yes.

This is the same game as below. We changed it from Python to Jython, so it runs in the browser as a Java applet.

Games to Download

To download all the games:

In order to play Family Memory (an earlier game, posted 10/2/2011), click here. In here, you find your path to a spot that allows you to recall your childhood. (This game was written before Gague Adventure.) Dragons, artists, and tennis balls. Try this game first, though it has a "2" because it was written later. I made up this story by talking through the ideas with Dad at an outdoor concert. Set in a regular family house, not a fantasy world. You feel sick one evening and may be getting the flu, but you don't want to miss your plans for the next morning. What do you do with a dozen dwarves? Instructions for using the .py file are the same as before, but this time you have to unzip the download file first. Does there really exist a dreambook? One night, your younger brother learned this question in school, but neither of you know the answer. You dream that night that you're in a cave. When you master the Central Hall and make it to the Hall of Destiny, you finally find out the real answer to the question!

I wish to remark, by the way, that in this game, you can use the "echo" command to understand how the computer reads any input (if you're curious about this topic).

In The Cavern. A text adventure in honor of the original ADVENT (explained later). Similar to Metadunnet[5], this is a ZIP file, not a Python file.

Note: You can introduce a friend to this game by reciting the following Brain Teaser from a distance: This game has not many rooms, and you have your own keys and cell phone. You'll be lucky if you know the correct way to use them. Computer rooms, movie theaters and clementines. Longer and a little trickier. In the computer room, make sure to use the help that's offered.

To adventure in the land of Gague, click here. This game has more rooms than metadunnet3, and it involves a personal active computer which belonged to a boy and his sister; and several more surprise features. Computer chips, deserts, and rough-stone ground roads. This game is longer than metadunnet2, so if you want a game shorter, do not try this. But feel free to try it when you have a lot of time.

niores.rej Adventure of hidden luck. It has the best potato chip in the world and more. It's programmed in Rejah, which can be downloaded here.

How to write games like these

One summer during middle school when I was at ID Tech Camp, I wrote a description of how I wrote my games.

Games which inspired mine

The games are inspired by Dunnet, a large game by Ron Schnell which comes with the Emacs editor. To see the source code, written in Emacs Lisp, click here. This may seem like a fun game, but to play it, you will need to install GNU Emacs on your system. The code is probably already there; just type: ESC (Meta) x (M-x) dunnet ENTER to start the game. Another fascinating fact is that, after you install Emacs, you can do this in DOS:

If all goes well, the game will be run in batch mode for you.

Have you tried advent? It's one of these adventures in which you enter a grate and explore bravely. It was the oldest adventure game, starting in the 1970s; you can read more about it on Wikipedia under Colossal Cave Adventure. It's a little hard to handle, but you'll learn it. I warn you that advent only looks at the first five letters of each word, so you'll have to type southeast as se to distinguish it from south. You can use commands like building to get into the building, and take inventory checks your inventory. Remember, when they ask questions, they really are expecting an answer from you, so don't just wander off!

I also found another text-based game in Pygame (made in Pyweek), which, however, has an image for every section. This game is called Heartfelt Nightsong. To install this, click here.

Another game to try is A Bear's Night Out by David Dyte. To play this game, click here.


Ambigrams are designs with words that look the same right side up and upside down, or have related meanings, or have more complicated patterns. I love the ambigrams of

I've made many ambigrams of my own. Here's an ambigram of Good Friday and Easter. (The animation may display in a jerky way for the first few seconds, but it will settle down.)