5 Text Adventure Games You Can Play in Your Browser

Text-based adventure games (also known as interactive fiction or IF) are a classic game genre where all interaction takes place through on-screen words. Despite their primitive origins born out of hardware limitations, this kind of adventure is still alive today and enjoyable on modern devices.

And you don’t have to pay or install anything to play some text-based games. Instead, you can read them right now in your web browser. Here are some great text adventure games available to play online.

The Dreamhold Interactive Fiction Game

As it was created especially for players new to interactive fiction, The Dreamhold is a great way to get familiar with the genre. Along with its relatively short length and low difficulty, the game also features a “tutorial voice” that gives you hints throughout the experience.

If you are not new to it, you can still enjoy The Dreamhold. just type tutorial disabled to disable this part of the game. And if you want even more of a challenge, type expert to enter Expert Mode, which makes some puzzles harder.

As for the game itself, the plot here revolves around you waking up in a cell. You don’t remember how you got there and you have to explore to figure it out.

Zork Interactive Fiction Game

Zork is an early and well-known text adventure. Originally launched in the late 1970s, it has survived the test of time with its high quality storytelling and advanced text recognition. For such an old game, the text parser isn’t particularly picky about what you enter.


It turns out that Zork is actually split into three parts. This first starts you off in front of a white house with no further instructions. After entering the house, you will start the adventure correctly and have to collect as many treasures as possible.

Read more: What are adventure games and how did they evolve?

Zork supports backup and restore, and you can even change how much information the game gives you about new locations using the brief and verbose orders. This classic is a great starting point for getting into text-based adventure games. Try it out and see how long you can survive before being eaten by a crane.

Interactive Spider and Web Fiction Game

Spider and Web is a 1998 text adventure game, created by the same person behind The Dreamhold. In this adventure, you are a spy who was captured pretending to be a tourist. You gradually understand what is happening at the same time as your character.

Notably, the dialogue options in this game are simple compared to others. When you are asked a question, you can only answer Yes, Nope, or remain silent. It makes it easier to decide what you want to do, but it doesn’t mean the game is easy.

It’s often difficult to keep track of what’s going on and keep your story straight, so expect a high level of difficulty. You can save and restore to avoid having to replay large pieces; the game also includes a to cancel command for when you fail.

Night House Interactive Fiction Game

Are you in the mood for a spooky horror game? Night House puts you in the role of a young boy who wakes up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. He soon discovers that his family is not home and is thrown into a much scarier experience than he imagined.

Night House is unique in that it has a few extras besides text input. The right side of the screen contains basic directional inputs that you can grab to move around. It also keeps track of your inventory and what’s around you. A simple map at the top of the screen helps you keep your bearings.

With extras like ongoing thunderstorm sound effects, Night House adds a little extra to the text adventure experience. Give it a try if the other games on the list were too basic for you.

Text-based games are not limited to interactive fiction. Torn is an online RPG with thousands of active players. In it, you start a life in a new town and decide which path you want to take. You can become strong, become a criminal and beat everyone up, or become highly educated, uphold the law and run a successful business.

When you start, the game reminds you that this is a long-term experience. This makes it a great game for a quick fix whenever you have the time, since you don’t need to put tons of time into it at once. After completing a few tutorial missions, you will be well on your way to making your life in the city what you want it to be.

Unlike other games on this list which you can start instantly, you will need to create a free account to play Torn. However, it only takes a moment. And while it offers a much more robust interface than other text-based games, Torn is still an enjoyable text-based adventure.

More Text Adventure Games You Can Play

Two sites you should check out for additional interactive fiction games are TextAdventures and the Interactive Fiction Database. There you’ll find plenty of games to try, in a variety of genres.

If you are new to this type of games, check out this intro cheat sheet created by People’s Republic of Interactive Fiction. It details the most common commands available in these games.

If you’re ever unsure of what you can do, try entering in regards to when the game starts for basic instructions. Most games also have a to help command which will provide more information.

Tons of fun with text-based browser games

Interactive fiction combines the player choice of a video game with the great storytelling of books and movies. If you don’t like all the action in modern games, this is a great genre to try. The fact that most text-based games cost nothing to play is also a nice bonus.

If you like these types of games, you might even try making your own.


How to Create Your Own Text Adventure Games: 7 Tools

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