Online Text Game: Top Five Reasons Why I Play Text Games

From console video games of the 80s to high quality 3D graphics games available on modern systems and computers, I've been a gamer for the better part of 20 years. Among all of these games I've played, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for two types: Tabletop Roleplaying Games and online text games. Of all the choices for video games out there, people always end up asking why I play text adventure games. Let me give you a few reasons why I've always chosen them over a fully rendered Online Roleplaying Game.

1. Imagination over Animation

I find that no matter how many hours a developing team puts into a beautifully rendered 3D roleplaying game, there is always more depth and life to purely text based games. Sure, they can make 3D characters life-like in many ways, even making your game environment sparkle and shine like what you would see outside of your windows. Yet, having someone describe something in text games seems much more real because, as with many things, perception is reality. Also, what gives your experience more flavor: endless numbers scrolling past as your character swings a sword the same way again and again? Or perhaps an amazing verbal depiction of your character dealing 'a devestating hit to your enemies weak point' and going in for the kill, impaling them with sword or spear? I choose the latter myself, because I'd rather it be what is in MY imagination, not what is in the Graphics Department's imagination.

2. Update Time: Oh Noes, The Wait!

Yes, we've all experienced that dreaded day: Patch Day. We cheer weakly, knowing that there is an eight hour wait for us to download and install the newest and greatest for our game. Sure, it's gonna be AMAZING once it's all downloaded... then installed. Yes, it very well MIGHT be worth the wait. But, think about this: Live Patching. With almost all text based online games (mostly because Coders know how to properly put together a text based rpg game), there is not a single moment of downtime when it comes to a game patch (unless, of course, the code just doesn't mesh well, like in a graphical game). To top it all off, they can typically make changes while you are logged into your character in the text games. Yes, WHILE YOU ARE LOGGED IN! Meaning that not only will you not have to log out then back in for 'changes to take effect', but you can see the changes happen right in front of your eyes in the online text game.

3. Customize, Customize, Customize!

Alright, so we know that everyone likes to personalize a character. In most graphical online games, you can set your hair color and style, eye color and shape, facial hair, et cetera. But, perhaps they don't have an option you wanted to set (slightly cross eyed with one blue eye and one green eye), so you have to settle. In text based games, your options for character description are open, sometimes even allowing you enter your entire description from scratch! The possibilities in the online text game are endless for how you could possibly appear to another player in the online text game who only needs to LOOK at you to see how unique you are. And physical customization is only one type available in text adventure games.
Some of the other things you can customize in a text based rpg include: personal homes (including what is contained within, what its made of, sights, smells, et cetera), your equipment (from arms and armor to clothing and footwear), and even your pet (you want a shaggy dog with brown eyes and a long snout, you've got it).
The possibilities for personalizing every aspect of your character's life are endless. Just give the text games a look and see what you can come up with.

4. I Don't Have That New Octuple Core From Supertel Computer Company Inc.

Not everyone who plays computer games are rich. In fact, most of us aren't (as far as I know). But, there are those of us out there who have even less money to spend on getting a new computer (or upgrading your current one), and it's frustrating for us to try and keep up with everyone else. It brings me to yet another reason why I love online text games so much: no need for high end hardware. I've, personally, run a text based rpg game on a 266 MHz processor (single core) and never had need for more power. Of course, I upgraded (no way I'll use technology from 1998 when it's 2010). But, the fact that I have no need for hardcore hardware to play my favorite text adventure games just adds another awesome point to my opinion.

5. It's Just So Darned Awesome.

It seems that, overall, text based games tend to give me much more enjoyment than any graphical game could. Yes, I try and play all of those new Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplay Games (MMORPGs), but I always end up logging into my favorite text adventure games. The adventures I have and the people I meet make these text based games more exciting than anything else I have ever played . I find these are always more intense and entertaining when in a textual medium than with graphics. Anyone can log into a 3D game and play their shaman or tank, but it takes a roleplayer to log into an online text game and immerse themselves in a fully interactive, story-driven world.



Yes to 1 to 5, plus I just plain love text games. IRE games, specifically. I've tried playing Aardwolf, Armageddon and other text games, but they are nothing compared to the simplicity and eventual complexity of IRE games.

I am Bill Nighy, and good article! I've read so many articles about how good text games are, and every new article just brings up new reasons! Special mention to reason number 4!

I play text game to increase my language skills, also. I like lo learn a little bit of coding as well. I had the best RP experience in Achaea. I find other VG dull and empty now.

Reason 1 is definietly the reason why I play.

I think it is one of the few things that are somewhat resistant to the pull of technilogical progress in it's field that manage to not only keep dedicated participants, but make new ones.

Excellent article!

Reasons 2 and 4 just resonate with me since I play on a laptop in school.

You bring up a lot of good reasons here, but I especially like number four.


Mostly, I find the text game higher in social aspects with very small lead-in/out times.

You bring up lots of great reasons to want to play a text game.

that I play text games

I have the  New Octuple Core From Supertel Computer Company Inc.

I still prefer my text based games to my starcraft, wow, etc. It's just more fluid gameplay wise. As well as the fact that the games has a very well developed community in which social skills as well as the ability to kill someone quickly are required to strive. 


Fills up my lunch break and one of the few games i can play from work

Mostly, I like to code neat things, but I agree with this article and several of the comments.

Agreed, top is that you can do whatever you want with your immagination!

easy to use controller! better than any graphics card.