Text Adventure Games: The Fun of Being Free

Free Text Adventure Games
By Chris Spencer


Casual gamers need to face the facts; MMORPGs have taken over the world. They are big, they are immersive and they are drawing even the most unlikely people into their open-world universes. The figures are even more astonishing. U.S. gamers spent roughly $3.8 billion on non-linear MMORPGs in 2009. The average paying MMO player – that’s 46% of gamers - parted with $15.10 per month to pick up their sword or throw on their armor. But what about the other 54%? Well, 25 million of us stuck to our free games.


Quality F2P Games? Astonishing!

This seems like an alien thought to people who are willing to sacrifice their pay packet in their real lives to reap the rewards in their virtual ones. You can’t blame them, really. The top companies in the games industry are now household names because of the well-known MMORPGs they have created. A good money-making model has been showcased, and now it seems like every group of budding graphic designers with an internet connection between them is trying to push out the latest online adventure game. It’s good to know that the majority of us still understand that good things can come in... well... free packages. And a very strong contender from yesteryear is back in the race for the top spot; the online text game.


You may or may not know that text games (the earliest forms of sandbox gameplay) had a starring role in starting the online gaming scene. In 1975 computer enthusiasts started throwing together little text based games where your imagination could run wild. The idea of pay-to-play never entered their heads; they simply wanted to share an open world they had lovingly constructed with like minded enthusiasts. Text adventure games (commonly known as MUDs) only grew bigger and better from there, the size of the universes expanding every day and the boundaries to what you can achieve stretching beyond sight. And now there are hundreds of text based games out there, the vast majority of them completely free, and many of them attracting surprisingly big crowds.


Players Shape a Sandbox University

That ethos of sharing and creating never left the text game scene. Each sandbox game is like a huge book that changes with every action its players make. Together, the players will create a story. And it’s the absence of strict subscriptions, pricey add-ons and compulsory expenditures that spurs online text games onwards – players can come and go as they choose, dedicate as much as they like to the cause and the spirit remains about the experience rather than investing money. The text based games worlds continue with or without the players, evolving and existing indefinitely, just as they would if you could physically reach out and touch them. It’s this realism and depth that has kept players coming back to these text adventure games for more for decades.


This is not to say that pay-to-play games do not have their advantages, of course. Millions of dollars are invested into better graphics, new expansions and improved features every year – none of this could happen without the cash from your pocket. So, perhaps you do get more out of a game if you offer up your pay-packet? That is where commercial text based rgp games companies like Iron Realms Entertainment come in, and they have the winning concoction. The real moral behind online text games is choice, and Iron Realms Entertainment understands this. A virtual text adventure games world should be free and open, allowing you to step in and step out whenever you want – just like wandering down to your local park. After all, the possibilities of what you can be and do in a text based rpg game are almost limitless, and you can’t put a price tag on freedom. And if you are playing text adventure games for its freedom, it wouldn’t make sense to be forced to shovel your hard earned cash into it, would it? But if you do want to support the game, perhaps gain a little boost or a unique item, Iron Realms Entertainment gives you this option. Your experience is completely in your hands.


As long as there are big sandbox mmos out there sending people bills, there will always be text adventure games offering the opposite. If you fancy ditching the subscriptions, you are slightly behind on real-life bills or you just want to try something new – hop over to a good MUD and see for yourself the difference that the word ‘free’ can make.


Chris Spencer is a text game enthusiast and currently plays games from http://www.IronRealms.com.


Thank you for writing this article.

You're welcome.

I've been playing free text based MUDs since 1996. They have come a long way since I was a newbie in the world of text. The idea that I can play for free -or- spend a little hard earned cash of my own to upgrade a few things as an option I absolutely ike. The idea that anyone can play and do well without spending their own cash is a huge plus and creates a great player base for each free game. Great article!

I could not agree more.


It's the best of both worlds.


I love the idea of being able to play something like these for as much money as I feel like paying. I feel I get my moneys worth.

After getting into Achaea, it takes a lot for most any other game to impress me. I could run it on the little dilapidated laptop I had at the time, I could do whatever I wanted, and the world the game inhabited was very different from what I'd become used to playing video games all my life. On top of all this, it was free. That's quite a lot to contend with.

Oddly enough, out of all the f2p games out there Iron realms is the only company that has managed to hold me for this long. I've played other games, and I wont lie they aren't really my cup of tea.

The "F2P, pay-for-premium" system somehow works.

Without free playing, we would all be dead


Given the hours IRE games take, it would be crazy not to be F2P


Is what got me into Muds to begin with.

Free is definitely important to me. I feel that most games just aren't worth what they cost, so I own no consoles and own very little games. When I invest time into a free game, I know that it didn't cost me money. I don't have to like it, or play it often, or ever, to know that it was worth what I spent, because I spent nothing!


I believe that a certain point in character developement (around level 30 for a monk/human) you are almost forced to buy some lessons to grind it up. The enemies after your newbiehood are too tough. Therefore, I think that Achaea is free, but this assertion shoud be taken cum grano salis. This is just my opinion. Of course, nobody forces you to do anything, but the first dose is always free.

Anyway, I am VERY happy with IRE work!

You don't have to pay, you might feel you have to. And at least you get the flexibility to choose what you get for your money, unlike a flat wow sub where you repeatedly pay for the least sandbox-like experience possible.

i like this article. great summation.

Nice article.

as the older players don't rule the entire game with their connections.

Good stuff.

I would not be continuing to play if I had to pay a subscription fee.

Today I learned that mudding is significantly older than I am.

It sure is.