Text Adventure Games: Why Virtual Pets Are Better Than Real Pets

text game dragon pet

By H. R. Johnston

In the text lands, you have the ability to purchase a pet of your very own. With much thought and preparation, you might consider the cost worth the companionship of your very own creature.

The real world also offers you the chance to buy a pet. Well, here in our text based games, we offer the same at a better rate with even less expense or troublesome side effects! Here are a few reasons real life pets suck compared to your new pet in your text game.

1) No Clean Up
That is right. Unless you want to role play your animal making a huge mess in the house hall, animals don't require you to wear a plastic glove and plastic baggie. Though this can be fun to do (if you're insane), your pet is simple and easy to maintain. No long trips to the groomer or having to fight your panther into the bath tub.

2) Allergies. Not here!
You can obtain any animal, and in text games you do not have to worry about sneezing, itching, or breaking out into some random rash! Mammoths that you normally can't have because they give you the sneezes are now a great possibility. I will mention they are also great with kids.

3) Medical Procedures (and Bills!)
Don't need them. Afraid your cat will scratch up that expensive new wooden model of a tree? Do you think that your dog is a pimp and needs to be neutered? Well, here in textland you don't need to worry about that! There is no need to push your animal companion through any painful medical procedures to prevent them scratching, maiming, or babymaking.

4) Unconditional Love
Once you buy your text pet, you don't have to worry that rubbing your cat's belly might upset it leaving you with a bloody stump. Our text based animals love you, want to be with you, and sometimes (even though they might enjoy the taste of human flesh) won't take a bite out of you. And even if they do, you have a quick way to heal it with health potions! The pet you buy won't run off as long as you, the owner, don't forget where you left it.

5) Creating Your Very Own Pet
Can't find that lion that is just right with the flaming teeth and serpent tail in real life? Create one in our very own pet creators. It costs a little more than just buying a pet in game, but dang it you need that bear with wings and you need it now! And most importantly, you can have it to begin with!

*H.R. Johnston was sadly eaten by a winged bear a few days after this article with submitted. Use caution with real life pets.

If you've got the urge to adopt a text pet of your very own, check out these text adventure games today!

H. R. Johnston is a text game enthusiast and currently plays games from http://www.IronRealms.com.


Virtual pets + artifact collar = best pet ever, never dies.

And Amen to that!

i lucked out had my favourite wolf for years!! (in game) and one day i was gifted with a collar for him i was so happy i could finally name him.... few days later an idiot of an enemy (don't remember his name) came through the Protectorate of Antioch found my wolf in a towne and killed him, was sssooooo glad he had a collar!



Lucky you!


Could just buy a long lived tortoise



The great thing about online text games like Achaea is the ability to customize your pet and be able to ride them, make it talk, etc. But I mean you can have almost anything as a pet, I remember someone having a pink gorilla wearing sunglasses. I've always wanted a zombie penguin, still saving up for one!

I always wanted a black dragon myself. Hopefully it's possible! <.<

The problem with pets like that is that pets become a part of the canon once approved. So whatever pet is approved does a lot to define the world. Sure, most animals work fine, but dragons? Living mirages? Some pets are just... painful.

There are still benefits to physical, real world pets you just can't get from your text, virtual pets. I do love my enormous dragonfly, though!

Definitely, especially when you live in a place with intermittent connections to the internet.



With the new braille keyboards you can even pet your textpets.

I'm saving for a pet because they're so awesome...you may donate via credit transfers or letters full of gold.


However, real pets are best!


heh real pets are better...

real pets respond to you more than text ones, and real pets give you more enjoyment

My pets let me rush into a room and drive a lance through my enemy. Or slash at them with my sword. Aetolian pets are the best!

I am Bill Nighy, and I approve of this message.

Some of the more fascinating things about pets aren't so much about what you can do with them within a roleplay setting but how they can also impact your game play within the game inself.  Talking about more than just artifact pets which allow you to ride and track to people!  but you have pets that do your ratting, and fishing and make you an easy buck for relitively low buyin cost.  :)  They more than make up for themselves in the slight purchase you made weither you are training them yourselves in low level vermin hunting or pay another to do the training for you. :)  Any who play Text Adventure gaming I highly suggest you take part in this nifty little addition to the game.

Two thumbs up!

You forgot to include that artie pets don't age, you can have your puppies and kittens forever.

Yeah, I hate having to throw a kitten away after it grows up :(


I gave a great deal of consideration to the perfect pet for my character.  You won't see me getting excited about a giant spider in my actual life, I can tell you that much!  But for the sort of character I wanted Tekla to be, over the long haul, required something with some depth and background; thus, Shaar'lott the infernal widow came to be.   Shaar'lott is a character unto herself and is constantly developing in her own right, but nothing satisfies me more than seeing people shudder and cringe at the sight of this enormous arachnid.

Artifact collar is overrated...being able to design your own pet was always amazing.

Pets complete a character just like their real world counterparts complete the owner. Looking for a fun roleplay angle? Consider getting one. This might even boost your interaction with people. Unless of course it is so cute they will look past you and have no eye for your character, or the beast is so fierce it sends everyone running. But perhaps that is just what you want?

One of the points -- 'Unconditional Love' -- talks about how expressing affection to your pet (the wrong way) never results in a bloody stump. I don't necessarily think that's always a positive thing. It would be awesome to be able to give your pet some 'quirks' or 'preferences'. That way if random people pet your pony, said pony might nip at them.


The pony would only respond positively if you used the emote he really likes. My idea!

...it growls and slashes at anyone who pets or tickles it (including me, actually...he's touchy!).

Well don't push him too much!

Your pet wants to devor me I think sometimes

How about #6, never gets lost and resets to you after a certain amount of time. Lost pets have caused me many a sleepless night.

1) No Clean Up!

I have been saving up for a pet for ages now. I intend to buy a boar with battle armour called "Boris" that can be ridden. His saddle and armour will be dyed a dark crimson colour and shaped to that of a dragon with a battle standard upon his back! This is due to the fact I play a 2 foot sociopathic assassin imp who is unable to ride anything over a certain size. Plus it looks good charging headlong into a room full of people on the back of a boar while screaming obscenities.

This brings up something else I rather enjoy. You see in Aetolia this sort of thing is often seen as great for the atmosphere in the community, as it instils a quality of RP other muds so rarely have these days.


Love the virtual pets, although I can't afford one myself yet.  I stick with the ponies and thunderbirds you can summon, and they're great...with the exception of the whole  having to feed them *constantly*.  And if I forget to stable them before I log out, they of course, die on me. That I could do without, but hey, it's all part of the experience.

The coolest thing about in-game pets is that they can be controlled by you, no disobeying! You want your dragon to roll over? It will- without hesitation! You want your dog to bark (taunts to your enemies)? Guess what, totally doable.


I'm waiting for the day that my real dog can bark taunts to my real enemies. I don't think I'll get my hopes up.

I probably will save for a pet eventually. As it stands, I have my taint wyrm but she is rathe r like having an iguana and doesn't show much affection.


The greatest thing about pets that I have seen so far is the sheer scope of creativity. I have seen some amazingly designed pets that I sorely wish I could have in real life (clockwork construct anyone?)


I love my kitty...but my kitty isn't steampowered heh.

I have three big, fierce cats lounging around the foot of my text-throne, making it look badass. None of them ever bites me, scratches me, or tries to undermine my awesome text-power.

My RL cat would just curl up on the throne himself, leaving his hairs all over it and mauling anyone who tries to move him.

I don't know about that one.  My chimera tends to bite me in the arm when I look at it the wrong way.  Which brings me to another plus to text pets: you can have a chimera.

Yeah, text pets are fun to kick around. Now, if only most of MKO's pets didn't have permadeath, I could bring them to fights with me..

Can't go wrong with a nice pet, especially if they have been collared, the ratting/fishing skills alone can pay for them in the long-run.


The no cleaning up is certainly a bonus too!

Years ago, before I bought any actual artefacts, I got Ephram a pet monkey. I went a little reaction happy with him though, and Iron Realms was fantastic about toning him down.

Now, he's as much a part of my character's RP as anything else. If I didn't have the monkey, people would wonder where he was. It's kind of fun, too, when people I've never met know who the monkey is but not my character.

Well that is the thing, your pet has created a whole branch of RP for you and I think its great to see those kinds of things in a game. Plus its still fun to have something noone else has :)

And we love him!  Luci is so in love with Bonsai!  And it always seems odd when he isn't around and Ephram is!


Plus you can give him some kola and whammo, he loves you more than he loves Ephram!

I LOVE Bonsai! In fact, Bonsai is why I got Sindori! 


There's so many different types of pets that I've seen, it's awesome. Mini-dragons, tengu, monkies, chimeras... just awesomeness.


I love having Sindori say things that I don't want to say, and how I can make her sassy when I need to be prim and proper :D

One of the most powerful features of custom pets it the ability of a player to augment their roleplay through them. With the ability to allow them to emote, speak and move at a player's command, pets really can develope a personality of their own should the player wish it.

A crazy female magician with her horde of cats? A priestess of Silban with a pet firefly to light her path? A soldier whose loyal dog is always at her side? These things are possible with pets in IRE games. Given the possibilities, savvy players have almost limitless possibilities set out before them when it comes to adding substance to their roleplay through pets!

Pets always seemed like an odd investment to me. From my experience, people rarely, if ever, respond to your pets in any meaningful way, you can't discuss your pet with other pet owners, and all your interaction with the pet is the interactions you do yourself. Essentially you're roleplaying with yourself.


Clearly, pets are a sign of an unstable mind.

Are useful for mittens.
A gargoyle, while it's not as primp,
Will scare, or even eat, an Imp.
As for myself, I'm not a snob,
I only want a big green blob.

Ever tried hunting on your own, to discover that you are being followed by no one? I think having these virtual pets help liven the mood a bit and make us all feel better.

I don't have many pets myself as they are a tad bit expensive, but it doesn't mean I don't want one! Maybe one day one of the Divine will favour me with such a boon!

Ever tried hunting on your own, to discover that you are being followed by no one? I think having these virtual pets help liven the mood a bit and make us all feel better.

I don't have many pets myself as they are a tad bit expensive, but it doesn't mean I don't want one! Maybe one day one of the Divine will favour me with such a boon!

In Lusternia, we have both pets and dwellers.  They definitely add a lot of roleplay and fun to the game.

If you don't have a collar and your pet dies, it might be as heartbreaking as if the pet died in real life..


Well, maybe not. But it still hurts.

I never had a pet until Midkemia Online, but having a one of a kind pet (and a fire drake like Fantus from the book series no less!) was amazing. I like that MKO has cheap killable pets, but I do feel the 'real' pets are quite expensive, then again I probably paid the most on any game for a pet with no extra perks (besides being one of four in existence). It's something you need to try to understand and is a good roleplay investment.

I customized a pet to fit my RP persona and plot. I roleplayed the pets entrance into the world also. It was pretty sick and totally worth it.

This is totally true, it is way better to get a virtual pet.

I look back on the day I created Zonda with equal parts of "pride" and "cringe". Virtual pets are wonderful ways to enhance one's gaming experience, but is the cost worth it?

Zonda, the spectral raven, was the first of her kind. "Spectral" pets have popped up since then, but I am confident in my belief that Zonda was the predecessor to the trend. I've been told by nearly everyone who encounters her that she is beautiful, and the mystery she provides can springboard many interesting conversations, and I mark this phenomenon as a point of pride. Not only that, Zonda is a character in her own right, and there is a deep connection between her very existence and the events that have shaped Foehn into the being he is today.

But was she worth it? Was she worth spending hundreds of real-life dollars? I was young and foolish, and thought that my wealth was boundless when I created her, and these days I can not feel as if I was ever more wrong. No. Despite how wonderful Zonda is, and how perfect a companion she's become to Foehn and all those he holds dear, I would not spend that much money for a virtual pet again. The next time I create a spectral pet, it will be with credits earned and saved patiently over time, in-game.

Some of my favourite RP moments have come about because of mobile pets or dwellers. Jeanne, the windborn elemental, Fata Morgana, the living Mirage, and Marree, littlest guardian are each unique characters in their own rights, and each is a pet/dweller I've greatly enjoyed interacting with, or simply watching.


I still consider the purchase of my Collar of the Beastmasters for my hippogriff (one of the first in Lusternia!) to be one of the better real-world expenses I've ever spent. Beyond simply making it less costly to maintain my collection of beasts, it means I don't have to worry about feeding or stabling her if I'm in a hurry, and that if she dies, I won't lose progress with her, and I've come to view her as almost as much a part of that character as his spots.

I want my evil monkeeeey!!!!


pet creators?! Where!! I want to make the furriest little bastard ever!!! :)

No matter how long it's been since I've signed in my bumblebee is always there waiting there for me.

I can't agree with enough, especially when cats leave a valentine's day present in my room.



All over my room.

I tried training them for combat, but all I got were some condescending looks.

When I was in Lusternia, I had a pet. He made all of my roleplaying interactions interesting.. was by far the most expensive, yet my favorite, purchase I ever made. I'm actually hoping to eventually get a pet in Midkemia, should they release them out-of-auction!

I have a collared eagle and I can actually forget to feed it. *loves* collar of Lupus. Unlike my cat in rl who whines about needing food every 2 hours

I'd Agree!

Obaku is the best purchase I ever made, I can augment RP with him, and he is just a lovelable little arctic fox. It's really just another avenue to have fun in the realms, and compared to real pets.. well I'm sure a real arctic fox wouldn't live with me.

...but am I willing to shell out the credits for a custom one? Probably not. Hippogriffs sound cool, though! Maybe I'll try and get one of those, eventually.

Seriously, text pets versus real pets? Alright, y'all, come up with some serious game-changing or academic stuff already.

well a real pet you have to really take care of, text pets..depending on what you put into them, they die oh well

Text pets are convenient because you only have to feed them once a day. And if you forget, they just lose a level and might not die completely. Also, they can look like whatever you want. Mythical pets? Made-up familiars? Yes and yes.

You have to feed your text pets?

the irony is that text pets are also going to be more expensive then many real-life pets

Actually..Virtual pets make me wish I had a real one :3


you make having a real pet sound like a drag.  It's really quite nice!

Good point, but I love my real pets, too!

but I love my 4 real pets too


I want an arty pet someone should buy one for me *hint*

No clean up = top reason for me!


Also, a RL phoenix might set too much of my stuff on fire.


and send them away when you don't have time..

that's on the top of my list

My virtual pets may fall on the battlefield sometimes, but they always come back. On the other hand, my cat is hospitalized right now, and we don't know if she'll come back.

Sorry to hear that :( best wishes.

Aww, I hope she'll make it through. Fellow cat owner here.

Virtual pets are neat, but absoluely nothing compares to the joys of real life pets. My dog and cat are amazing, constantly giving love and being cute.  Their love and loyalty tops all( aside from the Bfs)

Sorry but real pets are definitely better even in their imperfections..

Imagination is good, but reality feels better..

I do love my kitten, with how adorable he is, but I sure do hate his litterbox. If only he learned that sand goes ON his business, not out the box..

sounds exactly like my cat.

On one hand, not having to deal with death is great. On the other hand, no cuddles.

Virtual pets are nice I guess but then you can't actually pet them and snuggle and all that. But you know, the messless part of it might outweigh that.  I had a dog who pooped in the same spot in our house every day for months and months and then we gave her to my parents (we're awful I know) and she amazingly did not do it in their house at all.  Anyway sorry about the random story but basically I am so glad to be done with messes like that.

The fact that I can have a 37lb tarantula is really all the proof I need that IG pets > RL pets.

Why virtual pets are so awesome is because I can have Arachnophobia in real life where I would not go near so much as a daddy longleg yet I can own a tarantula and stroke and hug and love it in-game! 

 Well on the most part, i am allergic to cats and dogs, i get bad rashes and hours of sneezing from them, but in game i can as many as i want! although i must admit have to take care of a real pet is so much better as they genuinely show you love and care for you and you can care for them when they're not well and pay endless bills and have great memories!