Retrogaming Hacks: Tips & Tools for Playing the Classics

Another good place to start for people new to the text adventure format would be Galatea, Emily Short‘sfree-form piece based around conversation rather than puzzle-solving. It‘snot as no-nonsense as 9:05, but it‘spotentially more rewarding, and there are plenty of conversational paths and trees to explore, which lends itself to multiple replays.

The online version of Galatea, available at, is attractively presented: the game itself, in a Java interpreter called ZPlet, takes up one frame, with the other frame devoted to supplemental information such as an explanation of the concept, suggested alternate conversation scripts to try once you?ve run out of ideas, and annotations and essays on the making of the game.

Once you?ve had your fill of Galatea, there are a few other online games hosted on the same server, all linked from The other text adventures in the gallery are Fine-Tuned: An Auto-Mated Romance, Metamorphoses, and of special interest to anyone curious about the format‘shistory, Colossal Cave Adventure, the very first piece of interactive fiction ever written. —Retrogaming Hacks: Tips & Tools for Playing the Classics (O’Reilley)