Feel free to check those two games:
Warbler’s Nest Text-based game: http://jmac.org/warbler/play.html
The Warbler’s Nest: This game is very interesting in the sense that brings me back to the years of Zork (If you haven’t played it yet, you should) where imagination is what drives you. It’s like picking on of those books where you can chose your path or a tiny part of Dungeons and Dragons (at least the exploration part). These text-based games serve on main purpose and that is stretching your imagination. It’s up to the player to decide what he or she will do and face the consequences. This game however is quite limited in the options you have and it seems that you go in circles quite a bit before doing something productive to the story. This gives a little bit of suspense, nothing scary enough to frighten our generation who’s used to much more descriptive content. The description of the set is something that I thought they could have put more effort in, they describe a little bit, but in my opinion it could have been done better to give us a better image of our surroundings. Something also that I found that was a bit flawed was the fact that the same thing appeared if you wrote “look west” or “go west” that shouldn’t happen; If you look you see something, if you go, something new or more detailed should appear. I think it was over simplified. My view may be wrong or I’m being too picky but having played other text-based games I think this was too simple and the exploration very limited too. The concept was well thought out and the verbs used worked well too giving an inexperienced player in text-based games an easier way to pick it up, it was well done by the designers, because it was quite user-friendly but like I said before, oversimplified. The idea behind this is to put in a similar position to a Skyrim character, however you don’t see it, you have to read it to understand what surrounds you, the power of mystery comes from the words and this is done well, especially when you hear scratching behind the cottage. The text-based games were the pioneers of today’s Skyrim adventure games and it gives you a small sense of freedom when exploring though more limited than today’s games.
Looming: In Looming the main purpose is to explore and collect all the items, it is a well-crafted game, except for the sound which I found to be extremely painful and off-putting, after 2 minutes I had to cut the music off and just experience the game with no sound, I think they should have chosen something that invites more to exploration instead of this gloomy sound that can push away players. Two things I found to be extremely well designed: The character, so simple yet it works perfectly well, and I couldn’t stop giggling to the way he walked/run, which made it more amusing. Also it was well paced, so you could explore from a corner to another in a very quick way and wouldn’t get bored with it. This game has a key element of today’s games which is: the need for collecting items and exploring the world in every corner to complete the game. Nowadays the players are driven a lot by the sense of achievement and accomplishment (sound familiar?) and this is well implemented here, you start playing and you feel satisfied once you complete your list! This is a clever way to hook players to a game and make them come back to it, it has replay value. I think this is the proof of how a game that isn’t extremely good looking can make you addicted to it because you have something to complete.
If I had to compare the two, I would say that the first one you have better visuals. Sound weird because the visuals are just text right? Well, no. For me the visuals it’s what you see, and I can picture and imagine a World of my own in the text based game, while in Looming I have the barriers or the limitations of what I see on the screen is how the World looks like and it looks ugly. However I think the text is well written in Looming, better than in Warbler’s Nest. These two games gives us a sense of exploration that are implemented in today’s games just in other ways. Maybe you don’t have a trophy that pops up in Looming, but the sense of achievement when collecting the list of items is the same as if you collect all the items on a Uncharted game, you just don’t get “official credit” for it.
Thank you for taking the time to read,