Entertainment Gaming

5 Text-Based Adventure Games You Can Play in Your Browser

Ben Stegner 01-12-2019

Text-based adventure games (also known as IF or Interactive Fiction) is a classic genre where all the interaction takes place through on-screen words, and they’re still alive today. While they were born from hardware limitations, text-based games can still be played on modern devices.


And you don’t have to pay or install anything to do play these titles. Instead, you can just play them right now in your web browser. Here are some great text-adventure games available to play.

1. The Dreamhold

Text-Based Games - The Dreamhold

Specifically created for first-time IF players, The Dreamhold is an excellent way to get acquainted with this genre. Aside from its relatively short length and low difficulty, the game also features a “tutorial voice” that gives you hints throughout the experience.

If you’re not a novice, you can still enjoy The Dreamhold, though. Just type tutorial off to disable that part of the game. And if you’d like ever more of a challenge, type expert to enter Expert mode, which makes some puzzles harder.

As for the game itself, the plot here revolves around you waking up inside a cell. You don’t remember how you got there, and need to explore to figure it out.


Play Now: The Dreamhold

2. Zork

Text-Based Games - Zork

Zork is one of the earliest and best-known text games. Originally launching in the late 1970s, it has survived the test of time due to its high quality of storytelling and advanced text recognition. For such an old game, the text parser is not picky about what you enter.

Zork was actually split into three parts. This first one starts you in front of a white house with no further instructions. After working your way into the house, you’ll begin the  adventure proper and need to collect as much treasure as you can.


Zork supports saving and restoring, and you can even change how much information the game gives you about new locations using the brief and verbose commands. This classic is a great starting point for getting into text adventure games. Give it a try and see how long you can survive before you’re eaten by a grue.

Play Now: Zork

3. Spider and Web

Text-Based Games - Spider and Web

Spider and Web is a text-adventure game from 1998 from the same creator behind The Dreamhold. This adventure has you play as a spy who was captured when masquerading as a tourist. You gradually figure out what’s going on at the same time your character does.


Notably, the dialog options in this game are simple compared to others. When asked a question, you can only answer Yes, No, or stay silent. This makes it easier to decide what you want to do, but that doesn’t mean the game is easy.

It’s often tough to keep track of what’s going on and keep your story straight, so expect a high level of difficulty. You can save and restore to avoid having to replay large chunks; the game also includes an Undo command for when you fail.

Play Now: Spider and Web

4. Night House

Text-Based Games - Night House


Are you in the mood for a must-play horror game The Scariest Must-Play Horror Games for Halloween In the spirit of Halloween and all things scary, here's our pick of the scariest and most atmospheric horror games of the last few years. Read More ? Night House has you play as a young boy who wakes up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. He soon discovers that his family isn’t home, and is thrust into a much scarier experience than he imagined.

Night House is unique in that it has a few extras aside from text input. The right side of the screen contains basic directional inputs that you can enter to move around. It also keeps track of your inventory and what’s around you. A simple map at the top of the screen helps you keep your bearings.

With extras like the sound effects of the ongoing thunderstorm, Night House adds a little extra to the text-adventure experience. Give it a try if the other games were too rudimentary for you.

Play Now: Night House

5. Torn

Text-based games aren’t limited to interactive fiction. Torn is an online RPG with thousands of active players. In it, you start a life in a new city and decide the path you want to take. You can grow strong, become a criminal, and beat up everyone else, or become highly educated, follow the law, and run a successful company.

When you start, the game reminds you that it’s a long-term experience. This makes it a great game for a quick fix 20 Quick Web Games to Play Online When You're Bored Here are the best quick web games to play online when you're sat twiddling your thumbs and need to beat boredom. Read More whenever you have time, as you don’t need a huge commitment. After you get through some tutorial missions, you’ll be on your way to making your life in the city whatever you’d like it to be.

Unlike the other games on this list that you can start instantly, you will have to make a free account to play Torn. However, it only takes a moment. While it offers a much more robust interface than other text-based games, Torn is still an enjoyable text experience.

Play Now: Torn

More Text-Adventure Games You Can Play

Two sites you should check out for additional interactive fiction games 6 Great Interactive Fiction Games to Play Online Right Now Want to try playing a text-based adventure game? Here are the best interactive fiction games you can play online right now. Read More are Versificator and TextAdventures. You’ll find plenty of games to try out here across a variety of genres.

If you’re a newcomer to these types of games, check out this introductory cheat sheet created by the interactive fiction community. It details the most common commands available in these games.

Text-Based Games Cheat Sheet

If you’re ever unsure of what you can do, try entering about when the game starts for basic instructions. Most games also have a help command that will provide more information.

Interactive fiction combines the player choice of a video game with the great storytelling of books and movies. If you don’t like all the action of modern games, this is a great genre to try. The bonus being that most text-based games don’t cost anything to play.

For more simple fun, check out the best Google Doodle games you can play The Best Google Doodle Games to Pass Time An interactive Google Doodle game can liven up your day. Here are the best Google Doodle games that you can play in a few seconds. Read More . You might want to check out Opera GX, a browser designed for gamers. We’ve also looked at the best games to play on your Mac The 11 Best Mac Games to Play in 2019 Most games aren't ported to Mac, but if you're a Mac gamer, these are the best Mac games to play in 2019. Read More .

Related topics: Online Games, Retro Gaming.

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  1. doflage
    February 9, 2020 at 2:44 am

    You really should try A Dark Room from Doublespeak Games ...

    "the fire is dead.
    the room is freezing "

    Is the opening screen. Have fun!

  2. Raffe
    January 24, 2020 at 10:20 am

    Check out http://www.darkgrimoire.com
    Great RP community with player discord channel and lots to explore.

  3. Jon
    July 2, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    Gemini Station is solid. It's a space-based text rpg.

  4. Ingrif
    April 2, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    Assault Online ?

  5. Leonor Silva
    December 7, 2018 at 11:23 pm

    These are some cool games! I also suggest this one:
    Adozinda - An interactive story - https://schoolofmagic.net/adozinda.asp

    I really like this game because of how difficult it is and of how much control you get as there are tons of different endings and tons of decisions to make. The objective of the game is to help Adozinda become the most powerful magic manipulator. To achieve this objective you have to master dangerous spells, escape nokkens and demons and even time travel to a prehistoric age. This game entertains me for hours and hours on end.

  6. Natasha
    November 7, 2018 at 10:32 am

    TORN is a GREAT game! Whether you're looking for something to play all day every day or just for a few minutes here and there you can't look past it, there's something for everyone! I've been playing for almost 10 years and the longer I play for the more addicted I am getting. Sign up today, you won't regret it!

  7. Kungfuspacebarbarian
    August 23, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    Crypt Shyfter is another great series of free text adventure games you can play in your browser ;)

  8. RedStingray73
    May 15, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    If you're into drag racing, there's text based game for that called: GTRacer and is located at GTRacer.net. I've acquired the game and will be the owner soon.

  9. JollyGG
    May 14, 2018 at 1:57 am

    Another good option is Legend of the Green Dragon. Its engine can be customized so much that I've seen some pretty creative themes, but most popular and widely used is medieval, Lord if the Rings types. Also fantasy based is a good one, a good friend if mine runs Sanctuary, found at lotgd4adults2.com. Of course I've done more than just playing this game, I've helped develop fun modules for it to keep players coming back for more!