It would have been a safe bet in 1993 to say the text adventure was dead. That year saw the last release of a traditional parser game by a mainstream publisher: Legend Entertainment’s Gateway II: Homeworld, a sequel only greenlit because the original had sold unexpectedly well. But the unlikely success was not repeated. The bestselling games of the year would be CD-ROM extravaganzas like Myst and The Seventh Guest loaded with animations, music, voice acting, and video. Infocom — once the king of interactive story — was out of business, its lauded text games now in the remainder bin if they could still be found at all. It did not seem likely the genre they helped popularize would ever come back.

Continue reading at the home of my new blog series, “50 Years of Text Games.”

The cover art for Curses, featuring an old woodcut illustration of a group of standing stones and a portion of a subway map.

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