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6. Playing with Text Adventures > Download and Play Text Adventures

Download and Play Text Adventures

Discover the ocean full of text adventures out there, then catch the best ones.

The community of text adventure authors isn’t huge, even by Internet subculture standards, but they still produce enough output that someone brand new to the format can feel bewildered about where to start looking. The central archive is vast and intimidating, and you might feel intimidated just figuring out which interpreter to choose. Fortunately, it’s not as hard as it seems.

If you want to download and play interactive fiction from your hard drive rather than playing games via the web [Hack #63] , the first thing to do is install what’s known as a Z-Machine interpreter. Z-Machine clients run games written in the Inform language, which is an open source version of the system used to write all the classic Infocom games [Hack #65] such as Planetfall, Trinity, and A Mind Forever Voyaging. Not every game you’ll come across is written in Inform, but most of them are, and playing a few games that use the Inform interpreter will teach you what you need to know when you go looking for a TADS or Glulx interpreter. If you’re looking for a list of all known Z-Machine interpreters, you can get a pretty comprehensive one at http://www.ifarchive.org/indexes/if-archiveXinfocomXinterpreters.html, but this page isn’t exactly helpful when it comes to picking a game to play.


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