50 Years of Text Games
Image: Aaron A Reed

If Zork means more to you than Fortnite ever will, if you know exactly which items to take with you in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in order to escape your about-to-be-bulldozed house, or if you have ever typed the words "SOUTH" and "HELP" into a white-on-black text box, then you may be interested in this book by writer and game designer Aaron A. Reed.

It's called 50 Years of Text Games: From Oregon Trail to A.I. Dungeon, and it's a compilation of fifty text games from 1971 through to the modern day. The book covers games like 1985's A Mind Forever Voyaging alongside newer hits, like inkle's 80 Days, Failbetter's Fallen London, and the surprisingly unnerving A Dark Room, to explore what interactive fiction can do without images, and how IF has changed the face of gaming with just a few (hundred thousand) words.

The Kickstarter offers a fair few rewards to choose from as part of your pledge:

  • Paperback and hardback editions
  • A Collector's Edition with a custom slipcase and a 60-page addendum with even more fun facts about IF
  • An Ultimate Collector's Edition with five "feelies", including a genuine 8-bit '70s punch tape and a poster print map (of your choice of Dwarf Fortress, room maps, or node maps)
  • The opportunity to commission Aaron A. Reed to write a deep-dive on a narrative game of your choice

The Kickstarter campaign reached its $29,000 funding goal in under two hours, and you know what that means — it's time to bring back Zork.

[source kickstarter.com]