tribute to text-mode games

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Where can I find a copy of Rogue/Nethack/Moria/Angband?
  2. These titles all fall into the general category called Roguelike Games (games based upon Dungeons & Dragons). They are already well-covered in other places on the Web. A good all-around source for information and downloads is Roguelike Review. For an account of the development of Rogue from the perspective of one of its authors, check out A Brief History of Rogue by Glenn R. Wichman. Information on programming Roguelikes may be found at the Dungeondweller site.

    Also, a visitor has pointed me to what may be the most advanced roguelike yet created, Ancient Domains of Mystery. Be warned, this game is almost incomprehensibly vast and complex—you might want to think twice about downloading it, unless you have the next two years of your life to spare!

  3. Where can I find a copy of [insert title of text adventure game here]?
  4. You are standing at the end of a road before a small brick building. Around you is a forest. A small stream flows out of the building and down a gully.

    With that simple paragraph began a gaming tradition that took the computing world by storm, and is still going strong today. Text adventures (sometimes called interactive fiction), were effective because they appealed to the imagination. Using simple commands such as GO EAST and LOOK UNDER BED, players could take the leading role in an interactive story, one in which textual descriptions of events and surroundings created a more memorable and compelling experience than the finest graphics ever could.

    Text adventure games are an enormous subject, and I cannot possibly cover it all here. Visit the Interactive Fiction Archive for downloads. You can read more about the history of text adventures at The Colossal Cave Adventure page.

  5. There was a great game from the early eighties called Empire. You started off with one city and no idea of the terrain of your world, so you had to build armies to explore and take over other cities. You moved around with different letters representing men, ships, etc. Any chance of finding it?
  6. Unfortunately, this is not an easy question to answer, because I have found several different versions of this game, and there seems to be some dispute over who created it. Apparently, it has been ported and re-ported between UNIX, VAX, and DOS, making its lineage difficult to trace. The closest thing I have found to an official web site is If you are looking for Empire, I would suggest visiting that site.
  7. The games are running too fast to play on my computer. What can I do?
  8. Check out the free DOSBox utility. That should solve your problem.
  9. I’m getting “Run time error 200” when launching a game. Why?
  10. This problem is caused by an initialization bug in Turbo Pascal, the software development language that some of these games were written in. Again, I suggest using DOSBox, that should solve the problem.
  11. What about Mo’Slo? Didn’t that used to be the recommended solution?
  12. Mo’Slo was the only solution available when I created this site ten years ago. However, the open-source DOSBox utility has been around for a while now—it is very stable, well-supported, and it works better than Mo’Slo in most cases. I now recommend that all games in this collection be run using DOSBox. However, the Mo’Slo download is still available for those who want it.
  13. What if I have a cool text-mode game that’s not in your collection?
  14. You can mail it to me if you like, and I’ll take a look at it when I get a chance: Please understand, while I appreciate all submissions, I have very limited time to update this site nowadays, however I will certainly give it a mention on the News page.

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  1. Tyrone says:

    Why isn’t MegaZeux on that list? It spawned after ZZT with a whole lot more features.