In a world filled with game companies each trying to one-up each other on graphics, AI technology, and in-game physics, it can be easy to forget how simple games can still be great. They might seem somewhat old-fashioned, but text-based games have been around for a while and they’re a personal favorite format of mine. As a writer and gamer myself, I don’t have the skill to program with Unity or do art for my own games, nor the budget to hire an artist or a programmer, so I stick to writing and playing these text-based games.

Among the world of text-based games, there’s one company that I think has made some of the best. Choice of Games LLC, called this because the most classic titles among them begin with the words “Choice of” in the title, i.e. Choice of the Dragon, Choice of Robots, etc., has made several fantastic games in this genre. For those looking to dive into this style of gaming, these are a few of the more noteworthy titles worth playing.

Choice of the Dragon

Choice of the Dragon Choice of Games

Choice of the Dragon is one of the first Choice of games I ever played. Like many others made before it, it keeps track of your stats on a separate page, these stats being changed by the choices you make in the game, and in turn, the choices you make alter your stats. This game, for example, tracks stats like “Brutality vs Cunning”, a simple stat that determines whether your dragon character is more focused on strength or intelligence. When one goes up, the other goes down, and vice versa. You’ll be more likely to succeed in a fight of strength if you’ve raised your Brutality stat, and you’ll be more likely to outwit your opponents if you’ve raised your Cunning.

Choice of Robots

Choice of Robots Choice of Games

Choice of Robots, meanwhile, is a game revolving around not a robot, but a human who develops them. When you begin, you work on the first sentient robot, an android, and as you play your choices throughout the story will determine how your android develops. This dictates whether it leads humanity toward a futuristic utopia or rebels against its creator and plots to destroy the human race. You’ll balance your robot’s stats such as Autonomy, Military, Empathy, and Grace, while also attending to your own stats like your fame and wealth, as well as monitoring your relationships with the other characters in the story and potentially even sacrificing your humanity along the way.

Congresswolf

There are plenty of other titles that don’t fit the established “Choice of” naming convention, but they’re well worth checking out! Many of these games are extremely well written, one of which is Congresswolf, a game in which you’ll play as the campaign manager trying to get a werewolf—yes, a werewolf—elected to the United States Congress. This game, as it happens, was a source of inspiration for me when writing my own multiple-choice game, Werewolf in the Senate, which incidentally is not a Choice of Games game, though I have considered creating one myself.

ChoiceScript is the Definitive Resource For Creating Text-Based, Multiple-Choice Games

If you’re considering writing your own Choice of Games game, you’ll be pleased to know there’s a simple, easy-to-learn programming language that drives these games called ChoiceScript. With a series of quickly placed octothorpes (that’s the hashtag symbol #) and indents, your brand-new game can be up and running in no time. Designed with the sleek UI all Choice of games use, and being submitted straight to the Choice of Games site, you’ll have a chance at getting it turned into an app and sold!

If you’re a fan of text-based video games, if you’re a writer, or even if you’re just considering checking it out, go to www.choiceofgames.com. These games are available on the iOS App Store as well as Steam, Google Play, and even Amazon.

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