October 11th, 2012 | By Tom Christiansen
Text-based adventure games, or interactive fiction, have largely declined in popularity over the last few decades. The decline is mainly to blame on the fact that video game systems have evolved to become capable of delivering a more visually engaging experience, as opposed to the simple graphical user interfaces that most text-based games feature. Players want beautiful scenery and colorful characters, they want to see worlds come alive and they want interaction within these worlds. Sales show that consumers would rather be handed an experience, than have to imagine one. And really, I didn’t blame them. The way I saw it, you would not go to a movie theater and expect to sit in the dark for 2 hours, listening to sound effects and having to visualize the experience, so why should a player have to visualize their gaming experience based off of sentences and limited visuals?
But, like I said, that is how I saw it. Cypher, developed by the Cabrera Brothers, changed my notion of what a text-based game could be, it showed me that I should consider text-based adventures just as much of a game as anything else I could buy and play on my PC. With that said, Cypher does have a few very glaring flaws that really keep it from being as polished as it could be.