I’ve never been a huge fan of text adventures. I didn’t grow up with them, and I end up getting frustrated after I feel like all of my options are exhausted. Hell, I didn’t finish Frog Fractions (A game that I adore) for the longest time simply because I couldn’t force myself through the text section. The House Abandon is different.
Admittedly, I don’t play a ton of this kind of thing, so I’m sure something like it has done before. The House Abandon feels surprisingly modern in comparison to staring at a black and white screen inputting WEST and EAST over and over. The text adventure game itself resides on a desk inside The House Abandon, and you’re playing a game within that game. And no, the potential of this idea does not go untapped.
As an Interactive Fiction newbie, I appreciated the limited range of actions you’re forced to take throughout the adventure. The House Abandon pretty clearly lays out what you need to do so you’re not tossing a dozen things into a parser just to get a result. The flow isn’t broken after getting stuck on a puzzle for so long that you forget you’re wandering a dimly lit abode. And as a game created by an Alien Isolation designer and Co., this team knows how to keep the tension going. You’ll just need to see for yourself how they do it.
The game ends with a promise of the No Code team making more short stories like this, and that’s a promise I want to hold them to. Hopefully we’ll see another one of these around Halloween time…please?
If you’re curious about The House Abandon, check out the game’s wonderful trailer…
…and go play it here, because there’s no way you don’t want to after watching that.