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The Original online adventure games were text adventure games in which you were faced with puzzles and obstacles to overcome to complete your quest. Your game choice was restricted to large corporate or academic mainframe computers in the 1970s.

In the early 1980s with the rise in popularity of Dungeons and Dragons and other roleplaying games these intriguing computer based adventure games became available to a much wider audience as classic adventures like 'The Hobbit', 'Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy' and the Zork and Level 9 series games fuelled sales of the first home computers such as the Commodore 64 and the Sinclair Spectrum.

Since then online adventure games have evolved into multiuser games (generically known as MUDS) and are infinitely more challenging than the original adventure game designers could ever have dreamed. With the advent of multi-user online game potential many players may now share the same environment and adventure alongside you or compete against you as the whim takes them. The linear nature of the old adventure games has now mostly disappeared and the best of the new generation of online text adventure games are multi-dimensional in their game play and may be better described, perhaps, as interactive novels designed for play online. A few highly commercial multiuser graphical adventures games are also now available, but they lack the depth that the medium of text allows the online RPG game designer.



Site Title and Rank Description
Avalon; The Legend Lives
Perhaps the ultimate evolution of the text adventure game. Beautifully written and designed, this is an adventure game world of very great depth. And yet Avalon has comprehensive help and guidance for the absolute novice to online adventures so that he or she may choose the guild and city which best suits their character's outlook. Though packed with puzzles and quests like any good adventure game, this is really a living, ever-evolving world of feuding city-states and political intrigue all watched over by the gods of Mount Olympus. Avalon provides an expansive web site for additional help plus a detailed history of the land. There is also a Java client for immediate play.
Rinkworks Adventure Games Live
Several 'live' and online adventure games with a simple to use point and click interface requiring only your mouse and web browser and no java required! There is a 'Trainer' adventure to get you started and several other games of varying difficulty. Not multi-user or truly interactive but a nice idea well executed.
The Mysteries of Time and Space
Award winning, web browser based single use adventure game, but with a chat facility combined for communicating hints to other players. Graphical click and point play and very well presented though with no great depth of game play. Still, it is free to play and well worth a look at a fairly unique approach to online adventure games.
The Adventure Games Coalition
A well maintained site with reviews and walkthroughs for a huge number of single user adventures including non-English games. Beware of 'spoilers' in the walkthroughs.
S.P.A.G.
The Society for the Promotion of Adventure Games. Dedicated to text based adventures and other interactive text based games with reviews, related links and a quarterly magazine with a library of back issues. Perhaps not surprisingly, the frames option on the site doesn't appear to work.
First Age
After the apocalytptic divine war, the continent of Avalon is bathed in a new dawn where you the mortal can play a major role. This is the original format of the classic Avalon role playing adventure before civilization evolved and removed the rough edges. Expect blood and gore once you are through the initial new player support and you had better be on your mettle for the blow-by-blow combat system of Avalon will test the coolest of heads. This is an action adventure and no mistake. A java client is available for immediate play from your browser but most players will soon want to move onto a 'proper' mud client in such a fast moving environment.
Phatgames
A free site which includes a multitude of java-based, single player games including many implementations of classic '80s arcade games and some single player adventure games. Also sports games and multiplayer backgammon and chess implementations and some interactive support for Web TV users.
Agamemnon; Kings of England
A medieval adventure game based in the era of the one hundred years war between France and England. They have introduced some refreshingly new ideas to the text games genre. The evocation of both France and England is stunningly accurate. Alongside the combat related aspects of the game is the huge potential for actual adventure; something which has been lacking in the online adventure games and text based games genre for some time.
The Interactive Fiction Archive
A no nonesense archive (that is to say rather technical) for public domain and shareware 'interactive fiction' games, or, adventure games. Tools for development and converting old commercial games, now public domain to download and run on your PC or Mac. Classic adventures from Level9 and Infocom with interpreters are available not to mention articles on adventure games, hints and tips etc. But don't think this is all a nostalgia trip! There is an active upload section where authors can make their latest offerings available. Also information and links to a number of online adventure game authoring tools. All bang up to date.
The Explore Adventure Series
A number of single-user adventures that you can play via a java applet online. Hardly breath-taking but neat and working and playable; but you soon see why multiplayer games with other real human beings in them have taken over to a great extent.
Adventureland
The online source for enthusiasts looking for information on almost any text adventure game and their graphical incarnations, the authors, game-writing systems and so on. Do read the FAQ though, this really is an index of single-user adventures, mostly commercial, from the last 25 years or so and goes out of its way not to include MUDs and RPGs while admitting that definitions and distinguishing between them all is very difficult.

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