Earlier, I was sent a link to a text-adventure game built at the 36th Ludum Dare 72-hour game jam. Thing is, it’s not just any old text adventure. It’s a double dose of getting deeper, playing a text adventure within a text adventure on a PC within a PC.
The game-“ception” here is exceptionally strong in The House Abandon, and it’s everywhere to see. This thirty-minute game is a text adventure game where you’re sat in front of an old PC akin to the old BBC Micro Days. Loaded into this PC is a game called, you guessed it, The House Abandon.
Deep enough for you?
Without going into the details of what you’ll discover as you explore around the house that is the game’s setting. Eventually, you’re told that your character has found an old PC with a game inside. You turn it on to discover that it is (once more) The House Abandon.
Things take a much larger turn for the creepy from here on out.
The game and the desk you’re in front of transforms before your very eyes as you dive deeper into this alternative version of the game you just started playing. Wasting no time to mess with your head, lights flicker and noises echo from a distance as the game progresses. It cranks the spooks up to eleven in a subtle yet highly impacting manner.
As it’s a text adventure, experimentation is necessary. You’ll find yourself looking around in every room and trying to use everything in sight to figure out ways to progress. In doing so, there may be some secrets to be found along the way. As you explore, you’ll be sure to see a lot of influence from the eighties. After watching Stranger Things on Netflix recently, I was certainly reminded of the adventures there whilst I was exploring the house.
A word of caution though: Take some time to look around you as you rush through those commands to find something that works. You may see something beyond the TV that you may not have noticed.
As this was only a thirty-minute game, the experience was a short one. After finishing it, I was left with many questions. The main one in my mind was how a game like this would play out if it was a fully-fledged adventure spanning many hours? Would we be forced to explore the house beyond the desk? Would other people attempt to explore the secrets behind the House Abandon? I imagined myself exploring the house proper, trying to track down the source of the noises that I heard earlier.
With certainty, should the folks at NoCode decide to pursue further down the road with this idea I’d be following it with great interest. A lot of horror games out there rely on a lot of tropes that games such as Amnesia and Outlast pioneered. It’s fantastic to see a team tackle the genre in a new and exciting way.
Fortunately for you, the game is available for free from the devs directly. Check out this website to download the game and play it for yourself. If you do play it, let us know what you think!