The "Explore" Adventure Games

Please select an adventure.
Please select an adventure
To start a new game, click one of the following:


To save a game, type "suspend".

To get started, you may want to type "help". This will give some examples of how commands are typically used in the games.

Now available as an Android phone app! If you have an Android phone, look in Android Market for "Explore".

When I was 15 or so, my cousin, De, and I were into playing adventure games, like the mother of all text adventure games, "Adventure". We wanted to make our own, so we wrote a simple one, but it was hard-coded and was a pain to create. So we came up with the idea to make a program that could interpret adventure "game files" that were written in a kind of adventure "language". So we both wrote programs in BASIC to do this on TRS-80 computers (wow, 1.77 MHz!), and we wrote adventures in separate text files. We later merged our work into this program, which was dubbed "Explore". By the way, I was really bummed when a guy named Scott Adams (not the Dilbert dude!) came out with a commercial program that used the same concept! Just think of all the money we could have made!

We came up with three adventures that were written in the wee hours of the morning on three separate occasions listening to Steely Dan. It was kind of a mystical inspiration I would say.

De is no longer with us, but these games live on for me as a great memory of our friendship, and I hope that they allow a little piece of him to endure.

Years later I dug up the old BASIC program and rewrote it in C (note that the C version and the BASIC version are no longer being maintained, so future adventure game files or newer revisions of the old ones won't work with the old code).

A few years after this I rewrote the whole system in Java as a way to learn the language. And years after that, I rewrote the whole thing in Python and later in Ruby. The Python version is used here. Now you too can play these historic games on-line!

When starting a game, you have to pick an adventure. Your choices are:

Other text adventure related links: