50 Years of Text Games: From Oregon Trail to AI Dungeon by Aaron A. Reed

You can pre-order digital copies on itch, and the book is set for release June 15.

50 Years of Text Games: From Oregon Trail to A.I. Dungeon is an extensively researched book chronicling the first half-century of interactive fiction: video games made from words. Covering one text game released in each year from 1971 to 2020, in-depth chapters dive into classics like Zork, Trade Wars, and Hitchhiker’s Guide; beloved fan games like Galatea and Photopia; wild experiments from Dwarf Fortress to Howling Dogs; and breakout hits like 80 Days, Fallen London, and Lifeline. Over 600 pages of coverage and dozens of original maps and flowcharts help explain the structure and design of each game included.

Find out more about the book on the 50 Years of Text Games website, including where to order a physical edition.

NOTE: The e-book will be released on June 15th. If you purchase the book before then, downloads will be unlocked on that date here.


Jason Dyer did a nice writeup and review.

I’ll do the same once I have my copy.