Parser Text Adventures on Steam and GOG

Probably this has been posted elsewhere but I’ve missed it and longed for it:



Did I miss any?


Jay Schilling’s Edge of Chaos is on Steam. I seem to remember seeing a free pirate themed one on Steam too, but I’m not finding it now - I think it was translated from Russian and not very good?

EDIT: never mind, that’s Mainland, you’ve already got it.


I’m adding games to the first post if they’re mentioned here. Thanks Mike!


I feel steam and gogg are some kind of opportunist. Many web sites has free downloads for very old games. And of course there are some little companies doing “all new rising up” releases for CLASSIC (in capitals) games and selling this new ones.

Without the consent of the copyright holders, of course. That’s the difference.


In most of the cases the holder doesn’t exist anymore.
Additionally I think no one pay royalties about the rounded wheels of their cars especifically for being round shape.
For example " Happy birthay to you" has active royalties you need to pay if you sing or play this song. This is almost a nonsense.

To be fair, in all of the cases listed in the first post a copyright holder exists. Valve and GOG didn’t just download stuff from an abandonware site and put on a price tag.

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And, to be clear, the copyright holder did the work of creating a Steam/GOG entry and posting the game.

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I tnink that the published works should be a limited copyright time. Nevertheless laws varies depending of the country.
Even patents are time limited, and country high secrets.
We are lucky becouse we live in internet era. When I was a child
I couldn’t often find many books, songs or games in my country becose this was an outdated or obsolete material.


Sometimes I wonder how much work they really put into it, though. I bought Maniac Mansion on GOG (though the same thing presumably applies to Steam), and it turned out that the enhanced version is cracked, and not even particularly well. Someone changed a single byte of a data file.

The purpose was clearly to disable the security door copy protection - something LucasArts traditionally did by forcing the door to be open - by making it so that it will accept any combination as long as you either get it right or get the last symbol wrong. Unfortunately that game script is used by several other puzzles in the game (phone numbers, safe combinations, …) so now all those puzzles are nerfed as well.

GOG says they can’t do anything, because that’s the files the developers gave them. Steam redirects to Disney support, who says they’ve forwarded the information to the appropriate team. But that was many months ago. In the meantime, I reluctantly made it so that ScummVM will write back the correct value to the cracked script. (I’m still annoyed about that.)

It seems the only way to buy undamaged versions of the data files are to buy the remastered version of Day of the Tentacle, and extract the data files from there. Those are identical to the ones I got from my old floppies, which I no longer have any way of reading.

Getting back on topic, both GOG and Steam have Timequest, another one of the Legend Entertainment parser games.

Unfortunately neither of them have the Gateway games, which I thought were the best of the lot. I’m guessing it’s a licensing issue. GOG briefly had Death Gate - another of Legend’s licensed titles, and a good game to boot - but it was quickly pulled.


Timequest added, thanks.

Not anymore! Warner Music’s (entirely frivolous) copyright claim was overturned in 2016.


There are a handful of games that are not primarily parser-based but have some parser-based scenes, either as a conversation interface or a riff on 80s gaming.

I don’t think they belong on this list, but it may be worth noting them separately. Off the top of my head:

Stories Untold
Frog Fractions
Starship Titanic
One of the Telltale Sam&Max episodes


The Sam & Max episode was ‘Reality 2.0’ (season 1 episode 5). You don’t actually get to do any typing though, which I found a bit disappointing! :smiley:

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Not GOG or Steam, but Strand Games has three Magnetic Scrolls remasters on

The Guild of Thieves
The Pawn


GOG rejected them;


We’ve taken a look at The Pawn by Magnetic Scrolls, and it looks like fun title.

Unfortunately since the game is already released we won't have an opportunity to release it on Day 1, and this will cripple it's interest among GOG userbase. Therefore for now we will have to pass on this title.

However, we will observe The Pawn by Magnetic Scrolls and if in future we will decide to change our decision, we will contact you.

If you have any other games in the future that might be a better fit for GOG, please let us know, and hopefully we’ll be able to work together.

Wojciech 'ZlyBratBlizniak' Gal

I’d like your post, but I don’t like it if you know what I mean.

GOG releases remasters all the time; their reply makes no sense.

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The GOG people have unfortunately now clue whatsoever about game history. They only know modern gaming. If you want to get a game in their store that isn’t modern, and doesn’t have “good graphics” you need to know someone who can get it past the clueless doorkeepers.

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I do have a sweet spot for point’n’click adventures as well, and I’ve stopped looking for them on GOG. If something has a background story that fits on the backside of a Mastertronic C64 text adventure tape case from 1986, GOG files it under “Adventure”, even if it’s a Tetris clone. I’ve really got better things to do with my time than to separate the wheat from the chaff there.

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How do you have Death off the Cuff, but not PataNoir? They come in a bundle, you know.

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