Text adventures have existed for several decades and hit their peak of popularity in the early 1980s. Since then, the world of text adventures has gone beyond books and simple text files to become minigames in current video games like Saint's Row: The Third, amongst others.
However, text adventures still exist and can be found over the internet for free or for purchase over Steam.
Despite text games current lack of relative popularity, #GoodwolfStudio has sought to create what they call a "next generation" text adventure, titled Code 7.
What does "Code 7" mean?
That is a mystery for you to discover in Episode 0. What's clear is that the phrase "Code 7" refers to a protocol that is enacted by a security team in response to a crisis. That crisis is enacted by you and your actions, because Code 7 is a story about hacking.
Your job is to use your hacking abilities to uncover information that will potentially change the course of the story. However, Goodwolf Studio has assured its audience that actual experience with hacking simulations is not a requirement to play the game because you will be prompted with potential courses of action.
Here's the game's official description:
"What would you do if you found yourself trapped on an eerie space station with nothing but a computer? You play the hacker Alex and help your partner Sam uncover the horrible truth of the facility. Code 7 is a next-generation text adventure that combines a fully-voiced narrative with immersive hacking-gameplay. Gather information, navigate and hack your way through the prologue of an epic, five-chapter adventure. It doesn't take long until you have to ask yourself who Alex really is and if your reality is really what it seems to be. Code 7 is a fully-voiced next-generation text adventure for PC, Mac and Linux."
How do you make text adventures "next gen"?
Adapting text adventures to the caliber of what can be deemed "next generation" creates the challenge of first defining what that even means, since it's not a widely accepted concept. Thankfully, Goodwolf Studio has provided a brief overview of their game and what "next generation" means: "Code 7 is a next-generation text adventure that combines a fully-voiced narrative with immersive hacking-gameplay."
That definition creates a bit of cognitive dissonance in that text adventures, y'know, use text. The popularity of text adventures came from the player's imagination, fueling the lack of voice acting and gameplay.
However, Code 7 wants to challenge that by utilizing voice acting and a visual gameplay as a supplement to the text-based story. Despite the interesting yet difficult-to-process imagery, Goodwolf has released several trailers. Here's one to give you a better idea of what a text adventure with visual and auditory aspects feels like:
When can I play this?
You can play this game right now! Well, you can play it as soon as you download it, unzip the file... you get the idea. Goodwolf Studio has released the first part of this game as a demo. Their intention is to create a six-episode story, with the demo being referred to as "Episode 0."
You can preorder the season pass (with varying amounts of features) from the Code 7 Humble Bundle page starting at $16. Episode 1 of Code 7 is expected to release in April of 2017. Code 7 also just finished a successful Kickstarter campaign, so you can check the stretch goal rewards that you will be able to enjoy.
So that's the basic rundown of Code 7. I'm, personally, very excited to try the demo for myself. If you're interested in seeing more from Code 7, follow the links above and check out the story trailer below!
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux
Genre: Text adventure
Release date: April 2017
Developer: Goodwolf Studio
Are you up for the hacking challenge of Code 7? Got a question for the developers? Let us know in the comments below!