The computer text adventure games of the 1980s are a far cry from today's graphic intensive games. Unlike today's games, text games required greater input from your imagination. If you didn't read carefully, you were likely to end up dead. Although there were no graphics, there were rich textual description of where you were and what was happening.
Here's a sample of some gameplay from Zork one of the early text adventure games, showing the first few actions:
Welcome to Zork (originally Dungeon). This version created 11-MAR-91 (PHP mod 03-AUG-05)
There are 50 users playing Zork. Of those, 48 have not logged in.
There are 83458 registered adventurers.
You are in an open field west of a big white house with a boarded front door.
There is a small mailbox here.
> go to mailbox
What should I do with the mailbox?
Opening the mailbox reveals:
What's So Good About Text Games
When you play a text based adventure game, you have to read accurately what is written. Reading skills necessarily are developed. Not only do you have to read, but you have to understand - comprehension skills. Once information has been digested, a decision about your consequent action must be made. These information processing and decision making skills are a boon in life.
The interest factor present whan playing a text adventure game is a powerful motivator for practising all these skills.