The Secret Adventure Game Built Into Your Mac

I am ashamed to say that I've never played a text adventure game. The closest I've come is The Hobbit on the Spectrum which, coincidentally, was actually developed in Melbourne. But for those of you old enough to be nostalgic about text adventures (or young enough to be curious) may be interested to know there is actually a text-based adventure built into your Mac, if you have one.

There's no need to download anything — it's already there, waiting to be played. Type the following into Terminal and the game will launch automatically...

emacs -batch -l dunnet

Good luck everyone. As a youngster The Hobbit was hard enough. I can't imagine what it'll feel like to travel back in time and play one of these games! I always found these kinds of adventure games crazily obtuse, but it might be fun to remind ourselves of just how far video games have come.

Via Lifehacker


    That's a real text adventure. I died with the third thing I typed, with a score of 0. Reminds me of the hitch hikers guide...

    just tried this and instantly remembered why I hate text adventures. I spent five minutes typing different combinations of word commands only to get the message "I don't understand that" and then rage quit in disgust

      You've got to "think simpler" (maybe)... Think back to the old point and clicks... single word actions.
      Take shovel
      type n/s/e/w/ne/nw (etc) to go in that direction (so instead of "go east" try "e").

        On other text adventures, 'help' normally gives a list of verbs it accepts. I don't have emacs on hand to test if that's true in this one as well.

          It does.
          Unfortunately after getting not very far into the game; it turns out you need to have a lot of programming (and emacs) knowledge, as well as being able to make some really lucky guesses (or do a lot of trial and error) to get anywhere.

    Once again showing the superiority of PC gaming ;-P

    I've never played text adventure, and by the looks of it never will. I don't know why.
    I don't understand that.

    The cool thing is, it's actually built into emacs so Unix, Linux and Windows users can play it too.

    Yeah was going to say but Germinal beat me....

    It's not built into Mac's.... it's built into the emacs editor, which is available for all *nix OS's

    everyone should have a go at some text based RPGs though.... then take a step into MUDs! :-D

    Probably the only good reason to buy a Mac right there.

    Not really a Mac thing: Emacs predates MacOS X by a fair bit. This will likely work on any Unix like system with GNU Emacs installed.

    I gave up. A list of commands would be useful. Anyone help me out there?

      "help" is a good place to start. Other than that, common actions are "look", "get", "drop", etc.

        Well there you go. I tried the old question mark but didn't work. I'll try it out tomorrow when I have more time thanks.

    Text adventures are way too hard for me. I gave up pretty quickly.

    I finished it. Then game+'d it. Only Achievement I am having difficulty with is the dying one.

    First thing i did:
    1. Take Shovel
    2. Eat shovel

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