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ASCII Gaming on SDF...

Who says you need to shell out $500US for a video card to play a decent game?


  1. Introduction
  2. General Tips
  3. Games by Category
  4. Dopewars, Mazewars, and Netris
  5. Credits


Long before today's multi-million color pallets and 3d rendering engines there was one color and a TTY.

That is not to say, however, that text games are "old" or "outdated" or that games that were created decades ago cannot still be fun. Not only are some of the older ASCII games still incredibly playable and enjoyable today but there are many ASCII games still in active development with new ones being created all the time.

SDF has a good selection of text based games for your enjoyment with many genres from which to choose. Within those categories you'll also find a diverse selection of games. Maybe you are looking for a quick hit of space invaders while your code compiles. Perhaps you'd like to start a game of nethack which could take you many session over many months to complete. If you'd like to sit and play a game of tetris by yourself SDF can accommodate you but if you'd rather interact with other SDFers in a game of mazewar or netris those options are also available. No matter what your preferences are, no matter what your current mood is, odds are good that SDF will have something for you.

General Tips

All games are started by typing the game's name at the command line on the appropriate system. You may be able to get information on command line options and game play by typing man gamename on SDF or help gamename on twenex.org(TOPS-20).

Please keep in mind that many of these games utilize the "vi" keys for directional movement.

       k (up)
h (left)   l (right)
      j (down)
Also, most games contain some sort of in game help. To get the most out of your ASCII gaming experience, it is advised that you consult this during your first time playing a particular game. This is especially useful for text adventure and RPG/Dungeon games as the author has frequently written a back-story which is typically both entertaining and useful during game play.

Did you play a game on SDF and loved it? Hated it? Then use the "game-review" command at the SDF shell to submit a review for ascii-games.org. Your reviews will help others find a game that suits their gaming tastes.

Games by Category

Here is a rough categorization of the games available on SDF and SDF's TOPS-20 system. A complete list of games on SDF can always be found by typing "games" at the shell prompt. TOPS-20 games can be listed by typing "help games" on twenex.org. Please visit ascii-games.org for user submitted reviews of these games.

Dopewars, Mazewars, and Netris

A special note for Dopewars, Mazewars, and Netris:

These games are fairly popular. They represent a good way to have fun and interact with fellow SDFers. Though they can be started from the command line, the best way to start a multiplayer game of dopewars, mazewars, or netris is to hop into SDF's COMMODE by typing com at the shell. You can then find other's to play with and launch those games directly from com.


Much information contained herein was gleaned from "games", "help games"(TOPS-20), and ascii-games.org. Much thanks to the maintainer(s) of those resources.

$Id: ascii-gaming.html,v 1.10 2012/05/28 23:20:43 credmon Exp $

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