Google Home Could Soon Get Text-Based Adventure Games

Google recently published a guide which details how to bring text-based adventure games to life with the Google Assistant on the Google Home speaker. Surely, games and smart speakers are an unusual combination, but Google thinks users would love to be given the chance to play Lifeline while washing the dishes. The genre began with the original adventure game, Colossal Cave, and really took off in the early 1980s when computer screens couldn't offer advanced graphics, with titles such as the Zork trilogy and later with, more literary works, such as Trinity and A Mind Forever Voyaging. During this period such games were known as “text adventures”. The modern term that refers to them now is “Interactive Fiction”. The early games started out as nothing more than bare, text, but later titles added pictures, sound, and a limited mouse input.

Today, PC and console games heavily rely on amazing visuals, but there’s not a lack of great text-based games that manage to impress with their gripping stories lines and interesting characters. And given that the Google Home is just a speaker without a display, users will be able to play these text adventure games through audio, instead of visuals and readable text. With the Google Home, players won’t have to read huge walls of texts anymore. They’ll just listen to the Google Assistant and answer when prompted, while they go about their daily business.

To help developers bring text-based adventure games to its Google Assistant-powered speaker, Google has released a library of sound effects meant to make game-play more engaging. Developers will be able to choose between hundreds of options including airplanes, slide whistles, bowling, cats purring or thunder noises. Furthermore, Google is also adding new Actions on Google to make it easier for developers to teach the Google Assistant how to react and respond to instructions such as “go left”, “turn on light” or “open door”. Lastly, Google will be sharing various tools, and companies that have integrated their development solutions with Actions, with developers looking to build new types of games. So far, Google Assistant has been able to entrain smartphone users with a few trivia games, doodle, and audio games. Now Google wants to expand the gaming potential of the Google Assistant, by bringing Google Home into the equation.

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A geek with a love for words. Passionate about technology (from phones to wearables and VR), art and good stories.