When it comes to the history of video games, text-based games are as old as time and come on every platform, including mobile. There are many, many text-based games out there, some with more interactions than others! If you’re into games that require quite a bit of reading, a little bit of thinking, and a story-driven aspect to them, then you've come to the right place.
Featuring games like the amazing King of Dragon Pass, the hilarious To Be or Not To Be and the award-winning 80 Days, there's sure to be something for you to find in this list of the best text-based games for Android
Unmemory is the best text-based game I have played to date. It can be read as a story book or played as a game. This thriller has you trying to track down the man who murdered your girlfriend, but you also suffer from memory loss, so it’s a bit of a challenge. In the game, you need to solve puzzles, scroll up and down the screen to see how things change, listen to recordings, look at pictures, and more! It will keep you guessing.
Ord. is a small text-based game where you are given a word and you can reply with a word (or sometimes two) which then gives you another word, before you get to the next screen. Each of these little adventures can jump to a new and wonderful place, through small decisions that could mean a lot later on in the game.
WarQuest: Game of the Gods is a text-based RPG that takes place in the medieval era, where you become a mercenary who has a bit of a dark and dim past that you need to slowly learn about and put together. Your choices do matter, as you can end up with various resources and rewards as you progress through the chapters of the game.
King of Dragon Pass makes use of graphics a bit more than other text-based games, but that adds a bit of variety! This is a strategy game that’s based around fantasy, where you need to go on adventures, gathering items, trading, and fighting monsters. The game provides a much deeper text adventure that can be played for a longer time-frame.
Blackbar is a text-based game based around censorship. You’ll need to be solving clues to figure out what words are missing to complete the story. This adventure is based in a sci-fi, dystopian world where not everything can be mentioned or talked about. The game only progresses if you get the censored words correct, so this game can take some time!
There are a couple of different Reigns games out there, but Reigns: Her Majesty is the one we decided to put on this list! Playing as a Queen, you must make decisions for the kingdom by reading cards and then swiping left or right to react, in hopes of not being overthrown and making the best decisions for all of the kingdom.
Sorcery!, an open-world adventure narrative, has a bunch of different parts. The fourth one, specifically, has you taking on an adventure in the cursed citadel, full of magic, monsters, traps, strange creatures, spells and more. You can learn various spells that can help you on your quest - this game is full of monsters to fight and near-death-experiences.
A Dark Room strips down to the bare minimum of a text game, providing a more straightforward experience where you start in a dark, cold place, needing to build a fire, then selecting different decisions from there to move forward. The game’s pace then builds up, giving you more and more options as you end up trying to survive.
Following a surge of lost phone related games, SIMULACRA 2 is a scay, text-adventure where you find the phone of Maya, a dead influencer. You are a detective who wants to solve this crime, but there seems to be a lot of issues with her phone - it’s been whipped clean. You’ll need to use this access to her life to find out how this murder went down.
Following the story of Syrian refugees, one of which is going on a journey to the safety of Europe, texting her husband about her journey. There are choices in the way that you talk to your husband, how worried he gets, and how long it takes to reply back, having to wait for an answer and hope that it’s not some sort of bad news. Bury Me, My Love is a very touching story.
In Lifeline, you are an intern named Taylor who seems to be the only person left on the moon, after a spaceship crashed. You’ll be making decisions between two different options, each one affecting Taylor’s life and deciding his fate as he tries to survive on the moon all on his own. There is surely a lot riding on these decisions.
Magium is a RPG, text-based game where you play as Barry, a human hoping to one day become a mage. The game itself is three books long currently, still being worked on, and you basically are trying to get Barry to a point where he can be a mage through improving his stats and entering tournaments, while making decisions along the way.
A more comical version of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ryan North’s To Be or Not To Be is a game well worth checking out. It’s a branching narrative version of Hamlet, where you play as Hamlet trying to get revenge after your father’s death, play as Ophelia who is trying to make discoveries or play as King Hamlet - who does, in fact, just die.
Playing as Adam, an archaeologist following after your father, Forbidden Valley doesn’t just focus on the text, but also focuses on the music - with a bunch of tracts to keep you entertained. This game also has mini-games, puzzles, and lots of text-based story for you to enjoy as you figure out what riches lie ahead.
Horror in the Darkness is a text-based horror game (as the name would suggest) where you play as a private investigator who just got back from WW2. Taking on a case from an old friend, everything is not as it seems this time. The game is both dripping with dread but also has moments of comedy to balance things out.
Choice of Robots is a sci-fi text-based game where you are a robot maker. Your choices will end up affecting the robots you are creating, making them empathetic, cold, independent, obedient, helpful, or just scary. Your entire life can end up being those robots, it’s all up to you as the robot uprising ticks closer and closer. There are a lot of paths in this one!
DEAD CITY is a game that looks a lot like a messenger app. Sam is someone trapped in a post-apocalyptic world, just trying to survive. You can help them out by replying to her text messages - when and if you want too - to drive forward the story and see what happens to her next. You’ll be hearing about the world through her eyes - and it’s a pretty grim one.
Paladins puts you in the place of multiple characters in a medieval themed game, with 133 different chapters! This game has a lot of content, many decisions to make and a dose of luck to stay alive. There are many different ways of life in Paladins, from knights to lone farmers, you’ll end up playing it all and hopefully avoiding death.
Kai Chronicles has 12 gamebooks by Project Aon, compiled into one mobile app. You can pick between any of these games and then start playing - as well as move between the books and figure out what ones you enjoy playing the most. You’ll be making decisions and seeing what happens - and if you die, you will be brought back to the beginning of the chapter to try again.
Out There has you waking up, as an astronaut, but you’ve woken up in the middle of nowhere, in the galaxy. You need to try to survive by repairing your ship and using space gardens to refill your oxygen supply while avoiding dangerous beings in your travels. This text-based game has a comic book style, which is very nice!
80 Days is a game set back in 1872, where you are traveling your own route around the globe, via airships, submarine, mechanical camel, horse, hot-air balloon, steam-train and much more - trying to make it first across the world in hopes of winning your journey. Every moment takes time, so the story will affect the trust you earn, the secrets you discover, etc.
A Study in Steampunk is a game inspired by, well, a lot of different stories - from Dracula to Sherlock Holmes, with a bit of steampunk overlaid! You will play as a character in a country that’s about to go to war, becoming a secret agent who is trying to prevent that (or well, trying to cause it if you like chaos). It’s got a lot of choices and many paths to follow.
Choice of the Deadless sees you fighting demons and attorneys to win souls that will help you pay back your student loans - school surely has gotten expensive. This game has multiple choice options that can change and effect the story, allowing you to read quite big replies to each situation. You can defeat enemies, fall in love, pay off your loan or lose your own soul.
This text based game is fairly new, in which you wake up on a beach, confused, and encountering a nomad. This other person is also suffering from memory loss and both of you are just looking to seek revenge on whoever put you in this strange place and took hold of the memories you once had.
Wanderlust: Transsiberian allows you to board a railway and travel around real world locations through a narrative game all on your phone. There are plenty of choices to make on your adventure as you travel across the world, interacting with various different cultures and exploring strange places you might never get too in real life.