Empire of the Over-Mind (1981)

by Christopher
4 minutes read


Empire of the Over-Mind: A Revolutionary Text Adventure

Released in 1981, Empire of the Over-Mind was a groundbreaking text adventure game that challenged players with its unique gameplay mechanics and enigmatic puzzles. Developed by Scott Adams, the game was one of the first to allow players to input natural language commands, giving them a greater sense of freedom and immersion.


Empire of the Over-Mind is played from a first-person perspective, with the player controlling an unnamed protagonist on a quest to reach a mysterious red planet that hangs above their head. Unlike most text adventures of its time, which relied on directional commands like “north” and “south”, Empire of the Over-Mind allowed players to input specific locations or objects they wanted to interact with. This gave players a greater sense of control and allowed them to explore the game world in a more natural way.

The game world is relatively small, consisting of a series of interconnected locations, each with its own unique challenges and puzzles. Players must use their wits and ingenuity to solve these puzzles in order to progress through the game. Clues to the solutions can be found hidden in the game’s environment, as well as in a poem that was included with the game.


The story of Empire of the Over-Mind is shrouded in mystery and ambiguity. The player’s goal is to reach the red planet, but the reason for this is never fully explained. Along the way, the player encounters a variety of strange and enigmatic characters, each with their own motivations and secrets. The game’s ending is also open to interpretation, leaving players to speculate about the true nature of the Over-Mind and the significance of their journey.


Empire of the Over-Mind was a critical and commercial success, and is considered to be one of the most important text adventure games ever made. It was praised for its innovative gameplay mechanics, its challenging puzzles, and its immersive atmosphere. The game’s influence can be seen in many later text adventures, as well as in other genres of video games.


Empire of the Over-Mind is a classic text adventure game that still holds up today. Its unique gameplay mechanics, challenging puzzles, and enigmatic story make it a must-play for fans of the genre. While the game’s graphics and interface may seem dated by today’s standards, its core gameplay remains as engaging and rewarding as ever.

Score: 8/10

Tips for Playing

  • Pay attention to your surroundings and look for clues that can help you solve puzzles.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different commands. The game’s parser is surprisingly sophisticated and can understand a wide range of natural language input.
  • If you get stuck, don’t hesitate to consult the poem that came with the game. It contains valuable clues to the solutions of many of the game’s puzzles.


Empire of the Over-Mind is a timeless classic that deserves to be experienced by every fan of text adventure games. Its innovative gameplay mechanics, challenging puzzles, and enigmatic story make it a truly unique and unforgettable experience.

Review Score


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