Under The Radar is a weekly look at games that have ended up hidden through lack of coverage, but shouldn’t have been. If you have a game that you think should be featured here, leave it in the comments and I’ll be sure to check it out.

Last week, I highlighted a visual novel named Digital: A Love Story that uses some of the conventions of text adventures. As Fuck This Jam- a game jam that had devs working on genres they had problems with- just ended, I thought I’d take a look at some of the text games that addressed the genre either through parody or sincerity.

The Message is actually more mechanically similar to Digital than a traditional text game. Using the Twine engine, The Message has players reading text and clicking on hyperlinks to get around to more text and some pictures. The story itself is about how Earth the lead up and world after an intergalactic attack from an unknown group of aliens who leave a message for humans.

Since the game is so sparse mechanically and narratively, it’s hard to speak much about it without spoiling it, so I’ll leave it to you to play the fairly short game for free here.

Soldier does on a few interesting things with the text adventure genre. First, the text parser players use don’t require verbs. Instead, players use tab to switch to change between ‘interact’ and ‘examine’ modes, and just type in the item name. It’s an ingenious little twist that keeps me from trying to use ‘put’ and ‘place’ verbs and then groaning out of irritation. The other neat twist is a turn-based combat system. Here, players type in areas they would like to attack on the enemy, and some behind the scenes numbers determine success rates and damage.

The story itself is about a combat equipped lady who has woken up in a mysterious location filled with pods and deadly robots. You can download it through the game’s submission page here.

Both games are short, as the jam was only a week and a half long, but their approach to the text based game genre provide some fun ideas.