Before those hardcore and action-packed video games today that is mostly characterized by their visually striking and highly realistic gameplay, we were once introduced to text-based games. As what the term connotes, these are old-school games that you can classify as interactive fiction. Most of them are merely non-graphical and players interact primarily through texts and simple commands. While text-based games are no longer at their peak, we still have a decent number of independent developers attempting to recreate and recapture this nostalgic text-based gaming experience. Torn, for instance, is one of the longest-running and currently the largest text-based online video game today. The game managed to capture all the retrospective elements of a classic text-based game while successfully incorporating modern touches to it including the massively multiplayer online (MMO) features.
Torn embarks you on a simple yet surprisingly addictive text-based role-playing adventure. The game takes you to a virtual world of Torn City where crimes and violence are more prevalent. It generally follows the standard formula for most crime-themed video games where you start your journey as a low-level street criminal until you become the master of your own craft. Achieving such social stature though will require extreme hard work, patience, and perseverance. Torn City is a world painted by greed where only the strongest and the most powerful can survive. If you think you have what it takes to rule this corrupted city, feel free to explore this game and see how far you can go.
Please be mindful that Torn is not the kind of game that you can finish in one sitting. In fact, this game has no limits and it can run infinitely. Torn requires a long-term engagement due to its real-time progression and while most MMORPGs today are embracing fast-paced gameplay and automated features, Torn remained faithful to its root. It demands heavy grinding to earn resources and for you to progress. Unlike other RPGs where you can simply skip all NPC conversations, Torn requires you to read and respond to every text-based interactions. Every decision you make will change your path in the game and it is very crucial to pay attention to every detail. You might end up becoming a powerful faction leader, a kingpin, a successful business tycoon, and much more. The fate of your character lies in your hands.
The mechanics of the game are generally simple and easily manageable. The first step is to sign up for an account. You can sign in using your existing Torn account or you can create a new one using the app itself. This allows you to synchronize and access your account across different devices that you are logged in. As soon as the game starts, it prompts you to the home screen that gives you quick access to almost everything in the game. There is a navigation panel above the screen showcasing interactive icons that will take you to Messages, Events, City, Missions, Job, Gym, Property, Education, Crime, Jail, Casino, Hospital, Factions, Forums, and more.
Unlike typical text-based adventure games, Torn will not focus much on a quest system. There is no specific plot to follow and the entire story of this game will be based on your decisions. You have full control over your career, your social stature, and even the community you want to be part of. However, before doing anything alone, you have to learn the basics first by completing George’s Tutorial Missions. George will welcome you in the city and will teach you all the do’s and don'ts, the how-to’s and where-to’s, the navigation, and more.
As a newcomer in Torn, you start your journey with base money of $250. There are two forms of currency in this game, the virtual in-game cash and the Points which you can purchase from the Points Market. The main goal in this game is to become successful in your chosen craft. Whether you want to be a bounty hunter, an educator, a business tycoon, a criminal mastermind, or even just a professional gambler, you have to utilize the platform to reach your goal.
Before getting a well-established career and reputation in this game, you have to start from the very scratch and slowly build yourself up to the ladder. You cannot expect to go somewhere with only $250 in your pocket and residing in an old messy shack. Luckily, Torn brings a great number of ways to earn money to give you a headstart. The first thing you need to do is to find a Job. Check the Newspaper, open the Job Listing page, or the Classified Ads, and see the available job you can take. To make the experience more realistic, all applicants must pass through a one-on-one interview. Here, the interviewer will throw some relevant questions that you must answer correctly in order to be hired. The game also highlights a real-time payment system. It means that when the job says you’ll be paid $150 daily, you literally have to wait 24 hours to receive your salary.
The job might give you a stable income but there is nothing faster way to earn money than committing a crime. By tapping the Crime icon from the navigation panel, you’ll get the list of crimes you can commit and earn rewards in return (unless you get caught). Of course, you cannot expect your character to rob a bank on the first day. You start off with some petty crimes such as piracy, shoplifting, pickpocketing, and more. The more crimes you do, the more experience you gain. If you have earned enough experience and reached a certain level, you can now advance to bigger crimes like arson, grand theft auto, kidnapping, bombings, and more.
If you’re feeling lucky, you can also earn money by playing in Casino. You are given 75 Casino tokens every day. You can gamble the money and choose among the great selections of games from Slot to Lottery. Believe it or not, you can also earn items by searching the city dump. You’ll be surprised at what item you can find in the trash. You can sell these kinds of stuff and earn money in return. If you are desperately in need of bigger cash, you can also apply for loans and agree to its term.
In order to progress efficiently in this game, there must be a career growth. You cannot just settle on the same job or the same petty crimes all the time. To do so, you have to learn and acquire new skills and knowledge. By tapping the Education (Edu) icon on the navigation panel, you can start taking courses in the local college. Most of the courses allow you to increase your working stat which might soon lead to a job promotion or better yet a career switch. Some courses even allow you to do new crimes, unlock new areas, provide unique skills, and make special abilities available. The catch, however, is that courses often take weeks (literally weeks!) to complete and they cost money.
Your success is also determined by your character’s attributes. From time to time, you will have to fight against other players and you must be strong enough to win. Otherwise, you might find yourself in the hospital which limits what you can do while you are in a recovery phase. To make you more efficient, you have to visit the Gym regularly and use your energy to train. You can distribute the energy in any of the four attributes; Strength, Defense, Speed, and Dexterity. You also have to pay attention to your loadout. Equip yourself with reliable weapons and arm yourself with the best gear to give you a better chance of surviving battles. If you work hard enough, you can elevate your status and improve not just your line of work but also your properties. How about owning a mansion or maybe a private island?
Another notable feature of the game is the multiplayer element allowing you to interact with other players and be part of Torn’s active community. Knowing that Torn was initially and originally launched as a browser game way back in 2003 and eventually ventured into mobile platform in 2018, the game managed to establish a huge following. There are tens of thousands of players who log in daily to experience this addictive text-based crime-themed adventure. The multiplayer elements in Torn can be found in many areas. There are PvP campaigns to explore and there is also a faction system you can be part of. You can even access the in-game forum and interact with the online community. You can also be part of in-game events, community events, or those organized by independent players or faction leaders.
Tap the Faction icon on the navigation panel to see the list of factions looking for new members. Tap the faction name and hit the Apply to this Faction button. It is up to the faction leader to accept your application or not. If you already established a high reputation or if you have enough money, you can also create a faction of your own, set your own rules and policy among members. Like most faction systems, you can also be engaged in faction wars too. It is also important to increase your battle stats in this game. You can go against any player. You can search their names or access them through forums or chats. By tapping their profile, you can attack the player by selecting the gun icon. Your attributes will play a huge role in maximizing your chances of winning. So better prepare yourself before initiating an attack.
Torn provides us with a unique gaming experience. Knowing that the popularity of text-based games already declined decades ago, the effort made by the people behind this game is something you can commend. It has been around since 2003 and still getting a huge following and a growing online community. The simplicity of the game has become its greatest strength. The more you progress in this game, the more rewarding the experience can be. To top it all, Torn is a game that you can confidently download on your mobile without worrying about your phone storage.
It may not be a game for everyone especially for those who are rooting for amazing graphics and hardcore gameplay but still worth exploring. Torn may not be a visual delight but your imagination in this game is your limit. You can visualize your character and how you make a transition from being a low-level street criminal to a powerful mastermind! It is also impressive to see how this game remained faithful to the classic grinding experience.
There is definitely no shortcut in Torn and everything pays off well if you have the right determination, hard work, and patience.
Play online here.