Instigator / Pro
0
1421
rating
127
debates
31.89%
won
Topic

Fallen London is the best free-to-play text based computer game ever made

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Voting points
0
2

With 2 votes and 2 points ahead, the winner is ...

Crocodile
Parameters
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Publication date
Last update date
Category
Games
Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Winner selection
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
5,000
Contender / Con
2
1427
rating
19
debates
36.84%
won
Description
~ 493 / 5,000

"Game" in this context: an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a touchscreen, virtual reality headset or monitor/TV set

Text-based: an electronic game that uses a text-based user interface, that is, the user interface employs a set of encodable characters such as ASCII instead of bitmap or vector graphics.

Free-to-play: Doesn't cost money to play

Burden of proof is shared

Round 1
Pro
my argument is simple.

Fallen London has a lot of material and four big ambition paths that each have a lot of character development and interesting plot. There is a lot of room for interaction between players, roleplay, and incredible amount of game play (as it can take months or even years to explore an entire ambition). Not to mention the big storyline known as Seeking Mr. Eaten's Name, which offers a very different type of game play not only from itself but also from other games, as rarely do you suffer so much in exchange merely for more information. 

Reviewers are also very intrigued by the relatively unique lore and concept, as from its website:

“Fallen London is an anomaly today. It’s a free-to-play, text-based browser game… it’s an open-world RPG that subsists mostly on the written word to spin bizarre tales… and it’s an adventure game that encourages imagination in its players rather than illustrate every scene on screen, as players fill in the blanks of their tales with spirited recreations of their journey in their heads.”
Unwinnable
“The bestest best words in all of gaming.”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun
“Superlative… every bit as vividly drawn as the worlds built by Rockstar in Red Dead Redemption, or Irrational in Bioshock, or Supergiant in Bastion.”
Tom Chick
“This is hands-down one of the best browser games we’ve ever played.”
Gamezebo

The writing style is also very unique. Even from the start, it's obvious this is not your standard game: "My dear sir, there are individuals roaming the streets of Fallen London at this very moment with the faces of squid! Squid! Do you ask them their gender? And yet you waste our time asking me trifling and impertinent questions about mine? It is my own business, sir, and I bid you good day." 

The horror within Seeking is especially well-written and showcases how much effort was put in.  

One example: "This is the last time. The walls of the well are studded with chunks of glass-sharp obsidian. You knew it must be so. But if you bleed to death before you drown, it will be for nothing.

Your flesh rips as you fall. Both your arms and one thigh are ragged tatters. You scream with pain and fury into the water. Too much blood! You won't have time to drown. You won't have time to drown.

You arranged your own betrayal. You made yourself a target. The venal and the vicious could not resist it. But they didn't chain you. They beat you and robbed you. Why can they not understand?"

The game play itself I will admit can get a bit slog especially with Nemesis's ending, or the Making Your Name in Empress Court, but there are a lot of options available for repeat even beside the main storyline, such as getting kicked out of University and trying to get back in, or exploring the Tiger's Labyrinth, or even (I'm not supposed to mention it, but I will for the sake to explain just how in-depth the game is) the secret Ambition Enigma which challenges your treasure hunting ability and understanding the few clues sent in your way. 

With words enough to full multiple novels, well-written storyline, good game play, Fallen London is no doubt the best free-to-play text based browser game ever made.
Con
Thanks to my opponent, @seldiora, for instigating this friendly discussion. I shall begin my arguments.

0.1- DEFINITIONS
My opponent has given several definitions within the rules of this debate.
I shall provide one more, but my opponent either has the obligation to accept, or to deny these:

Best: "of the most excellent, effective, or desirable type or quality."

0.2 BoP
My opponent outlines in the rules of this debate that the BoP is shared.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Contention 1: Reviews of Fallen London.

In his opening argument, my opponent gives several good reviews of Fallen London, and I have to admit, Fallen London is a good game (by the reviews). But, GOOD does not equal BEST. Metacritic, a reliable and nonbiased critics site (an equivalent to "Rotten Tomatoes"), rates the game at 77. A good score, but nonetheless, not the best. Zork is one of the first text based games ever created and also has more favorable reviews. The "best" game can be determined be the most influential. I argue that Zork is much more influential, as it paved the way for many text based games to come. Zork is currently free to download. 


Contention 2: Quantity AND Quality
I can also infer that "best" can be determined by how many people play the game.
Torn is a crime-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game.[1][2][3] The game was developed by British author Joe Chedburn in 2003, and is the largest text-based online video game.[4][5][6] The game involves a virtual world based around crime, violence, and business.[7][8]
From, this quote, I can suggest that since Torn is more largely played, it can relate to the overall quality of the game.
Torn is also rated higher than Fallen London, it's score is 4.7/5, which can be directly translated to 94/100, which is better than Fallen London's 77/100.
---------------------------------------------------------------

Rebuttals to my opponents arguments:
Reviewers are also very intrigued by the relatively unique lore and concept, as from its website:

“Fallen London is an anomaly today. It’s a free-to-play, text-based browser game… it’s an open-world RPG that subsists mostly on the written word to spin bizarre tales… and it’s an adventure game that encourages imagination in its players rather than illustrate every scene on screen, as players fill in the blanks of their tales with spirited recreations of their journey in their heads.”
Unwinnable
“The bestest best words in all of gaming.”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun
“Superlative… every bit as vividly drawn as the worlds built by Rockstar in Red Dead Redemption, or Irrational in Bioshock, or Supergiant in Bastion.”
Tom Chick
“This is hands-down one of the best browser games we’ve ever played.”
Gamezebo
I may mention to the VOTERS, that this source came from Fallen London's website. So, this source should be considered unreliable. Also, most of these reviews say ONE OF THE BEST, not THE BEST. This does not contribute to my opponent's side of the burden of proof.

The writing style is also very unique. Even from the start, it's obvious this is not your standard game: "My dear sir, there are individuals roaming the streets of Fallen London at this very moment with the faces of squid! Squid! Do you ask them their gender? And yet you waste our time asking me trifling and impertinent questions about mine? It is my own business, sir, and I bid you good day." 

The horror within Seeking is especially well-written and showcases how much effort was put in.  

One example: "This is the last time. The walls of the well are studded with chunks of glass-sharp obsidian. You knew it must be so. But if you bleed to death before you drown, it will be for nothing.

Your flesh rips as you fall. Both your arms and one thigh are ragged tatters. You scream with pain and fury into the water. Too much blood! You won't have time to drown. You won't have time to drown.
You arranged your own betrayal. You made yourself a target. The venal and the vicious could not resist it. But they didn't chain you. They beat you and robbed you. Why can they not understand?"

My opponent states that the writing style is very unique, but that is from his point of view. My opponent's opinion does not contribute to the BoP as well.

The game play itself I will admit can get a bit slog especially with Nemesis's ending, or the Making Your Name in Empress Court, but there are a lot of options available for repeat even beside the main storyline, such as getting kicked out of University and trying to get back in, or exploring the Tiger's Labyrinth, or even (I'm not supposed to mention it, but I will for the sake to explain just how in-depth the game is) the secret Ambition Enigma which challenges your treasure hunting ability and understanding the few clues sent in your way. 
If the game is a slog, than it is not the best, or the most perfect. Thank you.
Round 2
Pro
My opponent mentions Torn City as 4.7/5 but fails to mention the mere 18 people who have reviewed it. He also doesn't tackle Torn City game play itself, which is arguably just as repetitive as Fallen London, if only a little more expansive. The bigger problem is also no overarching story, so it forces the player to make their own goals which may eventually be worse. Fallen London characterizes important characters in its story, whether it be Edwards from Light fingers, the Manager from Hearts Desire, the Vake from Bag a Legend, or even the Killer from Nemesis, and especially making you suffer as much as Mr. Eaten. Torn City is relatively safe for the most part, and it's difficult to tell the mood of one part of game play from another. One part of Fallen London within Light fingers has you trapped in a coffin with very few options to escape. Another has you sail across the sea, awaiting the next opportunity to come. Torn City mechanics are poor and dry, and resemble Fallen London without the big stories to tell. 

As for Zork, the puzzles are interesting and fine, but the reviews are still mediocre, around 4/5 or 4.2/5. https://prnt.sc/sshj2m It has established a strong basis, and perhaps inspired a lot of people, but the game itself is rather simple. The story doesn't have that much lore, and the praise from Wikipedia seems to stem from its innovation relative to its time, the puzzles in general, so on and so forth. I mentioned Fallen London's mediocre parts because I admit it has flaws, but no game can be perfect. Unless there is another free-to-play browser game that somehow overcomes Fallen London's quality being able to beat its grind with interesting story snippets, then London remains the best. London is meant to be a game played over long time, anyways. A lot of people enjoy even idle games without any story whatsoever. London stands out from the crowd with its role playing options and its in-depth storyline.
Con
Thanks for the quick reply, I will begin my argument.

My opponent mentions Torn City as 4.7/5 but fails to mention the mere 18 people who have reviewed it. He also doesn't tackle Torn City game play itself, which is arguably just as repetitive as Fallen London, if only a little more expansive. The bigger problem is also no overarching story, so it forces the player to make their own goals which may eventually be worse. Fallen London characterizes important characters in its story, whether it be Edwards from Light fingers, the Manager from Hearts Desire, the Vake from Bag a Legend, or even the Killer from Nemesis, and especially making you suffer as much as Mr. Eaten. Torn City is relatively safe for the most part, and it's difficult to tell the mood of one part of game play from another. One part of Fallen London within Light fingers has you trapped in a coffin with very few options to escape. Another has you sail across the sea, awaiting the next opportunity to come. Torn City mechanics are poor and dry, and resemble Fallen London without the big stories to tell. 
My opponent says only 18 people have reviewed it. But, also, my opponent fails to mention that only 4 people have reviewed Fallen London.  If Fallen London has flaws, it is not the best game. I think my opponent has failed to realize that best does not equal good, which I stated in my Round 1 argument. Torn City, is more expansive, which makes it better. My opponent does not give reasons why Torn City mechanics are poor and dry, therefore not fulfilling his burden of proof.

It is basically impossible for my opponent to fulfill his side of the BoP.
As for Zork, the puzzles are interesting and fine, but the reviews are still mediocre, around 4/5 or 4.2/5. https://prnt.sc/sshj2m It has established a strong basis, and perhaps inspired a lot of people, but the game itself is rather simple. The story doesn't have that much lore, and the praise from Wikipedia seems to stem from its innovation relative to its time, the puzzles in general, so on and so forth. I mentioned Fallen London's mediocre parts because I admit it has flaws, but no game can be perfect. Unless there is another free-to-play browser game that somehow overcomes Fallen London's quality being able to beat its grind with interesting story snippets, then London remains the best. London is meant to be a game played over long time, anyways. A lot of people enjoy even idle games without any story whatsoever. London stands out from the crowd with its role playing options and its in-depth storyline.
4.2 or 4 out of 5 stars is still higher than 77/100. My opponent has conceded and thank you.
Round 3
Pro
my opponent only looks at metacritic reviews and forgets about other sites, such as touch arcade, rock paper shotgun, engadget, all supporting and giving it favorable reviews. Torn City only has reviews from more specific critics such as MMO's.com, ind13, MMOBomb, so forth. It clearly has a far more restricting audience. It is undeniable that the game play is worse than fallen london, you are limited to gym, education, buying items, completing small missions for merely rewards (and no gain of lore of story for stronger empathy towards the story). You know practically nothing about your hirers' personality even as you progress onwards, and there are hardly any secrets to be explored. Torn City is just too simple compared to Fallen London. 

As for Zork, it might've been mediocre fine and an old game, but it's still a bit of a stretch to say it was incredibly powerful as a game on its own. New text based adventures offer more depth and tricks to solve, and the old mechanics are rough to say the least. A lot of people give somewhat high reviews but their summary is silly, "you go on an adventure and get eaten by a grue", which is nowhere near as complex as Fallen London's "gather people to play a card game" (Heart's Desire), "try to steal a diamond but discover horrific experimentation in the orphanage" (Light fingers), "fight dangerous men and try to get revenge on the one who killed your love" (Nemesis), "track down assassins and figure out what--or who-- the monstrous Vake is" (Bag a Legend), or even "destroy yourself to a seemingly meaningless end as you replicate the experiences of the mistreated Mr. Eaten" (Seeking Mr. Eaten's Name). Zork had good puzzles for its age, but Fallen London clearly understood you needed a story with depth, with plot twists, with mystery filled throughout. The characterization is far stronger than Zork, which focuses mostly on you and the game play of getting out of the dangerous temple, which many find annoying since it's not very straight forward. FL's Grind may be a double-edged sword, but it also helps casual gamer play more and not worry about constantly having to restart due to getting eaten by a grue.

Thanks to my opponent for accepting this debate, and I hope voters will agree with me that Fallen London is the best FTP text based browser game ever made.
Con
Thanks for responding so quickly again. I'll begin my rebuttal.

my opponent only looks at metacritic reviews and forgets about other sites, such as touch arcade, rock paper shotgun, engadget, all supporting and giving it favorable reviews. Torn City only has reviews from more specific critics such as MMO's.com, ind13, MMOBomb, so forth. It clearly has a far more restricting audience.
Torn City has a much larger audience than Fallen London. Millions play it, and as I mentioned before, it is the largest FTP text based game. My opponent mentions that Torn City has reviews from specific critics such as MMO's.com. But, what makes these review sites so "specific"?

It is undeniable that the game play is worse than fallen london, you are limited to gym, education, buying items, completing small missions for merely rewards (and no gain of lore of story for stronger empathy towards the story). You know practically nothing about your hirers' personality even as you progress onwards, and there are hardly any secrets to be explored. Torn City is just too simple compared to Fallen London. 
But, you forgot the one thing that sets them apart. Torn is MMO. Which means, there are other players. This enables much more interaction that simply cannot be created in Fallen London. Also, there are so many more roles and jobs that you can be Torn City.
As for Zork, it might've been mediocre fine and an old game, but it's still a bit of a stretch to say it was incredibly powerful as a game on its own. New text based adventures offer more depth and tricks to solve, and the old mechanics are rough to say the least. A lot of people give somewhat high reviews but their summary is silly, "you go on an adventure and get eaten by a grue", which is nowhere near as complex as Fallen London's "gather people to play a card game" (Heart's Desire), "try to steal a diamond but discover horrific experimentation in the orphanage" (Light fingers), "fight dangerous men and try to get revenge on the one who killed your love" (Nemesis), "track down assassins and figure out what--or who-- the monstrous Vake is" (Bag a Legend), or even "destroy yourself to a seemingly meaningless end as you replicate the experiences of the mistreated Mr. Eaten" (Seeking Mr. Eaten's Name).
It's not a stretch. Zork was the pioneer in text based games. It was also considered to be a "rich game", due to its story telling. The high reviews still count, no matter if there summary is silly. They have experience in gaming. My first contention did not state that Zork had better mechanics. I stated it because of its influence. That contention still remains unrefuted.

Zork had good puzzles for its age, but Fallen London clearly understood you needed a story with depth, with plot twists, with mystery filled throughout. The characterization is far stronger than Zork, which focuses mostly on you and the game play of getting out of the dangerous temple, which many find annoying since it's not very straight forward. FL's Grind may be a double-edged sword, but it also helps casual gamer play more and not worry about constantly having to restart due to getting eaten by a grue.
My opponent has again failed to realize that best does not equal good. The BoP is shared. Which means, it's also on my opponent. My opponent has not proved that Fallen London is better than every other FTP text-based game. Ergo, vote CON!