Colossal Cave Adventure for Android(TM)

Adventure PromotionalColossal Cave AdventureColossal Cave AdventureVersion 2.0.0 - Google's Android Operating System Games: Casual Release Notes Somewhere nearby is Colossal Cave, where others have found fortunes in treasure and gold, though it is rumored that some who enter are never seen again. Magic is said to work in the cave. While this was not the first text-based computer game, it broke new ground and inspired generations of gamers and programmers alike. Just a few of the memorable lines from the game to jog your memory and pique your interest.

  • You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike.
  • A hollow voice says "PLUGH".
  • A little dwarf just walked around a corner, saw you, threw a little axe at you which missed, cursed, and ran away.
  • Rubbing the electric lamp is not particularly rewarding. Anyway, nothing exciting happens.
  • A huge green fierce snake bars the way!

This implementation is a translation of Don Woods 430 point extension to William Crowther's original Colossal Cave Adventure. At this point, it pretty much stays true to the original. I do intend to continue expanding on it as time allows.

Screen Appearance

You can change the font size of the text displayed on the screen. Use the preferences to choose between small, medium (default), large, and extra-large.

Compass Rose and MRU List

The game includes a Compass Rose as well as other directional buttons to make it easier to play. You can toggle the Compass Rose on and off as you need it. In Landscape mode, there is also a Most Recently Used list which will contain up to the last 20 commands you've entered (excluding the compass points, up, down, yes, and no). Adventure Compass Rose

Text to Speech

Now you can have the game read aloud provided you have a Text to Speech library installed (Android 1.6+) and at least one English speaking locale. I don't know how useful this will be, but I'm enjoying it. Also, it will warn you when you start the application if you have it turned on, just in case you are in a "quiet" area (meeting at work, library, etc.). The Preferences menu item will allow you to turn on/off the feature as well as choose the locale you wish to speak. Adventure Text to SpeechSince I can't test every device out there, I would ask that if you have any issues with this feature, please email me. The market comment system is inadequate for support problems or inquiries. This feature is not required to play the game, it is just a fun addition that I wanted to offer.

Voice Recognition

If your device supports voice recognition, you can now speak your commands to the game. When you speak your command, the voice recognition engine will show you a list of words that it understood you to say, allowing you to choose the correct one from that list. You can customize the behavior of this as follows using the Preferences menu option:

  • Turn on/off the voice recognition capability.
  • Direct it to take the best match to your spoken command and automatically use it.
  • Direct it to show you up to 5 matches to your spoken command.
  • Direct it to show you up to 10 matches to your spoken command.

It does take a little time learning how to speak to it so that it will understand, but as the voice recognition technology continues to improve, so should your experience here. Also, you won't be able to use voice recognition for everything. The magic words, for example, aren't exactly something you can speak. Finally, for those words that don't distinguish themselves from others in the first 5 characters, I've built a translator to help. For example, you speak "Northeast" and select it, the game will translate that to "ne" which it will understand. If you encounter any of these that I've missed, contact me and I will add them. I don't know how useful this will be, but I'm enjoying it. Adventure Voice RecognitionSince I can't test every device out there, I would ask that if you have any issues with this feature, please email me. The market comment system is inadequate for support problems or inquiries. This feature is not required to play the game, it is just a fun addition that I wanted to offer.


With the release of version 1.4.0, the Save/Resume features have been extended to address some concerns and issues reported by users. The original designers of this game weren't too keen on you being able to save/resume yourself to a better score. So this functionality was intentionally limited.

  • Save and Resume can now be accessed by the menu. These menu items will simply cause the Save and Resume commands to be entered in-game as though you had typed them yourself. Therefore, the same restrictions apply - if you are answering a question, the game will require you answer it before you can successfully save or resume your game. What this ultimately accomplishes is that it puts the Save/Resume commands in a familiar place. In most modern games saving and resuming (restoring, restarting, etc.) are not part of the game command structure itself, but rather something you do when escaping to the main or in-game menu. As such, this should make it easier for everyone to find these commands.
  • Adding the ability to name your saved games. Now you can name your saved games to help you in managing your various experiments or attempts to finish the game. There is no limit to the number of games save, except for the memory on your phone.
  • Manage your saved game list. When viewing the Save list, select the replace button to replace the selected game with your current one, or press the delete button to remove it.
  • Saving a game will no longer quit. Now, after saving, you can continue to traipse through the caverns - at your own peril, of course - without having to restart the game.
  • Quitting will prompt you to save your game. When quitting, if you haven't just saved your game, you will be prompted to return to the game so that you can save it.

Adventure Save Resume

Common Questions/Themes

In reading the reviews of this application there appear to be some common questions, misunderstandings, and requests. So hopefully I can address these here. Remember, I cannot respond to the reviews as Google has not made this feature available, but I have set up support forums if you wish to use them.

  • This is a translation of the classic Colossal Cave Adventure. My intention in this first release was to keep it true to the original. For those users who are expecting commands like "use", etc. to work - sorry, but at this time, the command set defined by the original authors is what we have to work with. Check out the link below regarding the Historical Perspective. It is quite fascinating.
  • Goal - Like most adventure games, the goal is to wander around collecting treasures, solving puzzles, avoiding certain death, and generally making a nuisance of yourself to the local population. I don't want to give too much away at this point, but once you've gathered all the treasures, you might find yourself in an explosive situation at the end....
  • Standard Commands - As to whether or not it understands the "standard" commands (whatever they may be), keep in mind that this game was the forerunner in this class of games. As such, it more-or-less defined the standard. Please take a look at the Historical Perspective link below for a fascinating history of this game and its various incarnations. When you start the game, answer "yes" (no quotes) to the question about instructions. You can type "Help" and "Info" while in-game for more information. Keep in mind, part of the challenge of the game is trying to determine not only what to do, but how to do it. To get you started, here is a list of some of the commands that you might find useful.
    • Compass Points: N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW
    • Up or just U, Down or just D, In, Out
    • Take, Get, Drop, Eat, Feed, Drink, On, Off, Look
    • Open, Lock, Unlock
    • Kill, Attack, Throw
    • Inventory, Save, Resume
    • There are some magic words and other vocabulary which you will need to discover yourself.
  • Maps and Mapping. Part of the challenge of this game is figuring out where you are and how to get to where you want to go. Most of this adventure happens below ground in Colossal Cave. When you leave a room you may wind and twist around a bit before entering the next room, so if you leave a room using the West direction, you might enter the next from a direction other than the East Side. As a result, heading back to the first room by going East might not take you to where you expected to go. I don't have a map of this version of the game to share with you, but the following link (Map to the Colossal Cave) will give you a map to the original version (350 points) of this game. This version of the game you are playing has a few more places in it, but otherwise the map is accurate and can help you in most of your adventure.


You can find a number of these around, but not so many for the 430 point version of the game (which this is). I have a couple of them that I've worked out (used for testing) and have published some of them as a full walk-through. I've also included several short versions to help you get started.


When all else fails, just email me. There is even a link in the menu of the game you can use to email me directly from your device.

Historical Perspective

For more information on Colossal Cave Adventure and the history behind it, please visit here. Android is a trademark of Google Inc. Use of this trademark is subject to Google Permissions.