Stephen Colbert gears up for The Late Show with a classic text adventure

colbert text adventure
Ahead of his new gig succeeding Late Show host David Letterman, Stephen Colbert is promoting the show in a fantastically nerdy fashion with a browser-based text adventure game, Escape from the Man-Sized Cabinet. The brief game casts you as Colbert himself, killing time in his office while he waits for the September 8 launch of the show on CBS. You can play it here.

Colbert is a widely known as a card-carrying geek — with well-documented passions for Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, and Dungeons & Dragons — and that is very clear in the contents of the game, which offers plenty of wry references for fans of roleplaying games, both digital and analog.

Upon entering the eponymous man-sized cabinet, Colbert is transported to a magical kingdom that is definitely not Narnia, as far as the estate of C. S. Lewis is concerned. A friendly centaur then sets him on a task to defeat an evil wizard and save the kingdom. The game is full of smart, winking references that poke fun at the conventions of fantasy and video games, alongside plenty of general silliness for the less nerdily-inclined (such as a to-do list in Colbert’s office with items like “Learn to use to-do list,” “Save Cheerleader, World,” and “Work in lab late one night, use eyes to behold eerie sight.”)

Escape from the Man-Sized Cabinet was made using Twine, a fantastic open-source tool for creating interactive, non-linear stories. Escape definitely falls on the simpler end of what’s possible with Twine with no more than one or two branching options from any given point, and anyone could create something comparable with little to no programming experience. More sophisticated creations are possible for advanced users, integrating variables, conditional logic, CSS, and JavaScript. You can learn more about Twine, see what creations people have already made, and try it out for yourself here.

Stephen Colbert, who went from beloved Daily Show correspondent to nationally influential faux pundit with The Colbert Report, will assume David Letterman’s late night throne on this upcoming September 8 on CBS.

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