Before there were true, graphical massively multiplayer online role-playing games, like Meridian 59, Ultima Online, and EverQuest, there were text-based, multi-user dungeons, or MUDs. While they had their heyday in the early ’90s, the advent of 3-D graphics and faster internet speeds mostly relegated MUDs to the dustbin of history. Even I’m barely old enough to remember when they were a thing!

One company, however, is keeping the MUD flame burning. It’s called Iron Realms Entertainment, and on Saturday, it will launch its sixth(!) MUD, the sci-fi title Starmourn. The free game has five character classes, 12 races, player-governed factions, and over 1,000 space zones to explore. Its most advanced feature, so to speak, is a starship system that “uses ascii characters to represent space and what’s in it, is momentum-based and has almost an arcade-y feel to it.” Take that, Star Citizen!

In its press release, Iron Realms touts itself as “the only company in the world still actively creating and publishing new commercial MUDs.” The game goes live at 2 p.m. PDT tomorrow, Dec. 15, so check it out if you feel like a blast of nostalgia.

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.


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