From the Slashdot blurb:
1UP has just published a nine-part article on Interactive Fiction, the politically correct name for what used to be called text adventure games (e.g. Zork, Stationfall, etc.). The feature includes an overview of the genre and its history, lengthy interviews with the genre's leading current creators, and resources for aspiring IF writers. Anyone who has fond memories of typing their way through dank caverns or outsmarting leather goddesses and ravenous bugblatter beasts with nothing but a keyboard should read this -- not just for the nostalgia, but to see what's become of the format.
Also, you can play "spot the mention of LiveJournal".
Does anyone have memories of such games? I never had much chance to play them, but I heard of things such as Zork and The Pawn.
Reading the article, I saw a comment that reminded me of "Choose Your Own Adventure" books (where they have pages or numbered sections and occasionally, you get to make choices and turn to a different page/section depending on your choice). I was never much good at them, but I did enjoy them.
There are also MUDs (and relatives such as MUCK and MOO), which I'm not familiar with, either. From what I understand, though, they may be vaguely similar to IF but aren't the same thing. There's also a Slashdot comment arguing that they're not the same and that skills don't transfer well because they're rather different environments. But the low-graphics bit is there.
Some of the other Slashdot comments are also worth reading if you remember such games and/or want to try some out (or maybe write your own?). As usual, you have to find them amidst a number of irrelevant comments, but there are some nice things there.