How do you update an old-school text adventure game to run on a modern smartphone? You teach it to talk.
This is an update to an idea I was playing with a few years ago. I ported a Z-Machine interpreter to Windows Phone to see if you could play a text adventure on a device with a virtual keyboard. It seemed to work fine and then went into the closet until last week when I was thinking about the new voice functionality in Windows Phone 8.1. So I got out the app and spent about an hour upgrading it to Windows Phone 8.1 and adding the speech recognition and the text to speech functionality.
The surprising thing is how well it works. There are a few methods you can use to do speech recognition on Windows Phone. I used the simplest one, the generic recognizer (so I didn’t have to tell it what words to listen for) – and it works great. It was so easy I’m surprised its not found in lots of more apps in the store.