I don't mind parsers -- as long as they're good parsers.
But I like having some type of graphics too.
Despite all the claims that a text description can adequately describe a scene so you can visualize it, in my case it can't, and I think most people can't. Even a small, pixelated image as was used in the early Legend Entertainment games is much better than a text description alone, with no picture at all. For me anyway.
Parsers have a bad reputation because of the bad ones.
Here's an example of a bad one:
You get a description of a scene with a walnut in it:
"You enter a small room. There is a green table with a purple walnut on it."
So you type
and the parser comes back with
"I don't understand walnut."
It doesn't understand a word it used in its own description.
and it comes back with
"There is no nut here."
So what word is it looking for?
Are you not supposed to pick up the walnut?
If not, why did the game mention it?
"The table is too large to pick up."
"I don't understand clean."
What does this @#%! game want?
So much fuss to do such a simple thing.
It's no wonder most people would rather just click their mouse on the walnut to pick it up -- or quickly find out for sure that they aren't supposed to pick it up and it wasn't that they hadn't chosen the right word.
That's why the quality of the parser is so important.
You need one with a good vocabulary that isn't a hassle to use -- one that understands the words it uses in its own descriptions.
Do you think a game with a mix of pointing and clicking and text parser commands would be viable/possible?
I think it's possible to do.
But I don't know how many people would use the parser.
Would it be worth all the extra work of developing a good parser when many players would just use the point-and-click without even trying the parser?