2010: The Text Adventure Game is the second game based on the 1984 science fiction film 2010: The Year We Make Contact after the console game 2010: The Graphic Action Game. The player takes the role of a major in the United States Space Corps, a member of the expedition sent to investigate the fate of the Discovery space ship. The problem is that Discovery is close to crashing into Jupiter's moon Io and the player has to travel to it in a Russian exploration vessel called the Leonov. The task up ahead is to board the Discovery and repair it before the gravitational forces of Io pull it away.
Unlike most text adventure games, 2010 is not controlled by typing in verb-noun commands. Instead the player uses the keyboard's six function keys (or smart keys as they are called on the Adam) to interact with the world. The commands that are shown are context sensitive and depend on the situation, where the player is and what previous actions have been made. Moving around is done by the directional key, and by pressing return the examine menu appears. It consists of four options; to examine the area, its equipment, its items and any pods that are present. By pressing the home key the player is able to camp. Camping allows the player to organize items (picking up, dropping, examining them etc.), check life support (status of food, water, rest, power and medical supplies), recharging power and supplies, performing medical treatment and removing the spacesuit. By successfully performing various activities the player earns points. The current score is shown every time the player ends camping.