I'm designing a 'retro-style' video game, in which the user has to navigate relatively complex (around six or seven options on the screen at a time) text-based menus very often (once every minute, approximately, depending on what the player is doing).
Given that these menus are entirely text-based, how should I design them for maximum usability? The way I'm personally familiar with is the [O]ption system, (which happens to be incredibly easy to code) where the user inputs the letter in brackets in order to select that option, but I've found that a lot of people can't figure out what to do when presented with such a screen.
The next most obvious way is to have the user press the arrow keys to highlight an option and press enter to confirm it, which people seem to be able to pick up more easily (why?). The problem there is that the user is going to be navigating these menus a lot, and should be able to get through them quickly- this option slows them down, plus it takes significantly more effort to make it work.
Does anyone have any other ideas, or know how to make the [o]ption system more user-friendly?