Acting as a prequel to beloved atmospheric browser simulation A Dark Room, this roguelike adventure for iOS sends you across a hostile wasteland, where hunger and thirst are constant companions and death is just the beginning...
A twine interactive fiction game where you play as someone living with depression, developed by Zoe Quinn, Patrick Lindsey and Isaac Schankler, Depression Quest hopes to offer empathy and sympathy for what can be a very painful condition. Some awkward prose is balanced by its ambitiousness in subject matter, and makes a convincing case for how games can help us all understand each other better.
Descend into a dungeon with your brother Erasmus in this strange Twine text adventure, again and again and again and again. Failure is often the only way forward, so explore and experiment if you expect to uncover any of the game's endings, much less the real one.
Fans of zombies and sepia tinged art rejoice! Hyptosis has come out with another installment of humorous horror with Riverside. Taking place in the same continuity of his popular Sagittarian series of games, Riverside is a faster, almost parodiac take on the apocalypse. It won't win over those cold on the Choose Your Own Adventure style, but fans of Hyptosis' work will find it a fun bit of comedy.
You Were Made For Loneliness, a Twine narrative adventure by the Tsukareta author collective, weaves a tale of memory, the post-apocalypse, regret, murder, and in its own skewed way, love. It's a disjointed presentation, heavy on experimentation, but those who love exploring and piecing together a narrative from many component parts will find it a very intriguing experiation.
Like her namesake in One Thousand and One Night, Scheherazade Williams is a story-teller. Fresh off her latest success, and two new Holly Awards, she opens her email to discover that it's not enough for her bosses at Narrative, Inc.--they want more, and they want it now! But after 500 stories for this commercial enterprise, the well of new stories has run dry.
Jonas Kyratzes delivers an experience both magical and melancholy in this Twine-based choose-your-own-adventure game as you play one of seven heroes chosen to take up arms against a legendary beast that rises every hundred years to bathe the land in flame.
Less a game and more a community-driven storytelling experiment, this collection of tales and comics from different authors and artists covers everything from serious sci-fi to epic fantasy, and even humour. The catch? You get to vote on how each new installment of the stories you're reading will go.
What do you do when doom threatens your sweet land of sugary goodness? You hone your skills and fight back! Play as one of three classes, each with different strengths, as you fight your way through mysterious evil to save the world.
Choice of the Deathless combines the rich, imaginative gameplay of the classic all text adventures of yesteryear and fuses them with the evocative and fully-realized world of Max Gladstone's novels.
We covered Failbetter Games' eerie and elegant text-based MMO RPG three years ago when it was called Echo Bazaar, and now the game is bigger and better than ever. In a vast subterranean city where secrets are currency, Hell has an embassy, and murder and romance go hand in hand, create a character and take part in tons of unlockable storylines as you grow.
Once again that cold, dark room beckons, this time in a handy, portable version that allows the addictive gameplay to follow you everywhere as you explore the unknown. Part sim, part adventure, gameplay choices expand and unfold as you play, and all from such humble beginnings... a fire that needs to be fed.
Lynnea Glasser (formerly Dally) returns to the interactive fiction scene with Coloratura. Play as a displaced alien who only seeks to get away from the blind, apathetic humans and return to their place of bliss. Without the ability to directly manipulate objects, you can 'color' the humans moods to create situations beneficial to your goal. Whether dealing with them violently or more peacefully, you will get back to your resting place. Whatever it takes.
Bro, Burning Man is like so awesome! But you know what's not so awesome? Having to hoof it through the desert back home because someone stole your car and Bitcoins (yes, Bitcoins). Thus begins your Desert Hike EX, in the form of a hilarious text-based adventure full of geeky references and nerdy shenanigans.
In this follow up to 2012's hit text-based superhero RPG, as a relatively newly established powered hero you find yourself struggling to juggle a failing public opinion, increasingly dangerous anti-powered sentiments... and rent. When the option to take part in a reality TV show designed to create the next great hero defense force presents itself you leap at it... but there are more dangers around you and those you love than you might expect.
A Dark Room will run quietly by itself in a tab in your browser with only minimal interaction at first. There's just you, the dark, dwindling wood, and a fire to stoke. But what might that light attract? What could you build if you dared venture the cold quiet outdoors? With gameplay that will remind you of Candy Box! but a decidedly creepier, more intriguing bent to go with simulation and adventure, A Dark Room is well worth checking out.
After your rather unceremonious birth, you're sent to the temple of the Silene Monks, where you choose whether to be a medic, a warrior or an engineer. From there, it's up to you to make the right choices to fulfill your destiny and, most crucially, not die. But Trial of the Clone is more than a simple choose-your-own-adventure. Along the way you'll gain stat points, weapons and items, which you can keep track of via a built-in D&D-style Adventure Sheet. These come to play in battles which pop up occasionally and affect the course of the story. Battles are pretty simple: You deal damage to your opponent based on your given stats plus a random number from 0 to 3, and then your opponent does the same — the last one standing wins. Loss in a battle doesn't necessarily mean death; it may just mean being relocated to a different department (say, engineering, where physical strength, ability and charisma are less in demand).
A dark chamber, a missing memory, and a splitting headache... to get to the truth and find your way out, you'll have to encounter some uncomfortable truths as you solve puzzles and explore in this atmospheric horror text adventure.
An experimental text-based adventure game from ScriptWelder that has you waking up disoriented in an unknown place, trying to get information from a source that not too eager to give anything away. A short but intelligent sci-fi yarn, with an up-to-the-task conversational parser that the author is dedicated to improving through community feedback.
The zombie apocalypse is hard on everyone, and paddling down a dank bayou isn't anyone's idea of a good time... unless you're playing the latest chapter in Hyptosis's choose-your-own-adventure series. With all the blood and profanity you've come to expect, if you enjoy this particular brand of interactive fiction and don't mind some unforeseeable deaths, make time in your coffee break to take a leisurely paddle down the water.
In this short text adventure from Hyptosis, lead a party of mercenaries from the esteemed guild, the Children of Brinn, on a job to solve the supernatural problems plaguing a tiny town. The choices you make determine who lives and dies and gets a face full of acid, and provides a brief but solid little diversion brimming with potential for future installments.
Choice of Games and Alana Joli Abbott deliver a gorgeously detailed and immersive text adventure for iOS and Android set against the backdrop of mystical ancient China. Outwit or succumb to mischievous fox spirits, challenge or support the emperor, become a student or one day a teacher of an ancient art, and craft a legacy that will stand the test of time.
When your homeworld falls to an alien threat, you find yourself embroiled in a mess of intergalactic politics that could influence its very survival. Choice of Games delivers a sci-fi text adventure for your mobile device that's lighter on character development than usual in favour of delivering an action-packed story that will have you questioning who you can trust on and off the battlefield, provided you survive it.
A small time data smuggler in the corporate-dominated futuristic city of NeoSushi, Dogeron Kenan's job is to transport passcodes in his cybernetic arm, trying to keep one step ahead of both the lawful and unlawful who want to stop him. But things just went south, and now everyone in the town is out to get him. It's going to be a long night. An excellent piece of interactive fiction by the Cabrera Brothers, with an atmosphere that more than makes up for parser issues.
Holding onto your job just got a whole lot more difficult when your boss, a ruthless woman known around the office as The Crocodile, informs you that the estate agent who makes the least in the next several months will be fired. You may have the drive and the determination, but even you might find Crowther Terrace a difficult property to move... one might say you only have a ghost of a chance. A delightfully witty and even a little spooky text adventure from Choice of Games and the talented Gavin Inglis.
A cinematic simulation of hacking that owes more to Wargames and Sneakers than Kevin Mitnick and Adrian Lamo, Uplink: Hacker Elitecyberpunk intrigue. Originally released by Introversion Software in 2001, and streamlined into the Hacker Elite version for the US market, the latter is now available for purchase from the lovely indie and retro game outlet GOG, and it's a worthy addition to any gamers library.
The life of a hero is never easy, but sometimes just breaking into it is hard enough. As the child of two of the city's former most beloved heroes, you'd think you'd have an easy time getting noticed, but a tumultuous past means the chips are stacked against you. In Choice of Games' newest narrative text RPG, do you have what it takes to become a superhero legend in your own time? Or will you die in obscurity if you make the wrong choices?
Alone in a library, you find a mysterious book that quite literally draws you in. You'll have to learn every lesson it contains if you ever want to be seen again. The Grimoire is an entry into our 10th Casual Gameplay Design Competition, with the theme of "Escape".
Long has it been dictated that a woman in a fairy tale had better be either beautiful, meek, humble as apple pie, or a mix thereof. Someone hates her, a prince wants to save her, and some sparkly fairy dust is going to cause some type of dilemma. Throughout it all, this princess is going to hmmm and sigh but ultimately go along with the ride because, hey, she's a damsel in distress and you best not forget it! Fortunately for us, Moacube didn't just forget it, they threw it out of the proverbial tower turret to the alligator infested moat below. In the team's dazzling visual novel Cinders, they charge headfirst into the outdated and come out the other side with brand spanking shiny and new.
No one likes being stuck inside city walls when all they want is the sweet freedom of open land. Problem is, getting out is quite tricky when there's a war raging outside the city walls and the guards are under strict order to not let anyone in or out. In Shifter, you have a trick or two up your sleeves, but in order to make use of that trick you need to get to know people. In this point and click escape adventure use your charm to help shift into a new point of view, literally.
In Sagittarian 4: Berger by Hyptosis, you rejoin your old friends, Sage, Dusty, and Anna, in their quest to find safety after the zombie apocalypse. The small band of survivors are no longer strangers, but friends. Some are even lovers. Can you protect these people you've grown so close to over the last four games, or will you have to send them to their certain deaths for the good of the group? Combining great artwork, funny and well-developed dialogue, and even a dynamic soundtrack, it's an experience that really sticks with you.
Gamer Mom, by Mordechai Buckman and Kyler Kelly, is a unique text adventure about a Mom trying to convince her family to play World of Warcraft together and mend their broken relationship. But it won't be easy! Your daughter hates you and only wants to text on her cellphone all day and your husband is a workaholic who doesn't want to spend anytime as a family. Even if you manage to succeed in your goal, the game doesn't end there and you might be surprised at what happens next. Gamer Mom is a short, but lasting, experience that manages to be sad, poignant, and even funny...just like life itself.
Want a solid retro arcade shooter? ASCII and you'll receive Battle for Asciion, by Relevo Video Games. Designed with a lot of love for its textual aesthetic, Battle for Asciion is a solid and challenging shoot-em-up, though hampered by its required button-mashing.
In this exciting installment of the Choice series by Choice of Games you're plunged into a world on the brink of destruction. Nuclear missiles? Widespread famine? Nope, it's the age old killer: Zombies! Pick your course of survival in this gripping narrative that propels you toward what could be your salvation or your untimely demise!
It's a dark and stormy night. Wait, no, it's pretty sunny outside, so neither of those. You take the leaflet from the mailbox... gahh, no, not that, either. You know what? It doesn't matter. It's time to play. Time to play JayIsPonies, an "epic" choose your own adventure sort of game where you collect pizza and probably do a bunch of other halfway crazy stuff!
This lyrical work of interactive fiction, brainchild of Jonas Kyratzes who created The Book of Living Magic, will envelope you in a surrealistic experience of discovery, a gentle stroll through a timeless pastoral state where your decisions are rewarded with rich verse and life-pondering revelations. Each passage presents you with a choice which will determine your path; stroll slowly through the experience and play more than once to fully appreciate the outcomes of each option. Arcadia: a Pastoral Tale elevates the oft misjudged browser game onto the loftier plane of artistic poignancy.
Sometimes receiving a message can be so exciting that the letters seem to jump off the page. Then those letters form into a giraffe, which will dart across the landscape pursued by snakes, sharks and Godzilla. Okay, that just might be the interactive music video for Japanese rock group Andop's song "Bell". With an amazing combination of typographic and charcoal art, the game so visually interesting that it makes up for the CPU-hogging and somewhat loose gameplay. There are probably easier ways to post a missive, but this is definitely one of the most fun.
Sure everyone's played a fighter, mage or thief, but few have had experience with the bard. Sapient Games has created a whole world revolving around this character in their text-based RPG, The Bard's Journey. Using your mouse, choose the options below the text to either take an action in that area or to move on to the next area (which can also be done with the compass). You can compose your own music to play in battle, but balance is the key in order to get the set of bonuses you desire. Even without the music writing, this RPG is fun and the story is interesting, so feel free to pack up your lute and use the default songs for a quick dive into a melodic, mystical world.
It's always intriguing when a game developer takes a technical, even mundane, activity and makes it into a competition. KernType, a unique puzzle game developed by Mark MacKay for edutainment site Method of Action, charges you with dragging the middle letters of a given word for a given font to make it aesthetically perfect. Your result will be compared against a professional typographer's, and you will be given a score based on how close you get to their solution. It's not a concept that survives multiple play-throughs, but it's quirky fun.
The Night Circus is a text-based advergame that requires Facebook or Twitter made by Failbetter Games in collaboration with the author of the book by the same title. By turns elegant, mystical, adorable, fantastic, ornate, and even delicious, it will pique your curiosity as effectively as it satisfies your craving for the most beautiful imagery of all: that which you see with your mind's eye.
The sequel to 2010's text adventure RPG Choice of Romance has arrived, and picks up right where the original left off. Will you be able to hold onto your new power in the court, or have you just painted a very large target on your back... and who can you trust to watch out for a dagger pointed at you when everyone has their own agenda?
Katharine Neil brings us a quirky, cheeky adventure about what it takes you get you up off your butt and enjoying the great outdoors. Provided your idea of "enjoyment" is trekking all over the wilderness, being outwitted by devious animals, set to work by devilish children, and tracking down a truly unreasonable amount of teddy-bear eyeballs. An entertaining, bawdy adventure game with a ton of sass and creativity.
Simulation hits home in this advergame meant to raise awareness about poverty. Even though you don't have a job, the bills keep piling up, and you have insurance, a student loan, and a child to think of. You're down to your last thousand dollars... can you make it through the month? A sobering if a little ham-handed look at the lives of some people who aren't quite as lucky.
Hospitals are full of all sorts of hazards, like paper robes that don't close all the way, doctors with cold hands, and... zombies? HM! Lynnea Dally's undead apocalypse begins with you waking from a rather impromptu bout of unconsciousness in the hospital radiation room, but you have more things than a rather impressive headache to worry about in this horror interactive fiction game.
YFYIAR is a simple interactive fiction game where you must escape from a room. As play progresses, however, the conventions of normal text adventures begin to break down as the computer narrator begins to express its dislike for you, your humanity, and all it entails.
Crafted in the style of classic 'choose your own adventure' games, Zebulon features the exploits of a somewhat wayward space crew. The story itself is relatively simple; you're the captain of a small ship that runs regular courier missions for Asmico, a delivery and service IT company. With you are your shipwright and communication officer; your shipright Hariett is a straight-laced, by-the-book stick in the mud while Reynolds, the communication officer, is unlikely to win 'Employee of the month' anytime soon. Your choices in your interactions with them, and certain events, will determine your outcome.
What's in a life? What makes up a person? Are we influenced by our environment more than we realise? This free browser port of the classic deep PC "alternate life simulator" from 1986 may just make you ponder that a little. Explore the events of the life you might have had from infancy to death, and see just how much even the little things matter.
London is Fallen. It has something to do with the Traitor Empress... or perhaps Hell... or perhaps... No, too dangerous to even speculate. You've left the Surface and now make your home there, in the Neath. Why did you do so? Write your own answers in this fascinating multiplayer roleplaying browser game from Fail Better Games.
When Todd gets a visit from the future (namely, himself) he finds his life changes drastically when he receives information that may get him the one thing he wants most. Is this text adventure a simple story about doing anything for the one you love? Or is there something much more complicated, and much darker, going on? With 35 different endings and an extremely forgiving play style, Thousand Dollar Soul is a lot more complicated than you might think.
The road to magical greatness is difficult, littered with dragons, enchantments, adventure... not to mention test scores, rival students, detentions, and trying to keep your ghostly familiar in check. This incredibly ambitious text adventure from Black Chicken Studios is one part life simulator, one part fantasy RPG, and a whole lot of fun if you have the patience to let yourself become immersed in the tale of the making of the greatest mage of all time... you.
In the mid-1800s, the country trembles on the verge of change, a great war that will shape the outcome of the future... but for you, the world of mortals is the least of your concern, when you find yourself having caught the eye of someone less (or more) than entirely human. In this remarkably deep and ambitious text RPG adventure with multiple paths and endings, set out on your journey as a fledgling vampire. Just remember that as powerful as you might think you are, there is always danger around you... especially in those close to you...
So what's your stance on twu wuv? Does it make you sigh and set your little heart to pitty-patting, or are you currently walled off in your cootie-free-fort to ride out the epidemic? Regardless, there's more than just a pretty face to this latest text RPG adventure from Choice of Games. As the eldest son or daughter of a declining noble family, you are sent to Court for a Season to see and be seen. Will you find a suitable match? Wind up alone? Or become embroiled in dangerous political intrigue? The choice, as they say, is yours.
Your entire young life has been building up to this. You were born to it, your maternal line. You, Lalu, are the Usher, charged with guiding the queen's soul to the afterlife, a task of great splendor and nobility. But that doesn't change how you feel now. All you can think is that you've been raised to die. If only there were some way out. The Usher is a game of interactive fiction, an entry into our first ever interactive fiction competition, Casual Gameplay Design Competition #7. As such, you use a text parser to interact with the game.
Without even a computer to play solitaire on, it's Monday, 16:30, and time is standing still in this piece of interactive fiction. Maybe with the help of the office gnomes you can beguile your true love in the tower next door with mime and paper airplanes?
Blue Lacuna is one of those rare experiences that turns your set of assumptions about a medium on its head. Like Memento or The Usual Suspects or The Outsider, Aaron Reed's game transcends its medium to become more than the sum of its parts, an artwork that leaves a measurable change in the player. You might finish this game, but it may never leave you alone.
Dan Efran's title Ka, an entry in our interactive fiction and escape themed Casual Gameplay Design Competition #7, starts in decidedly close quarters, with your royal spirit crammed in next to your corpse. Most text adventures struggle to some degree with pacing, but in Ka, at least, your initial goal is clear: leave. After that? Well, you're dead. You have to come to terms with it sometime.
You're dangling from a chimney on a rooftop six stories above ground, looking for spider silk. Your brother's making sure the door to the stairs back down stays open. When he appears below you looking nonchalant, you get a deep sinking feeling. Roofed is an offbeat interactive fiction title with a clever narrative that'll leave you wanting more.
Step into the shoes of the greatest naval hero of all time... you! In this sister-sequel to the popular "Choice of Dragon" text RPG, Choice of Broadsides lets you embark on a high seas adventure ascending through the ranks of the Royal Navy and dealing with whatever life throws at you. Think carefully about your choices as they could be the difference between death and promotion.
It's another great day for the end of the world! Oh, wait, I forgot... that was yesterday! Dead Frontier: Outbreak 2 is a text adventure about trying to survive in an undead world. Having survived the events of the first game, you set out in search of much needed medical supplies. Making the right choices is important if you want to see the end of the day.
I don't suppose you've ever felt trapped at a really tedious party, wishing you could throw off the shackles of social convention and impale your host on a cocktail weenie toothpick, make a rope out of your own hair to escape out the bathroom window, beat yourself unconscious with the cheese tray--anything to avoid listening to some guy tell you another story about his golfing ability? In real life it's the opposite of entertaining, but in Party Foul, it makes for a hilarious puzzle to test all your escaping power
Enter into the experience of visualizing visualizing (whoa, meta!) in the CGDC7 award-winning interactive fiction title Dual Transform by Andrew Plotkin. Take on the role of a virtual engineer, of sorts, feeling the pressure of really making this project something to remember... something that really feels real.
Lost. In space. Alone. On a badly damaged ship. It's a bad day for anyone, and it's even worse for you since you can't remember how you got into this predicament. Fragile Shells is a clever, clean bit of interactive fiction from Stephen Granade, and a runner-up in Casual Gameplay Design Competition 7.
"Hero" is such a broad term. Don't you think, cowboy? You were just liberating that silver after all. Before you can ride off into the sunset, you'll need to get out of this jail cell. Hoosegow is a tongue-in-cheek bit of interactive fiction set in the wild west, and the proud winner of CGDC7.
Choice of the Dragon is a choose your own adventure browser game where you live the life of a dragon, moving from decision to decision and being as docile or cruel as you want. It emphasizes character and story interaction, not puzzles, allowing you to grow into the game's world like few modern titles allow you to do.
Improbable Island is a browser-based multiplayer RPG, consisting almost entirely of text. Almost all of it quite funny. It's jam-packed with references to everything from "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: to "Sesame Street" to its own insanity. Even if you don't find it outright funny, you will still get a smile from the sheer craziness of it all. This is Improbable Island, where running into forgotten food from your refrigerator is a fairly mundane battle.
Prepare yourself for an interactive fiction that peels back the truth in layers as you become more and more entwined in this tale of superscience and space exploration. The narrative begins with an itsy-bitsy clue that not all will be as it seems, followed by your character waking up in a fairly unadorned abode. From there, it's up to you as to what you do and how you go about it, but be wary of those who comment on your every move...
Lights... camera... URK. Lottie's got a problem the night of her big stage audition, and she's not willing to go down without a fight. Sarah Morayati's snappily written interactive fiction piece about teenage girls under the limelight suffers slightly from some unintuitive puzzle design, but is easily carried by a memorable cast of characters and some genuinely funny storytelling. Broken Legs is an over-the-top and snarky adventure worth a look from anyone who has at any point ever been a teenager, stereotypes aside.
Byzantine Perspective is a tight little heist game from this year's annual interactive fiction competition. You're a student with less-than-legal plans for how to fund your education: get into a museum of Byzantine artifacts, get the valuable antique chalice, get out again. You're rigged out in your best cat-burglar clothes, with your best cat-burglar tools — some of them borrowed from an acquaintance, which raises never-answered questions about what sorts of company the protagonist keeps.
An unnamed cubicle slave grinds his way through another day at work, his biggest worry being whether or not someone left the coffee pot dry. That is until the scream comes. Now you have to help him get home to his wife before zombies get her or you in this choose your own adventure style game.
Make It Good is a dark, noir-esque detective mystery from Fail-Safe author Jon Ingold. You are cast in the role of a down-on-his-luck detective struggling to solve a murder case or risk losing his job. Moving about a complete, living world, you'll turn over every potted plant, scrutinize every room, and question every character as you attempt to stitch together shards of information to discover just what happened.
Alabaster is an exquisite and addictive piece of interactive fiction created by a team of eleven talented writers and spearheaded by Emily Short, one of the Grande Dames of the genre, authoress of such classics as Floatpoint, that takes the oft-Disneyfied, candy-coated tale of Snow White and recasts it in rather darker hues.
Slouching Towards Bedlam is a work of interactive fiction created by Daniel Ravipinto and Star Foster. Set in the Bedlam Hospital insane asylum in a steampunk-style 1885 London, you begin in an office with a brass-laden phonograph playing a demented soliloquy. It's a subtly disturbing game that draws you into a rich, elusive world of intrigue and allows you to react to the story however you see fit, carving out five unique endings based upon your interpretation of the plot.
Fail-Safe is a work of interactive fiction created by Jon Ingold. It could be one of the strangest text-based games you've ever seen (in a simple, subdued kind of way), as Ingold removes all meta-commands from the parser, forbidding you do to things like saving your progress. But there's a good reason for this. Fail-Safe immerses you so deeply in the world that even the conventions of playing a game would snap you out of it. And when you start playing, you'll see why that's a crucial part of the experience.
Dead Like Ants is a sublime piece of interactive fiction by C.E.J. Pacian. You are an unnamed female ant, a simple worker. You and your thousands of sisters labor ceaselessly in the service of your colony; an unexciting, if productive, existence. Today, however, is very different. Your mother, the Queen has requested your presence Every spring, it seems, five dangerous creatures come to the colony and threaten the safety of all therein. When this occurs, the Queen sends one of her daughters to negotiate with these monsters, thereby averting trouble for another year. This spring, you are the chosen emissary.
What you think is irrelevant, in this text-based adventure/interactive fiction by John Cooney. The man behind the mirrored glass tells you that you are a llama and if you know what is good for you, you will believe him. Following any and all instructions given to you is also not a bad idea if you enjoy things like breathing and not being dead.
Violet is a richly engaging one-room puzzle game from the annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2008). The problem? You're a graduate student working on your dissertation, but you haven't gotten any writing done in months. Your girlfriend Violet has put her life on hold, waiting for you to finish, and she's getting fed up. If you don't get a thousand words written today, your relationship is over and she flies home to Australia.
Play as a row in a database where your objective is to fight the other rows to decrease their numbers and increase your own. It's a numbers game, pure and simple, and by not pretending to be anything else, mySQLgame has managed to take the ubiquitous browser-based MMO and distill it down to the very essence of the genre.
An ingenious piece of alternative history interactive fiction created by Adam Cadre. In Varicella, you have the pleasure of abandoning your usual scruples to play one of the most delightfully nasty antiheroes that I've come across: the eponymous Primo Varicella, Palace Minister at the Palazzo del Piemonte, and a tremendous opportunity awaits you. Can you seize the day (and the throne)?
Ah, human drama. The trials and tribulations of star-crossed lovers, the agonizing decisions made on the battlefield, the ...supreme annoyance of having some rotten kid try to steal your favorite toy? And so unfolds the very entertaining yet surprisingly complex scenario of baby vs. baby in this unique one-room themed piece of interactive fiction.
In this piece of interactive fiction, the premise is quite simple: you are the prime candidate for the position of Director of the Museum and Institute for Puzzles and Problem Solving. In order to prove your aptitude in this field, you must solve one "simple" puzzle yourself. Explore a single room, gathering clues and solving puzzles, until you finally reach the unknown problem's answer.
9:05, by Adam Cadre, is another snack-sized text adventure that is just right for a casual audience. Even if you're new to the genre and are looking for something short and simple as a primer, do give this one a try. You've screwed up on the job before, but never like this. You've overslept in a major way, and you're in for a world of trouble if you don't act fast.
Enlightenment is a snack-sized text adventure set in the general neighborhood of the Zork universe, with Infocom-esque humor, sly quotes and footnotes, and a wealth of entertaining but unnecessary actions. It doesn't play like an 80s game, though: it is short, polished, and focused, with lots of clues and guidance, and probably won't take more than an hour to play.
This edition of weekend download highlights a few notable IF titles. All you need is a computer and the ability to read and you're good to go!
In Lost Pig, you are Grunk, a rather dim creature who works on a farm and who, evidently, loses a pig. Using your best typing skills, find your way through the forest and beyond and retrieve that darn swine. It won't be easy, since pigs in Grunk's world are not cooperative. Utilize your intuition (and maybe a little luck) and you'll find your way out of Grunk's mess in this hilarious interactive fiction.
"Suveh Nux" is a short, puzzle-oriented piece of interactive fiction by David Fisher, with a neat premise: the player is trapped in a vault (that's not the neat part) and can escape only if he learns the magical language that controls his environment. Plenty of interactive fiction games involve puzzles about magic words. "Suveh Nux" takes this a step further with a whole magical grammar to learn, including verbs, nouns, and modifying phrases.
Thule Trail is a re-imagining of the grade school classic, Oregon Trail, but instead of playing a family of 19th century immigrants, you play a group of 20 somethings road-tripping to a music festival. Instead of going to Oregon, you're going to Santa Barbara. The game takes its name from the 20th century occult society that sought the road to Atlantis; the music festival you travel to is called Atlantis, so it works. The rest of the game follows suit like a friendly slacker.
Much interactive fiction requires a time commitment of an hour or two, and sometimes quite a bit more. Not so with the text adventure entries in the Commonplace Book project, in which each entrant took a line from a notebook by H. P. Lovecraft and spun it out into a game. This was an international competition, drawing entries in English, French, and Spanish, as well as a couple of graphical point-and-click adventures.
About a year and a half ago we posted a logic puzzle published by Coudal Partners, the people behind The Show and the ones responsible for recording the recent live tours of both the Pixies and Dead Can Dance. Well, they have just published a new one, and this one will surely give your brain a tickle.
Façade is an interactive drama that puts you in the role of a dinner guest catching up with your old college friends, a married couple named Grace and Trip. Using the mouse and keyboard, you're able to move around their apartment and manipulate objects inside, but Facade is no escape-the-room adventure game, most of the interaction involves, get this, talking to Grace and Trip.
Floatpoint is a sci-fi themed interactive fiction game by Emily Short that walked away with first prize in the 2006 Interactive Fiction Competition. You play the role of an ambassador on a mission to a cold, icy planet called Alehart. Humans colonized the world ages ago, but an advancing glacier threatens to overtake the city and eradicate its inhabitants. As you try to negotiate a deal to bring the colonists back to Earth, a web of mysteries begins to unfold itself. This might not be an easy job after all.
In the browser-based HTML game, Slave Hack, you take on the role of a vaguely tech-savvy Internet addict who has now decided to make a living out of his/her own talents. If your ethics do not prevent you from pretending to infiltrate other computers to use them as spam relays, warez-sharing nodes, or even as tools to bring down an enemy's computer with a massive DDoS attack, then you are excellent material for the world that is portrayed in Slave Hack.
Those of you who enjoy a stripped-down text adventure game and don't mind a bit of repetition will get a bit of fun out of these DHTML-based Enchanted Forest games. The point is to get as much gold as you can. For such a simple game it's surprisingly addictive, but don't worry—if you're a true casual gamer, you can leave your game at any time and when you return, it will be waiting exactly as you left it.
The Museum of Broken Memories is a beautifully woven interactive narrative that may even be considered a work of art. It is a point-and-click game, yes; and yet it is so much more than that. Like any work of art, personal interpretation plays an important role here, as there are many images and words to browse through and interact with, and an array of emotions that will be evoked.
Thy Dungeonman 3: Behold Thy Graphics! is a parody of the old 5¼-inch floppy text and graphic adventure games. Made by Videlectrix, Homestar Runner's fictional software design company, Dungeonman 3 sports "state-of-the-art amber monochrome visuals" (circa 1980), real-time simulated medieval English text, a parser that talks back to you, and enough mocked adventure game cliches to fill your beer stein twice full.
Legend of the Green Dragon is a free, browser based homage to, and extension of, the Legend of the Red Dragon, an original and humorous RPG from the golden years of modems and BBSes. The creator, Eric Stevens, has done an excellent job preserving the style of the original while adding tons of new features, characters and monsters, as well as vastly enlarging the world to include multiple cities and an afterlife.
Google blogger, information technologist, and sometimes game developer, Philipp Lenssen of Germany, has created a "choose-your-own" adventure game called The Google Adventure that takes place at the Googleplex, which is where you've just begun a new job...
Zork is a text adventure, which is a form of interactive fiction, like a cross between a novel and an RPG with some escape-the-room type puzzles thrown in. Originally conceived in the late 1970's by a research group of MIT, the first game of the Zork series has been ported to PHP for your gaming pleasure.
If you enjoy interactive fiction or text adventures of years gone by, don't miss these works by award-winning author, Andrew Plotkin. Also known as "Zarf," Plotkin leverages his skills in programming, game and puzzle design to create engaging and compelling interactive fiction that are works of art.