On Interactive Fiction and my favorite IF Games

Interactive Fiction is a kind of text-based RPG that is similar to Choose Your Own Adventure. It happens like a conversation, but with a computer. You make choices of where you go, interact with objects, characters, have an inventory and use what’s in it. They can get pretty amazing and complex.

Some of them are truly mindblowing. This type of games was popular way back, but not anymore, since most people would rather play games with pictures and animation rather than read their way through it. But for bookworms, it is never a problem πŸ˜‰

It’s a shame they lost all hype because of that, and I’m here to recommend you a few to try ! In case you want to know more about them, this post makes a better job than me right here: Quirkbooks.com

β˜† Um, why would I want to play them ?

  • Because they’re awesome ! I’ll be soon recommending you a few that have impressive worldbuilding, plenty of options, and a healthy amount of mind-twisting.
  • They’re super light. Most RPG games require an astounding amount of storage space. Not everyone can spare a few Gigabytes for one game. I mean, these games are literally all text (but books are that way too, and we know how much a simple assortment of words can convey)
  • Screenshot_2017-08-25-14-02-13-1They’re free πŸ˜€ *wink wink* I play them through this app on Google Play called ‘Interactive Fiction – Playable Novels’, it’s free to download and has a catalog of a ton of games in every genre and type; Historical, fantasy, time travel, thriller, crime, comedy, romance… You name it πŸ˜€

β˜† Okay, give me your best shot Γ¨.Γ©

Here goes nothing !

1. Keepsake

The planning was easy. Committing the murder was easy. But getting away with it? That’s another thing.

Keepsake is a short, surreal story about vengeance and its consequences.

This recently became my favorite because it is so mind bending. At first it is very confusing, but when you finish it, everything clicks into place and you are mindblown. If you don’t catch on everything after the epilogue ( like yours truly ), type ‘about’ and read the hints, then enjoy remembering everything that happened and thinking ‘Oh, oh, oh…‘ πŸ˜‚

Not to spoil anything, but I’ll give a few keywords on what it’s about: Psychological thriller, paradox, revenge.

Need I say more πŸ’™ ?


2. Zork I: The Great Underground Empire

“Many strange tales have been told of the fabulous treasure, exotic creatures, and diabolical puzzles in the Great Underground Empire. As an aspiring adventurer, you will undoubtedly want to locate these treasures and deposit them in your trophy case.”

[–blurb from The Z-Files Catalogue]

You can play this one online right here

I love this one because it begins like the most monotone of games, in front of a white house and a mailbox. That is, until you find an elven sword and go underground while trying to not get killed somehow. It is complex and will keep you coming back to it, wondering whether you should or should not press that button, or go down that chute. Highly recommend it! There is part II and III !


3. 9:05

The phone rings…

Oh no – how long have you been asleep? Sure, it was a tough night, but … This is bad. This is very bad.

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.

9:05 was written over the course of four days in room 315 of the Victoria Hotel in Melbourne, Australia. It’s a fairly standard text adventure, the one exception being that the verb USE has been implemented. Enjoy!

NOTE: There is a twist to this story. You have to play it at least twice to see both endings.

Don’t get misled; there’s a plot-twist and several possible outcomes, as the note says. You’ll start to see something is very wrong soon enough, and it’s up to you to figure out what’s going on…


4. Dreamhold

‘The Dreamhold’ is designed for people who have never played IF before. It introduces the common commands and mindset of text adventures, one step at a time. There’s an extensive help system describing standard IF commands, as well as dynamic hints which pop up whenever you seem to be stuck.

You may find this game On iTunes or download it in the catalog of Interactive Fiction, the app in Play Store.

If you’re a newbie, this is where you should start. It makes it easy to understand how to use commands to play the game, and is at the same time fun to play and challenging. I suggest drawing a physical map the first time because a mental one might get tricky. My favorite part about it is the masks you find and collect. I could never find them all GAH πŸ˜£πŸ˜­πŸ’” I love how it is what it sounds, dream-like πŸ’™


What do you think of this kind of games ? Have you ever read a Choose Your Own Adventure book ? Any books these games bring to mind ? Drop your thoughts in the comment section !

2 thoughts on “On Interactive Fiction and my favorite IF Games

Add yours

  1. I think it’s really cool that you wrote a post about interactive fiction games, I haven’t seen anyone else talk about games like these, and while I knew they existed I only knew about like The Walking Dead and such. They’re not really for me, but it’s cool that you’re sharing them! x

    Liked by 1 person

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