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17th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition
October 1, 2011 8:28 PM   Subscribe

The 17th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition has begun (voting is open until November 15.) Most of the games can be played online in your browser; all are available for download. Meanwhile, the intfiction forum has chosen the Top 48 Interactive Fiction games. posted by Zed (22 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite

 
what's good this year?
posted by empath at 8:32 PM on October 1, 2011


The games were just released around dinner time, Eastern US Time, so there aren't many reviews out yet. I've managed to play two so far because they were both really short and oddly similar in their flaws.
no one likes mazes stop making them
posted by cobaltnine at 9:29 PM on October 1, 2011


Yeah, I tried two of them more at less at random and they were pretty awful. I'll wait for Emily Short to say which ones are worth playing.
posted by empath at 9:46 PM on October 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Short mentioned on her blog that there was a roguelike/IF crossbreed among the games this year. Hmm....
posted by JHarris at 1:34 AM on October 2, 2011


If you prefer to download, you'll need an interpreter; I suggest Gargoyle.
posted by LogicalDash at 3:45 AM on October 2, 2011


Ugh, I probably spent longer playing guess-the-word-order than it would have taken the author to make it work in both orders.
Neither the blue key nor the red key quite fit the lock. But on closer inspection, a growing suspicion of the two enters your mind...maybe it’s how the two grooves on both seem to almost interlock.
> combine red key with blue key
> interlock keys
That's not a verb I recognise.
> put red key on blue key
Putting things on the blue key would achieve nothing.
> put red key in blue key
That can't contain things.
> combine blue key with red key
with a sudden hissing, the two metal keys merge together, creating one purple key the approximate size and shape of the lock...
posted by Phssthpok at 5:45 AM on October 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's fantastically annoying, Phssthpok.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:57 PM on October 2, 2011


Basic failure:
The foggy light coming from the grates on the top half of the stairwell looks like a cascade of dusty milk. You are standing just mere feet from your house entrance, above the first step outside.
>walk
You'll have to say which compass direction to go in.
>walk north
You can't go that way.
>walk west
You can't go that way.
>walk south
You can't go that way.
>walk east
You can't go that way.
>walk out
You can't go that way.
>walk in
You can't go that way.
>walk up
You can't go that way.
>walk northwest
You can't go that way.
>walk northwest by west
I only understood you as far as wanting to walk northwest.
posted by fredludd at 2:05 PM on October 2, 2011


did you try "walk like Jesus over cascade of dusty milk"?
posted by iamkimiam at 2:11 PM on October 2, 2011


Okay, fred, I tell you what, start entering in commands here, and we'll tell you what was *supposed* to happen.
posted by empath at 2:14 PM on October 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm really enjoying "The Play". It's a little offbeat and good for clicking and reading. Nice for when you're tired of arguing up syntax trees.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:11 PM on October 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I enjoyed Beet the Devil and think it'd be good for fairly inexperienced players. There's the odd syntax issue but nothing that affects game play.
posted by paduasoy at 3:50 PM on October 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hooray! Time to go kill some dragons.

What, with your bare hands?
posted by pemberkins at 4:33 PM on October 2, 2011


Short mentioned on her blog that there was a roguelike/IF crossbreed among the games this year. Hmm....

Is it by an existing author, or will there be endless debate for the next few weeks over Andrew Plotkin's choice of pseudonym this year?
posted by Spatch at 6:23 PM on October 2, 2011


Is it by an existing author

Established. It's "Kerkerkruip" by the author of the ATTACK extension for Inform 7.
posted by Zed at 9:10 PM on October 2, 2011


Is it by an existing author, or will there be endless debate for the next few weeks over Andrew Plotkin's choice of pseudonym this year?

He better not have entered, unless it's the Hadean Lands beta. I paid into that thing last December, no news since August. Where's the thing that I thinged for on the thing? (oh god i take it back i love you andrew please let there be a plotkin game this year its ok take all the time you need)
posted by monocyte at 9:13 PM on October 2, 2011


Thanks for recommending The Play, iamkimiam. I usually get very frustrated with IF games, but that one is really fun!
posted by bluefly at 8:15 AM on October 3, 2011


Some quick notes.

The Play: A well-observed chamber piece about the ownership of art. I'm surprised but pleased to see sneaky references to George Bernard Shaw in a comp game.

Cold Iron: Good use of voice. I could have gone for a little more narrative flexibility.

Kerkerkruip: Victor Gijsper's spin on Magocracy, an underrated text RPG from a few comps ago. Perfectly tuned mechanics, which you'd expect from Gijspers; also an apparent lack of moral or philosophical challenges, which is something of a surprise. Then again, I haven't beaten the game yet, so perhaps some hidden lesson or implication still lies in wait for me.
posted by Iridic at 8:16 AM on October 3, 2011


I like the Play as well. The format it uses is different from other interactive fiction games I've played - much more in a "choose your own adventure" style. With traditional IF games, you get ability to discover new choices and outcomes through your own creativity and agency, but at the risk of getting stuck when you can't come up with any acceptable choices/phrasing. With this type of game, you're a much more passive player, choosing between options set out for you, but on the bright side you don't get stuck.

The format of the Play as executed is very sleek and appealing, too.
posted by danceswithanonymity at 12:33 PM on October 3, 2011


I didn't see the point of making The Play interactive.
posted by empath at 1:29 PM on October 3, 2011


Bother it, I was using the play online option to play Sentencing Mr Liddell and managed to click back, wch takes you out of the game with no option to get back to where you were unless you've saved. Anyway, so far I can't recommend that one - too much of the

>x textile samples
You notice nothing interesting about the textile samples.

and there's some buggy gameplay - I was able to take a queue of people, and when trying to join the queue "join queue" seemed to work only intermittently. Also too trippy for me.

I found The Play interesting enough to finish clicking through it, but not enough like more conventional IF for me - not puzzle-based, no freedom to explore the world yourself.
posted by paduasoy at 2:28 PM on October 3, 2011


A request from the competition organizer: if you're willing, please email authors to let them know when you ran into guess-the-verb problems and the like. Authors are allowed to update their entries this year, and I'd love for them to fix problems like those as soon as possible.
posted by sgranade at 6:03 AM on October 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


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