Piloting a tea-zeppelin on Mars is a lonely job
July 17, 2018 7:52 PM   Subscribe

Robin Johnson makes interactive fiction and text adventures.

Detectiveland: New Losago, 1929 – a town full of creeps, clowns, mobsters, and, if you know where to look, the occasional honest citizen. Guide private investigator Lanson Rose through a series of puzzling cases: solve the city's liquor supply problem in "Speakeasy Street", track down a missing food scientist in "The Big Pickle", and investigate strange goings-on under a dilapidated mansion in "A Study in Squid".

Hamlet: You're the prince of Denmark, and boy, are you in a sucky mood! You've been grounded again, your friends don't understand you, and your evil uncle has murdered your father to usurp the throne. "In just five minutes' playing, I was hooked" – Neil Gaiman

Aunts and Butlers: It's 1920, you're a minor aristocrat fallen on hard times, and your wretched Aunt Cedilla is on the warpath. She's your last hope of a decent inheritance, so you'd jolly well better get yourself into her good books before she croaks. And what's that mysterious butler up to? A comic adventure in the style of P. G. Wodehouse.

Portcullis: Your home town has been taken over by an evil sorcerer (because that's what evil sorcerers do.) A party of professional adventurers has arrived in town to dethrone him (because that's what adventurers do.) Help them defeat Zapdorf and liberate the town – or is there something else going on? A comic fantasy storygame, written for the 35th anniversary of Zork and the 40th anniversary of the original Adventure.

Draculaland: A loose adaptation of Dracula, faithfully reimagining several characters and ignoring most of the original plot. Guide Jonathan Harker on a trip through Transylvania, interacting with vampires, mad scientists, zombies, annoying magpies, and moustachioed werewolves.

Xylophoniad: The King of Anachronopolis has ordered you to complete three labours: end the Trojan War, slay the dreaded Bicyclops, and rescue a couple of inmates from Hades. A comic adventure based in Greek mythology.

Zeppelin Adventure: Piloting a tea-zeppelin on Mars is a lonely job, but this run is nearly over and then you're due for a holiday. That's unless you get sucked into a puzzly adventure involving pterodactyls, robots, paternoster lifts and space elves!

  • Get Lamp
  • One summer I hitchhiked through Britain trying to find a harp-maker.
  • Interactive Fiction competition 2016
  • West of House
  • Ten minutes of righteous robot ruination
  • "Where are they?" Interactive Fiction on Civilizations
  • Want to play a surreal interactive fiction game?
  • Interactive Fiction has a convention of rating how cruel a game is
  • Write your own adventure
  • Interactive Text Adventure for Your Kindle/E-Book Reader
  • text adventures (interactive fiction)
  • "Read you a story? What fun would that be?"
  • August 2, 2001
  • If you decide to explore the ledge where the seeker has come to rest, turn to page 6.
  • You are sitting in your chair, in front of you is a gray tablet that is not glowing.
  • Selection of Stories
  • Choice of the Dragon
  • Choice of Broads, Choice of Dudes.
  • You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike.
  • It's that time again
  • I was cheering for Lost Pig, too.
  • It Has Been Quite An Adventure
  • 9:05
  • A game about crime.
  • The Digital Antiquarian
  • You haven't been eaten, until you've been eaten by a grue
  • Infocom and the Atomic Bomb
  • You feel yourself turning into a small fish! You flop three times then die.
  • You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door.

  • Also: The Interactive Fiction Database
    posted by nightrecordings (8 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
    Was in the mood for one. Thanks.

    (But what is a 'tea-zeppelin'? A zeppelin the shape of a cup of tea or a zeppelin that transports...

    Guess I'll find out!)
    posted by redrawturtle at 8:29 PM on July 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

    Hey, it's written in Javascript! But it looks like an Infocom game! But you can use the mouse!
    posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:47 PM on July 17, 2018

    I need a first programming project that isn't a portfolio website, thank you for the inspiration!
    posted by yueliang at 10:50 PM on July 17, 2018

    I need a first programming project that isn't a portfolio website, thank you for the inspiration!

    If you can get hired on the strength of Inform 7 code, I'll totally buy you a beer.
    posted by kaibutsu at 11:14 PM on July 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

    Yes! Robin’s games are the best. I really love Detectiveland, and Aunts and Butlers is fun too. I haven’t gotten around to playing Zeppelin Adventure yet, but I’m looking forward to it.
    posted by uncleozzy at 3:17 AM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

    This is great. I was really into the modern IF scene in the early 2000s and I played a couple Twine games recently that had me feeling that text-based itch again.

    Your admirably through Previously... section fails to include one of my favorite IF games of all time, one of my favorite video games of all time: The Gostak. You probably didn't search the archives for "interofgan halpock," which, shame on you, I guess.
    posted by Rock Steady at 6:56 AM on July 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

    Wow! I played his Hamlet a really long time ago - it was the first time I'd encountered a text adventure game and I loved it. But at the time I didn't know how to find more.
    posted by bunderful at 5:15 AM on July 20, 2018

    These are super fun; they all just about nail precisely the level of complexity I hope for, mostly not too hard or too easy. The writing is great, I just guffawed at the description of an insane doctor-bot's data: "A line graph has been plotted on the whiteboard. The x-axis is labelled NUMBER OF PINS STUCK IN HUMAN. The y-axis is labelled PAIN RESPONSE. The correlation appears to be positive and roughly linear."
    posted by solotoro at 1:13 PM on July 20, 2018

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