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Interactive fiction

So I got into text adventure games Published on

A bit more than a month ago, I rediscovered the very niche game subgenre of interactive fiction — or IF for the initiated.

Interactive Fiction usually refers to text adventure games where you can dictate the actions of your character, similar to the "Choose Your Own Adventure" gamebooks.

Example screenshot of an interactive fiction screen: we can read the base storyline and see the actions typed by the player

I fell in love with this type of gaming which allows you to dive into completely different worlds through words alone. Some stories will be more narrative-based, while others will contain a lot of puzzles. But really, it's up to you and your tastes!

If you would also like to dip your fingers (or full arms) into this gaming genre, here are some links I found useful as an IF beginner:

If you are not convinced yet, here are a few game reviews and synopses that can give you an idea of the diversity of genres.

Anchorhead (synopsis)

You take a deep breath of salty air as the first raindrops begin to spatter the pavement, and the swollen, slate-colored clouds that blanket the sky mutter ominous portents amongst themselves over the little coastal town of Anchorhead. Travel to the haunted coastal town of Anchorhead, Massachusetts and uncover the roots of a horrific conspiracy inspired by the works of H. P. Lovecraft. Search through musty archives and tomes of esoteric lore; dodge hostile townsfolk; combat a generation-spanning evil that threatens your family and the entire world.

9:05 (a review)

You're woken up by the telephone, having slept a lot longer than you should have, and there'll be hell to pay if you don't get out of the house in a hurry. A very short game with a devious twist that the IF theorists out there will find interesting. Gains immeasurably on replay. — Carl Muckenhoupt

Photopia (a review)

Scenes from a handful of ordinary lives alternate with chapters of a child's colorful science-fantasy. Sweet and sad, and complex enough that you may need to go through it twice in order to fully understand how all the fragments fit together. Very story-driven, with menu-based conversations and virtually no puzzle content. [...] — Carl Muckenhoupt


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