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Typeface: 2012 Interactive Fiction Competition

None of the games in this post are about shooting people, even though it contains links to many games that you can play right now. One of them is about making the final payment on your mortgage, an event that becomes a tragicomic fiasco. Another is the exploration of a life through study of a last will and testament. How about picking through a claustrophobic dystopia that might feel disturbingly close to your own midnight thoughts? Getting lost in a world made of puns? No? None of that appeals? Have a zombie then. Be a zombie, a hungry zombie in a world that has a severe brain shortage. Aren’t games imaginative and great? These are all entries in the 2012 Interactive Fiction competition. More details below.

Interactive fiction has become a fascinating art, its authors so often teasing the limits of the form and turning it back on itself, so that it becomes a series of questions. What are the possibilities of a given situation, the text often asks, offering a parser-middleman with its own take on the matter. How brilliant is it to not know what you’re carrying until you press ‘i’ to check? How often that is made into a plot point or a gag by the witty creators of these small works of massive intelligence.

The ones detailed above, in order, are Murphy’s Law by Scott Hammack, Living Will by Mark Marino, howling dogs by Porpentine, In a Manor of Speaking by Hulk Handsome and A Killer Headache, by Mike Ciul.

There are loads more games and I don’t know if I’ve picked the best. I went for titles that stood out, tried about ten and put my favourites here. I didn’t even notice that one was from Porpentine, who writes elegant prose-thoughts about wonderful free games every week for us. Nepotism!

What have I missed? More great stuff I bet.

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