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Freeware Garden: Weird City Interloper

Freeware Garden searches the corners of the internet to highlight one free game every day.

Welcome to C.E.J. Pacian‘s exquisite, fantastical, yet magically oppressed city of Zendon. Welcome to an interactive tale of conspiracy like no other. Welcome to the wondrous world of Weird City Interloper and one of the most memorable and downright engrossing text adventures you have ever played.

Essentially an intuitive parser driven conversation game, Weird City Interloper is incredibly easy to get into and thus an excellent interactive fiction entry point, but also, as is customary with Pacian’s games, subtly innovative. This time everything is handled through dialog — even moving around — while a rather odd breed of rats will be delivering you your hints.

Weird City Interloper uses its wisely selected words to craft a breathtaking urban setting that effortlessly merges the familiar with the outlandish. From sentient buildings and floating gardens to destitute slums and factories of unknown purpose, the Weird City is a place that begs to be explored; a place you’ll love and care for.

Talking to the numerous, eclectic and masterfully realized characters that inhabit Zendos, be they former gods, animated suits of armour or even decadent Archnecrobishops, is another delight. Also a necessity, as gathering information is of paramount importance if you want to change history or, at the very least, progress. Learning a mystical language or two should come in handy as well, but I fear I’m entering spoiler territory so I’ll just stop here and hope I’ve been enthusiastic enough.

Just, please, play the thing. If you ever loved a bit of text, you’ll love this.

All you’ll need to do so will be some peace and quiet, the game’s story file (available here) and an interactive fiction interpreter. You know, something like my favourite Gargoyle or the widely used Frotz. You can also play it online here.

[Disclaimer: I playtested the game before release and was aching to talk about it ever since.]

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Konstantinos Dimopoulos

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