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Saturday Afternoon Reading: The IFComp Winners

Dad, look, just use the ice wand.

Right, five o’clock. Early Saturday afternoon. You’ve watched your cartoons, you’ve had your walk – haven’t you? – and a nice big lunch, so it’s time to settle down for a spot of reading. I say this as someone you trust to guide your personal development, of course. You’ll draw today’s reading material from IFComp, the interactive fiction competition, as it wrapped up this week and winners were declared – presenting a recommended reading list.

I hugely enjoyed Porpentine’s With Those We Love Alive, in an existential dread sort of way, and Pip was taken with procedural murder mystery Missive, but gosh, so many more were entered.

You can fight through a jungle, engage in the exciting world of business, be a tour guide looking for love on the moon, travel through time to stop yourself getting expelled, mind your manners in a diplomatic tea ceremony with an alien, be a cyber-psychiatrist counselling computer programs, beg, and so many other things. Some are built in click-clicky Twine-like interfaces, some use more traditional text input, and some are some combination of the two, doing their own thing.

Hundreds of folks have voted across IFComp, so the final placements will be a fair indication of what’ll offer a generally pleasing read, but do also poke around at anything you like the sound of. Interactive fiction writer Emily Short points out several authors have written up post-mortems too, if you fancy a peek behind the scenes.

Hey, perhaps folks who’ve gone through a fair few of these might have some recommendations?

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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