Have You Played… Endless, Nameless?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

When I first reviewed interactive fiction masterpiece Endless, Nameless in 2012, I just begged that people go play it without reading the article. I suggest the same right now. Just go play the game.

It’s a fascinating exploration of IF, of eras, of genre. IF is a real weakness in my knowledge, which is why I’m so enormously delighted that we have Emily Short – one of the foremost experts in the world – writing a column about it for us. But every now and then I’ll remember to dip in, and find extraordinary, bold and damned smart games. You should do that too and play Endless, Nameless.


  1. LTK says:

    Well, I’d like to play it, but both online and offline it doesn’t work, showing only “ATDT3635377”.

    • otyugh says:

      Keep pressing ‘spacebar’ and it will continue past that point. “ATDT3635377” is an old dial-up modem command for dialing the phone number in question. It’s pretending to connect to a BBS (Bulletin Board System). I used to do this with my 300 baud modem on the Atari 800, back in the day. It’s a clever intro that Adam Cadre put into the game to get you in the mood for what’s to come.

      • Catterbatter says:


        Comment continues below
        I recognized that as a modem init string but didn’t think to hit space. Thanks!

  2. LogicalDash says:

    It is my policy not to play games without some idea of the intended experience, as I find that I rarely get that experience if I am not looking for it. I will therefore take this HYP as a recommendation against my playing Endless, Nameless. Thank you for the warning, John.

    • Junkmail says:

      It’s meta-commentary of the IF community combined with subversions of both old and new style parser fiction.

    • disconnect says:

      “Oh man I just watched this film that is SO FUCKING GOOD, it’s proper amazing and you should totally watch it but the less you know about it going in, the better, I don’t want to ruin it by saying too much, I just know you’ll love it”

      “Yeah well actually it’s my policy NOT to watch films without some idea of the intended experience so I will take your glowing recommendation and WIPE MY FUCKING ARSE on it, thank you for the warning :^) ”

      “Jesus fucking christ mate no wonder you’ve got no friends”

  3. Junkmail says:

    As a pretty huge fan of the IF scene, I disliked Endless, Nameless a lot more than I expected to. Emily Short’s analysis of this is much better than my own, but E,N more or less states that the existence of trolls is what holds the IF community back is trolls and you need to @wall them out. Which is… questionable, to say the least. The symbolism is pretty heavy handed, and the criticisms of modern vs old style IF don’t really work for me.

    I will say that I liked a few of the characters, and that the in-game hint system and it’s subversion are pretty brilliant.

    • Yglorba says:

      I think it suffered from the fact that Adam Cadre, as one of the major rock stars of the IF world of his era, had an experience in the community that was very, very different from what most people would have. I can easily see how he probably had vastly more interaction with trolls than was typical, say, especially because his games tended to be unusual and controversial.

      But to a typical player, it felt like the game had two totally disconnected threads (exploring the strata of IF history, and dealing with trolls) which didn’t have much to do with each other.