Posts Tagged ‘interactive fiction’

Snowden-em-up email thriller Top Secret out now

Top Secret [official site], a game about whistleblower Edward Snowden that you play in real time via email, was released at the weekend. It lurked on Kickstarter back in 2015, when Joe leaked his thoughts on it, delving three days into a demo where he met a cryptanalyst who made him genuinely encrypt all future emails he would send. It’s all generated by clever machines of course, but the delay between sending a message and receiving a reply is there to make it feel real.
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Wot I Think: Stories Untold

Gosh, we’re living in brilliant times for interesting games. It seems barely a month goes by now without something novel and fascinating appearing, pushing at the edges, upcycling old ideas for new minds, and messing with our brains. The latest that fits all these categories is the really very splendid Stories Untold [entirely pointless official site], ostensibly a collection of four novella-like adventures linked by an opaque theme. It’s part parser-based text adventure, part horror peculiarity, part 80s TV show… It’s unlike anything you’ve played before, despite being built from the half-remembered remains of a childhood of gaming.

So a familiar caveat to accompany such a review: if you trust me, if you want to experience the game with as little information as possible so everything’s a surprise, then take the above paragraph as everything you need and spend £6 on this. If you want more details (wonderfully written and spoiler-free), then read on. Read the rest of this entry »

Detectiveland leads IFComp 2016 winners list

Winners!

Emily Short has been picking out gems from the 2016 IFComp (the annual interactive fiction competition) as part of her IF Only column so you might well have already played the winners BUT! the official final rankings for the contest have now been released. So, drumroll…

Detectiveland by Robin Johnson got the top ranking – it’s a noir setting with a number of different cases to solve (one is called A Study In Squid). It turns out I’ve not played any of the top three so I’ll put an excerpt from Emily’s assessment for each of them instead of rushing through them now. Read the rest of this entry »

500 Apocalypses: An Alien Interactive Fiction Memorial

Following Emily’s reminder that this year’s Interactive Fiction Competition entries are now playable I started to browse and found a curious and enjoyable piece called 500 Apocalypses [entry page] by Phantom Williams. It’s a fictional in-browser museum/garden curating the apocalypses of various societies as translated from an extraterrestrial resource. There’s also a cool FAQ which augments the experience nicely, toying with the fact/fiction distinction.

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Killing Time At Lightspeed’s Enhanced Edition Out Now

Killing Time at Lightspeed [official site] is a quirky interactive fiction-type adventure game that was created for last year’s sci-fi anthology-inspired Antholojam. It’s…it’s hard to explain. Ostensibly, it’s a game about travelling on a spaceship where your only means of interaction with home is via social media. But the further you travel from earth, the longer the delay is between your messages – to the point where refreshing your homepage skips years at a time. Holding a mirror to modern culture, then, the game often dives into some pretty dark and somber themes as you uncover snippets of life in uncertain times. “Just how much can you affect other people’s lives with your fleeting interactions through social media?” asks the game’s blurb.

The game’s Enhanced Edition has just landed on Steam if you’re keen to find out.

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IF Only: Text Adventures For People Who Hate Guessing The Verb

Emily Short is one of the world’s leading gurus on Interactive Fiction. We’re delighted to tell you that IF Only will be a regular column about the myriad world of IF gaming.

Back in the late 90s, the name “interactive fiction” was applied mostly to parser-based text adventures descended from Zork, where all output was in text and the player had to type commands to proceed. The genre has opened up enormously in recent years, with Twine and other choice-based fiction now often included in IF competitions and databases, and with some players and journalists applying the term “interactive fiction” even to graphical games with 3D environments if they have enough of a focus on story. Contrary to common report, though, this doesn’t mean that text adventures have either gone away or stopped innovating.

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