Posts Tagged ‘jedediah berry’

IF Only: Apocalypse Eve

Prospero Cover Clip

Apocalypse is a popular topic of IF. Brian Moriarty’s Trinity explored the threat of nuclear annihilation, back in 1986; Phantom Williams’ 500 Apocalypses got several mentions here last year, from me and from Philippa Warr. Max Kreminski’s Epitaph takes a more Spore-like approach, as you’re allowed to try to nurture procedurally generated civilizations to survive longer than a few turns, and instead (most likely) rack up an impressive collection of failures.

Whatever kind of apocalypse you’re trying to model, interactive fiction probably has something to offer. Here are some of the most interesting.

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IF Only: Strangely Thought

Cropped screenshot for Fabricationist DeWit

Text can conjure modes of thinking impossible to convey in images. Wordplay games are an obvious subset of this. Interactive fiction supplies plenty games where you can interact with metaphors as though they were reality, or use verbs only if they start with the correct letter, or convert objects into anagrams of themselves. In fact, the interactive fiction database offers dozens of games in this style.

But there are other and subtler forms of textual strangeness as well: protagonists who think very unlike us, differences between the game universe and our own that only show up after some time, ambiguities deliberately cultivated.

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