Posts Tagged ‘Phantom Williams’

IF Only: Games of Mystery and Discovery from IF Comp 2016

Banner image for IF Comp

IF Comp 2016 is still running, and I’m back to suggest a few more possible highlights if you’re interested in trying out the games. I am not going to have a chance to cover nearly all of the 58 entrants in this column, though, so I strongly encourage you to check out the site, pick out some games that interest you, and possibly even vote. Voting is open to anyone who has played at least five entries.

This time I’m looking at a few of this year’s IF Comp games that — in very different ways — invite the player to explore, discover and piece together a narrative.

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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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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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