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splitbrain.org - electronic brain surgery since 2001

Interactive Fiction

As you may already know from other posts, I'm a big fan of adventure games. But besides the lack of really good new games in this genre my time to play is limited compared with the good old times. However I spend about an hour per day commuting. I usually use this time to read, but now I found another way to use it: playing Interactive Fiction on my Palm.

For those of you unfamilar with the term: Interactive Fiction games or just IF are text-only adventures. Instead of seeing the game environment you're reading it. You interact by entering textual commands and get feedback through descriptions of your sourroundings. Interactive Fiction titles impress by their deep story depth and their ability to deliver an impressive complexity despite the simplistic interface.

CliFrotz running Anchorhead Many of the games are from the early beginnings of computing and are free to download these days. The nice thing is that most of them are written in the z-machine language which means they all can be run by a single interpreter. The one I use on my Palm is CliFrotz - a port of the popular Open Source tool Frotz.

Probably all freely available games are stored at ifarchive.org and ratings and reviews can be found at Baf's Guide to the Interactive Fiction Archive. So far I played Photopia and All Roads which I can recommend as simple beginner games. They both can be solved in just a few hours and you can not die, so you can safely try every crazy idea you might have. I'm currently absorbed by Anchorhead, a game inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos - very creepy and intenseā€¦

Tags:
palm, games, if, frotz
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Posted on Thursday, June the 1st 2006 (12 years ago).

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