Archive for the ‘IF’ Category


Games Played in 2010

December 31, 2010

My “Games Completed” list this year is quite good.  Part of that is that my total number of games played is inversely proportional to the amount of time I play World of Warcraft.  Meaning I didn’t play much Warcraft this year, so I played a lot of other things.  The other reason is that I really tried to put an emphasis on completing games this year.  I pick up a lot of games and tend to dabble a lot, but I’m easily distracted by the next thing and leave many games hanging.  This year I dabbled less and finished more.  So without further ado…

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Zork My Kindle

October 11, 2010


One of the things I love about the Kindle is that it does one thing really well, which is be a book reading device.  It doesn’t have to make bacon and change my oil and do a dozen other multimedia functions, so long as reading on it is a superlative experience.  So while it does have a browser on it, I really haven’t cared much, other than to buy books.  Until today, when I stumbled upon the perfect marriage of new tech and old.

PortableQuest is a game engine made for text-based interactive fiction that can be played on the Kindle.  Just fire up Whispernet and browse to on your Kindle to get started.  You can play Mini-Zork I, Zork I, Zork II or Zork III.

Best of all, you won’t have to worry about being eaten by a grue.  Who said the Kindle needs a backlight!


Action Castle

April 5, 2010


> You are standing in a small cottage.  There is a fishing pole here.
Exits are: Out

One of the big buzz items from PAX East last weekend was Gabe & Tycho’s impromptu live playing of Action Castle.  Before I even saw the video, I had to order it from Memento Mori.

What is Action Castle?  It’s basically an interactive fiction text adventure game (ala Zork) turned party game.  Called a parsely game,  after the programs that ran the old text adventures, the game consists of one person playing the parser, and the rest playing the player.  As the player, people take turns issuing commands to the parser, who returns a response in the style of the old text parser games.  You lose by dying, or win by meeting the victory conditions of the game.

The physical game comes simply of a double-sided 11″ x 17″ z-folded glossy card, one side consisting of parsely game rules, and the other consisting of the specifics of the game, in this case Action Castle.  See the video from PAX East after the jump.

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APPraisal: Frotz

October 12, 2009


‘Appy Monday Interaction Fiction fans!  For those who don’t know, Interactive Fiction (IF) games, a.k.a. text adventures, were popular back in the 70’s and 80’s, when games weren’t defined by the quantity of their pixels.  From Colossal Cave Adventure (which I played on the mainframe when my dad would take me to his work) through the Infocom era, text-based games used gamer’s imaginations to supplement detailed and often humorous plots.  Back in the day, games like Zork were household names.  Frotz taps into the power of the iPhone / iPod Touch to … well, to run these games in all their non-graphical splendor.

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Zork: The Musical

September 30, 2009


Posted by Corey Doctorow at BoingBoing:

Phil sez, “Errol and Pifie, two members of the 50 Songs in 90 Days songwriting challenge (known as 50/90) have created a nerd-core masterpiece. A rockin’ walkthrough to the original ZORK text adventure game.”

Walkthrough, MP3 download (Thanks, Phil!)



Infocom on IM

August 6, 2007

Hitchhiker’s on Jabber

We old skoolers can well remember the fun of, you know, using your imagination to play games. I’m talking about “interactive fiction” popularized by a little company called Infocom. I still own a couple, such as The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (complete with pocket fluff and microscopic space fleet) and Bureaucracy.

ell now you youngsters can experience the magic … via IM! Just point your Jabber client (or GTalk or iChat) to to get started. !startgame starts a game (like !startgame hitchhikers_guide), !stopgame stops a game, !status prints out your progress. You can also save and restore.

Looks right now like you can play The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Leather Goddesses of Phobos, Wishbringer, Zork I, Zork II and Zork III. Awesome! Thanks Ben! Keep ’em coming!

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