interactive fiction

Fiddlesticks! The 17th Interactive Fiction Competition has been go for half the damn month already, and I haven’t so much as eyeballed an entry. I hide my head beneath the fridge in shame.

It does not help my tenuous frame of mind that The Interactive Fiction Archive is spurning my attempts at downloading the games. Blast it all. Where is worldwide pneumatic data transfer when you need it?

Don’t answer that, for it was a rhetorical question.

I suppose I’ll have to play them online for now. Every second counts.

Expect my thinkings on them. And not just any thinkings, either. They’ll be select. The cream. The bejizz.

They’ll be late. You can think of them as retro with a fucking fast turnaround.

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Zombie screencap

It just goes to show: There is nothing you can do to stop an invasion of zombies. Or zombie games, for that matter.

You have no doubt already surmised through my subtle subliminal cues that I am talking about the winner of IntroComp 2011. The results were announced yesterday, and I seen them. I seen them at GameSetWatch, actually, which came as an ephemeral shock because I’d forgotten to be the one to get the news out first. Continue reading

Would you look at the time. Voting for IntroComp 2011 is all fut, and I haven’t so much as reviewed half the entries. I should feel ashamed of myself, but I had to wash my hair some time, you know.

Let’s ignore that for a moment, shall we? The important thing is that I’m standing next to a corpse. The smell of roasted personflesh is slung on the air, but I’m not fazed in the littlest.

This aught to be perplexing, but I’ve never been bugged by minimalist death. Continue reading

Oh man, when interactive fiction is done right it’s sublime.

This morning I played Speculative Fiction, an IntroComp 2011 entry I think I should have left to last, because now it’s done and I’m oozing towards a depressive state.

But really, for once I have nothing to complain about. Aside from a few nano-niggles, Speculative Fiction is a transfixing study in Doing Things Right. Continue reading

I was 14 when last I read a Choose Your Own Adventure book. It was a disheartening experience – one that remains with me in the form of tinnitus and persistent nose bleeds.

First off, I am a hardened loser of pages. I cannot put a pamphlet down for two minutes without losing both my place and will to live, so the mere thought of trying to regain the last page I read of Little Kitten Sleeps Over is enough to send me into convulsions and unnecessary frothing.

Also, I am inexplicably atrocious at picking my way through the labyrinth of choices offered in these things. How the hell am I supposed to infer what Little Kitten is supposed to do next? Reliable sources have assured me that there is a special circle of Hell reserved for those who read Adventure books sequentially, so I gave up, burned Little Kitten Sleeps Over and salted the book’s ashes. Continue reading

IntroComp is like like lap dancing. That is to say, IntroComp is all about being a tease, and being a tease is all about revealing just enough, and not too much.

Or not too little.

About that. I’ve just played through The Despondency Index, IntroComp 2011′s entry number something. I’m using the term “played through” in the most diaphanous of ways, actually, because The Despondency Index is not so much a snippet of interactive fiction as a snippet of underactive fiction. Continue reading

When I hear the word “bender” I instantaneously think of the pleasant alcoholic blackouts of my fragile youth.

I do not think of supernatural powers involving the unfair treatment of earth and water, but such is life. And such, apparently, is the nature of Bender, the second IntroComp 2011 entry I’ve chosen to review. Continue reading


Yesterday I nobly took up the cause of reviewing games for IntroComp 2011, an interactive fiction competition in which non-linear-ish writers do the dogfight for prize money with introductory builds of games they’re working on. Anybody, even us foreigners, can post a score indicating how much they want to see a game finished to the competition’s grand overseer, Jacqueline Ashwell.

The first intro I chose to splutter about in was Chunky Blues, whose title grasped at my face like a blind wino in the throes of an emotional outbreak. Continue reading

So IntroComp 2011 is under way. Clapping!

Some people do not like interactive fiction and will not know what IntroComp is. I do not speak to these people unless it’s to quote at them from an infuriatingly obscure piece of interactive fiction I’ve never played. Continue reading