It’s October, so it’s time for the annual Interactive Fiction Competition, which this year is the twentieth. What a phenomenal achievement by the IF community and the various competition organisers. And to think, some people say video games are still a young medium.
For various unimportant reasons I have barely played an IF game of any description in four years. I expect I’ve missed out on some classics. Consequently if you want an informed perspective on the scene, I am the last person whose reviews you should read. And yet, here they are.
1) Even if I hate your game, I love you.
2) Your game is better than mine, since I haven’t yet written anything capable of being shown to another human being. But criticism is a skill too!
3) If you want a transcript, please get in touch and ask for one. I reserve the right to edit my own inputs to make myself look better.
4) Ratings are on a three-point scale of Great, Good and Grim, which will be finessed into a rating out of ten in time for the competition voting deadline.
5) This review may contain (a) spoilers right to the end of the game, (b) adult themes and (c) material that some people may find offensive.
Disclaimers out of the way, time for the first game, which is (drumroll:)
The Black Lily, a z-code game by Hannes Schueller.
(Here’s my review of Hannes Schueller’s 2009 entry, The Believable Adventures of an Invisible Man. My younger self gave it a grumpy 3 out of 10 but word on the street is that a later reworked version was better.)