[IF Comp 2017] The Richard Mines

The Richard Mines is a parser-based game by Evan Wright.


Czechoslovakia, 1949. Though World War Two has been over for several years, rumors of underground German factories still persist. No one has found found yet, until now…

Review (with spoilers) after the cut.

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[IF Comp 2017] The Traveller

The Traveller is a minimally-interactive web-based visual novel by Kaelan Doyle Myerscough. It includes graphics and background music.


Earth has fallen; the remains of humanity float adrift in space. To them, you are the savior of humanity… but on a routine scouting mission, you are lost, presumed dead. Alone in the vast expanse of space, you are a traveller with no home – and a mother who may never see her daughter again.

Explore five unique planets across time; encounter alien societies and make difficult moral choices; experience radically different themes, narrative trajectories and outcomes with every playthrough.

You can play it online here.

Review after the cut.

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[IF Comp 2017] The Wand

The Wand is a parser-based game by Arthur DiBianca.


Explore the wizard Bartholloco’s castle with the help of a versatile magic wand. Can you overcome his challenge? Can you levitate a rock? Can you slice a baltavakia?

(Puzzle-oriented and family friendly.)

You can play it online here until the competition ends, or download it from the comp website.

Review (with some minor spoilers) after the cut.

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[IF Comp 2017] Goodbye Cruel Squirrel

Goodbye Cruel Squirrel is a parser-based game by Extra Mayonnaise.


You are a gray squirrel in a suburban neighborhood. Your mission is to save your tribe from starvation. Enjoy the characters you meet, and be creative in solving puzzles.

You can play it online here until the end of the competition, or download it from the comp website.

Review after the cut.

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[IF Comp 2017] The Unofficial Sea-Monkey(R) Simulation

The Unofficial Sea-Monkey(R) Simulation is a web-based CYOA story by B.J. Best.


Sometime during 1987, your father comes home from work–late, as usual. He tosses a small box onto the kitchen counter. “Here,” he says, “you wanted fish. You get these. Let’s see how you do first, and then maybe we’ll get a real tank.”

You can play it here until the end of the competition.

Review after the cut.

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IFComp 2017: return to form?

On October 1, 2016, the games were released for the 22nd annual Interactive Fiction Competition.

On October 1, 2016, I also went into labor.

So… I didn’t play a single comp game last year, let alone blog about them. I was a bit busy. (I did do a heck of a lot of crosswords in the last year, though. You can solve crosswords on your phone while holding a sleeping baby with the other arm!) I haven’t even played the comp winner, Detectiveland, even though the author is one of my favorites – his Hamlet – The Text Adventure was the very first IF I ever ever played, something like 15 years ago.

For that matter, I’m still a bit busy. Wonderfully, joyfully, hectically, stressfully busy. Being a mom is fantastic and also take up pretty much all previously-free time. But I miss IF, so I’m going to give this a go. I’m rather glad that there are 80 (wowza!) games in the competition this year, because that means that even if I was still childless I wouldn’t have a hope of playing all of them in the judging period – so I don’t need to feel bad about not getting through all of them.

I’m also not going to try for extensive, deep-dive reviews of the games I do play. But I plan to put something here. It’s nice to feel like I can be both a mom and all the things I was before.

So… see you soon?


GROWBOTICS is a browser-based piece by Cha Holland.

Cover art from GROWBOTICS by Cha Holland

A new generation in construction and creativity is finally here! No matter who you are GROWBOTICS will help you channel your inner artist.
A short exploration of invention, expectation, learning and context.
Minimal use of sound. Internet Explorer and mobile browsers are not fully supported.

You can play it here until the comp ends.

Review after the cut.

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