Examples of Interactive Fiction

A small anthology of pieces by the makers of Inform

It would be impossible in this small space to give a full or even a representative picture of what people have done with IF in the last thirty years. The Interactive Fiction Data Base (IFDB) is IF's answer to the more famous Internet Movie Data Base, but with the advantage that it offers most of the works in question for free and rapid download.

Just as a taste of the medium, and for something to test interpreters with, here is a short selection of works by the makers of Inform. Each download here is a Blorbed Z-machine story file.

Download Welcome booklet. Click on the PDF logo (left) to browse or download a guide-book on how to play IF, written by Emily Short.

Will Crowther and Don Woods

Download Adventure (1976-77). Okay, Crowther and Woods did not make Inform: but they did pioneer the whole genre. This is a modern playing edition of the very first work of IF in the modern sense: the original Adventure game, set in the Colossal Cave.

Graham Nelson

Download Curses (1993). Looking through an attic for a tourist map of Paris turns into a shaggy-dog story of unexpected diversions: magic realism with added daisies and a vexing aunt.

Download Jigsaw (1995). Sixteen interlinked re-enactments as a mosaic history of the twentieth century, plus some animals to draw in a sketchbook for reasons which will not become clear for a very long time.

Andrew Plotkin

Download Spider and Web (1998). A vacation in our lovely country! See the ethnic charms of the countryside, the historic grandeur of the capital city. Taste our traditional cuisine; smell the flowers of the Old Tree. And all without leaving your own armchair!

Download Shade (2000). A single location, crowded in with claustrophobia and ambiguities. As Baf's Guide (a Halliwell-like reviewing site) noted, "it's difficult to say much more about it without spoilers".

Download Dreamhold (2004). An award-winning introductory game intended for those entirely new to the medium, and filled with hints.

Emily Short

Download Galatea (2000). A conversation with a work of art. "47. Galatea. White Thasos marble. Non-commissioned work by the late Pygmalion of Cyprus. (The artist has since committed suicide.) Originally not an animate. The waking of this piece from its natural state remains unexplained."

Download Savoir-Faire (2002). The beautiful life is always damned, they say. As for you, you've overexpended yourself: fifteen years of prominence, champagne, carriage rides in the Tuileries, having your name whispered behind manicured hands, getting elegant ladies out of elegant fixes - and you're in debt. Bound by oath and honor to a pack of scoundrels.