Posts Tagged ‘ Emily Boegheim ’

Interactive Fiction Competition: It And The Guardian

(Though the IFComp ends today, I’m still catching up on my reviews. Here are my impressions of It and The Guardian, with a few more to follow later this week.)

Despite the name “interactive fiction”, most works are first and foremost puzzle-based games. Does this limit its literary potential? About a decade back, there was a movement to create “puzzleless IF” that would let the characters and plot come to the forefront. I remember those attempts as unsuccessful, though; interacting through a text parser naturally leads to situations that need to be figured out, and without a focus on puzzles, it was easier to notice the ways that the computer system didn’t completely model reality.

Coming back after a few years away from IF, I’m pleasantly surprised with how far a plot-based focus and puzzleless approaches have come along. Some of the games that I already looked at (The Play and Keepsake) are about living through a simple story, with the only puzzle being the metagame of figuring out how the story can be changed on subsequent playthroughs. Here, I look at two more works that certainly don’t adhere to a pure puzzleless approach, but keep the puzzles very simple in order to focus on their story.

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