Take lamp. Open mailbox. Get ye flask. Ah, the simple pleasure of the text adventure game. For those out there old enough to remember and enjoy such classics as Zork and the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Infocom game, we have a treat for you. IFComp 2008, otherwise known as the 14th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition is in full swing, and you have the chance to vote for the winner.
According to the web site, the IFComp is “a chance to enjoy some of the best short adventure games available anywhere.” The games are available as a ZIP download and voting takes place on the site and through email. The competition opened up a few days ago, but judging lasts about six weeks, so there’s still plenty of time to get acquainted with this year’s entries.
Many people regard text adventure games as one of the inspirations for the alternate reality gaming genre, so we imagine many of you will appreciate these imaginative, puzzling narratives. I’m going to start with Nerd Quest by RagtimeNerd because I’ve always wanted to know how to free myself if trapped in a server room. Enjoy!
Players of Perplex City have been hard at work this month on submissions for a video contest, and recently, submissions have made their way onto YouTube, a popular online video streaming service. As we told you earlier this month, the video contest is part of a campaign to promote the city which is central to the ongoing alternate reality game, entering its fourteenth month of continuous game play. While ARGN is definitely not in the business of film criticism, I personally viewed all 35 that were up for viewing and found a few that were funny, some that were extremely well-made, and one or two entries that were rather…. interesting. Here are my (completely unofficial) must-see picks:
- Private Eye – The ARGN Editor’s Pick, if only for the included line “If she knew, she wasn’t telling me. She wasn’t telling anyone anymore.” Love it.
- Hitchhikers Guide to Perplex City – A close second place. Very good use of GUI.
- The Quest for The Cube mini-series – parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Proof positive that good things come in multiple episodes, and our third place pick, cumulatively. The ball in part four made me chuckle incessantly, but the freeze frame in part 5 did me in for good.