The Challenge

A Textulean(?) Task

I have long been fascinated with Interactive Fiction, dabbling here and there, both in playing and writing, but have never taken either side of the endeavor seriously.

But no more!!!

I am now on a monumental journey, a life’s quest, a dumb obsessive hobby I have created for myself… to play and review the top 100 (and 20) game entries in the Interactive Fiction Database. [I’ll get to that “and 20” in a bit]

The Games

[This is where I explain the “and 20” thing, see it didn’t take that long]

There are two primary Best Of list on the IFDB. One is the IFDB Top 100 (take a bit to load) which is [a]n automatically updated list utilizing an IMDb style Bayes estimator to calculate weighted ratings based on all IFDB ratings, created by the user Pegbiter. The other is Interactive Fiction Top 50 of All Time (2019 edition) where 50 participants cast a total of 806 votes on 306 different games organized by Victor Gijsbers. (The Top 50 list actually has 68 titles but who’s counting?)

While there is plenty of overlap, there are a number of titles on the Top 50 list that are not on the top 100 list, 20 to be precise.

As the IFDB Top 100 automatically updates, I created The List with the Top 100 from April 19, 2020.

The Guidelines

I will make the best attempt to play every game on The List! A couple titles seem to be unavailable, namely Bee by Emily Short and Gateway – Mike Verdu, Michael Lindner, and Glen Dahlgren. Some others I may not be able to run om my computer. There are a few TADS games on The List!, and I am currently unable to install TADS on my machine.

I will attempt to finish every game I start, even if that means having to rely on hints or a walk-through. With that being said, I am not going to struggle through a game that I am truly not enjoying. I am a grown adult with a baby on the way (or here already, who knows when you are reading this).

On the subject of walk-throughs, I will not rush to quickly to hints. I will enjoy being stumped for a bit, without letting myself getting angry-frustrated.

If a game has multiple know endings I will attempt to achieve at least two if reasonable to do so (I don’t think I will replay a large game a second time).

How I will be deciding to pick the order of play is explained here.