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At a Glance: IFComp 2018’s Nearly Eighty Entries (Time to Vote!)

It’s that time of year again. The time when interactive fiction writers across the globe hold their breath as they… await the results of the mighty IFComp. So uh, would you kindly help them by voting in said competition? Pretty please? Oh right, might help to show you the entries, if at a glance, first.

But first… a round of applause for the 77(!) entries? Nah. Wait. Actually, yeah, let’s hear it for the lot, and not just because that’s quite the substantial amount of interactive tales, each and every last one of which is waiting for votes. Which brings me back to the topic at hand: voting! Now, needless to say, that’s a lot of games to play for all but the most dedicated genre fans, and the organizers of IFComp are well aware of this.

As such, in an attempt to make it easier to find games that’ll fit everyone’s interest(s) and/or schedule, “this year, we’ve included some more meta-data: in addition to estimated playtime and content-warnings, we’ve asked authors to define their entry’s genre and what type of game they’ve created”. An undeniably welcome addition, even if the requirement for having your voting registered properly is only to play… five games. That’s it. Five tales of interactive fiction.

There’s one more way that we can all collectively ensure that every game gets some attention and feedback, even if not all of us play all of the games — encourage others to be judges!

Could always opt for donating instead (or both?), simply by poking about with the fundraiser and busting out that precious credit card. I’m sure the IFComp 2018 organizers will appreciate any and all support, whether it be votes, a donation, or even spreading the word, equally, though. I certainly would, so get to it. Play five entries, drop a pretty penny, tell your friends, or all of the above. Go nuts! That’s what quite a few of the writers did after all, having played quite a few of those lovely pieces of interactive fiction already.

(Source: Welcome to the 2018 IFComp)

+ = x
by Chandler Groover
An equation is a language, which is a road to move information. All matter is information. Even a crust trimmed from a sandwich. Even a planet’s crust, adrift in space, with its core blown. Those lights are the last cities, sparkling in the dark. That crescent husk is what remains, floating between the stars. Everything is an engine, and every planet is a vehicle.

Abbess Otilia’s Life and Death
by A.B.
In English, on parchment, written in 13th century textualis. Quarto, 14 leaves, in double columns, with rubrication and miniatures. Marginalia in several hands of the 14th and 17th century.

The Addicott Manor
by Intudia
You thought the abandoned manor would be easy to rob. But you were dead wrong. Its many rooms and corridors are filled with evil. You need to be lucky to make it out alive!
The Addicott Manor is constructed around two goals which can also be integrated, if the reader so desires. – One goal is to uncover the intertwining mysteries of the manor, how it all came to be. – The other goal is to find as much jewelry as possible. There are a total of six items and only one way to get them all and come out alive! You will have to choose what motivates you the most; your curiosity, greed or to save your life.

Adventures with Fido
by Lucas C. Wheeler
“You are a Corgi in a sunny backyard.” A simple premise becomes a world of opportunity in the paws of your protagonist. Explore your humble beginnings, and unlock worlds of wonder and intrigue as you complete quests, achieve objectives, earn currency, and build friendships. From a trip to the clouds to a haunted mansion to an underground kingdom, how much can a Corgi like you really get up to while exploring a backyard?

by N. Y. Llewellyn
It is what you think, you. What, is it?
No need for aibohphobia. It’s polite on the Zarfian cruelty scale -and- will let you jump to the exciting conclusion if your 2-hour judging period is almost up!

Alias ‘The Magpie’
by J. J. Guest
Sir Rodney Playfair, gentleman thief, has a simple plan: impersonate a psychiatrist, infiltrate a country house, steal a priceless Egyptian scarab and make it back to London in time for cocktails. All in a day’s work for the illustrious ‘Magpie’.

And You May Find Yourself
by A Metaphysical Inversion
You awake one morning with a beautiful house, and a beautiful wife, and no idea how you got there.

by Ian Michael Waddell
This is the story of Charlie Stewart, nine-year-old Human child.
Inside this ordinary nine-year-old Human child are four animals from the Forest, working tirelessly to keep YOUR Taiga Federation safe from Human intervention.
To read the rest of this story, please enter one Taiga dollar into the Forest vending machine to receive your exclusive Taiga Digest!

Anno 1700
by Finn Rosenløv
You have taken a job as receptionist at an old hotel on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, hoping to rekindle your interest in history before the final exam at college. Little do you know that you will get more than you bargained for when you find yourself hopelessly entangled in the legend of the famous pirate LeBeuf, the murder of his young bride and his lost treasure.

Part 1 of Many
by Soham Sevak
Set in the near future, you play as William, Lead Scientist, an instrumental part of the Project team. You are woken up in the middle of the night by an urgent summons to work. A test subject managed to escape – again – but only this time, it resulted in casualties. You must salvage your Project at any cost – choose wisely.

Basilica de Sangre
by Bitter Karella
What’s a demon to do? Your mother has been missing for weeks. Rumor has it that she’s being held prisoner in the infamous convent Basilica de Sangre. They say no demon has ever escaped from Basilica de Sangre. That’s not encouraging. But you’re going to find her and rescue her, no matter how many nuns you have to possess!

Bi Lines
1981. And you’re still not straight. Mother will be ashamed.
by Norbez
So what if you’re unsure? What if you’re falling apart?
Forget about yourself and worry about them.
That’s what she’d want.

Birmingham IV
by Peter Emery
A solitary scholar, his purpose and presence in the world a mystery even to himself, ventures abroad in a dream state. He finds a land of sunny lanes and dark forests, steeped in the blood of Celt, Saxon, Viking and Norman, where paganism never really went away – the West Midlands.
Birmingham IV tells the story of what happened next. A big, puzzle-based adventure, it contains scenes of mild peril, cartoon violence, and consumption of alcohol, so please be warned.

by Elizabeth Smyth
You can go home when you learn to be good.

Border Reivers
by Vivienne Dunstan
It’s late fifteenth century Scotland, and the dangerous world of the Anglo-Scottish Border Reivers. A murder has been committed, and it’s your task as the Warden’s son to try to find out who was responsible. Can you solve the mystery before it’s too late? Or will others die before the criminal is unmasked?

The Broken Bottle
by The Affinity Forge team; lead author, Josh Irvin
Orphaned and outcast in medieval Romania, Florin’s life takes a turn for the worse when his sister, Nadia, disappears from the neighboring gypsy circus. He and his faithful wolf companion, Zana, need your guidance to unravel the mystery. Thrust into a world of mysterious performers, a tyrant with a sinister secret, and endless intrigue and magic, Florin and Zana are in for more than they could ever imagine. Will you guide them to safety, or fall prey to this new world? The choice, and their lives, are in your hands.

by B F Lindsay
Your girlfriend has left you, leaving disturbing notes.
And she–oops–lost your laundry. In various places. Around town.
You can’t have her back. But you can try to get your laundry.

Campfire Tales
by Matthew Deline
Campfire Tales is an experimental storytelling game that uses procedural generation to change elements of the story each time you play! Gather your friends to play together, with one player reading the story aloud as narrator. And be careful, because out here, nothing is as it seems!

Cannery Vale
by Keanhid Connor
Hell, even a seagull would hit the spot right now, roasted crispy over a flame–
He immediately put all thoughts of food out of his head because at the moment it was just torture^H^H^H^H^H^H^H

Careless Talk
They could be ally or traitor
by Diana Rider
“You pace the deck anxiously as you wait for the chaplain to finish his current appointment. The skies above are a gloomy grey–not foreboding enough for a storm, too grim to be considered cheery. The green-blue smoke from the engines rises up into the atmosphere, further clouding the air. You breathe in and out, steadily. You’ve been in worse frights, but are hard-pressed to think of them now.
Nothing to do now but wait, you suppose.”

by Kaylah Facey
Potions shattered on the floor, pages torn out of books, a demolished statue… These are a few of the magical messes you will have to clean up before Enchantress Igmenta arrives for your coming-of-age test tonight. Unfortunately, you’ve never been much good at magic, and it will take all of your determination to learn enough of it to set the Pentacle Chamber to rights–and pass that test!
Charming is a short, light, puzzly game. Writing it began around September of 2015; two programming language switches, many hiatuses, a college graduation, and two missed IFComp deadlines later, Kaylah Facey is thrilled to finally release it to the public. She very much hopes you enjoy her debut interactive fiction game.

Dead Man’s Fiesta
by Ed Sibley
Summer was coming to an end, and all you wanted to do was finish grieving in peace before you had to go back to work. And because it had been a rough couple of months you bought yourself a car, you know, as a treat.
It turned out to be haunted. That was a big deal for you.
This is the story of how you dealt with that problem.

by G. Grimoire
The high priest of an obscure cult is preparing a ritual. Don the priest’s sacred mantle, for these holy labors are yours to direct. You may carve a votive, lead a prayer, or make a sacrifice — but you must see to the task with care. Unearthly eyes gaze down upon you from the sea above. Will your devotion reach them?
Does it matter?

by J. Michael
Who’s the best and brightest Gamer of ’em all? Find out by joining the 27th Annual All-Night Diddlebucker Run! You’ll compete against hundreds of other teams in the world’s most popular scavenger hunt! Find the treasures, find the clues, beat your competitors to the finish line and your team will win one million dollars and a lifetime supply of Diddlebucker popcorn! Even more, you will prove that you and your teammates are the true champions of Diddlebucker ’87!

by Leonora
You find yourself at a busy intersection where an accident is about to happen. What do you do? Who do you save? Your choices define your moral viewpoint, but everything is not as it appears to be. The more choices you make, the more you find out about the people and their motivations for being at this intersection at this particular moment. Space-time portals, murders, even aliens, are somehow all involved.

Dream Pieces 2
The Lego Box
by Iam Curio
You got trapped in a dream again before your birthday. Now you are a figurine toy and everything is made of lego!
Escape a series of rooms with puzzles by playing with pieces of words.

by eejitlikeme
Dreams are fascinating, illogical, colourful, and some people just cannot live without them.
Are you sleeping to remember or are you sleeping to forget?

Dungeon Detective
A game by Wonaglot with art by Caitlin Mulvihill
You’re a gnoll. Whether that’s a blessing or a curse is up to you. Unlike other gnolls, you’re trying to eke out a simple existence by plying your trade – that of the world’s first Dungeon Detective. Amass clues and present them to your client. Choose your partner or work alone. Eat some eggs. Or don’t.
Show them you’re not all teeth and claws, kid.

Dynamite Powers vs. the Ray of Night!
Episode 7: Fishing with Dynamite!
by Mike Carletta
Dynamite Powers and Rosalind have escaped the Chinese water torture on Lord Infamy’s dirigible. With the help of their new friend, Melcor, they led the revolt of the singing monkeys of Melodion and toppled Infamy’s oppressive regime.
Now the trio has learned the location of Lord Infamy’s superweapon, the Ray of Night — Mars! As Dynamite infiltrates the mysterious Martian base, he is ambushed by henchmen with paralyzing gas!
We rejoin Dynamite as he awakens in a new deathtrap…

En Garde
A Voyager Forever Mindless?
by Jack Welch
A man who has lost his mind.
A mouse who has lost his realm.
A dog who has lost his family.
And the scientist who will save the world.

by Maddie Fialla, Marijke Perry
The neighborhood Thanksgiving party was going pretty well until you keeled over and died.
Now you’re a ghost, and you’re going to figure out who killed you. But you can’t exactly interview people or search for clues when you’re dead, can you? All you can do is piece together memories about what happened.
No one said the memories had to be yours.

Escape from Dinosaur Island
A retro style text adventure!
by Richard Pettigrew
Escape from Dinosaur Island, is an IF text based adventure based very loosely on ‘The Lost World’ by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
After enduring a hurricane, your hot air balloon has crashed on an a mysterious island. Lost and alone, you have to find a way to survive and escape!

by Gita Ryaboy
Eunice is a shadow of its former glory. Hope is lost, just a faint mem-ory Whatever might have brought you here, That Eunice needs you, it is clear. Type out simple commands, and Notice the changes in Eunice land. Odd creatures and strange places require your aid. You’ll get as much out as the efforts you made

A Final Grind
by nrsm_ha
Text-based RPG where your character becomes weaker over time. A game about frustration, regret, and slaying goblins.
Use of a calculator is to be considered cheating.

Flowers of Mysteria
An old-fashioned text adventure
by David Sweeney
Your quest is to cure the Fisher King of his illness. When he fell ill, the once fertile land became barren. You must collect the four legendary flowers of Mysteria and make from them a herbal remedy.

The Forgotten Tavern
by Peter M.J. Gross
Max and Diana need your help, although Diana might be reluctant to admit that.
You should visit their humble establishment. If you help them with their problems, they can help you with yours.
You remember that problem of yours, right?
(In this game, you and your hammer will explore a brief career in hospitality & tourism.)

by ProP
It’s his biggest selling point and it’s a cold, hard fact: occult detective Jacob Morris has never lost a case, and he’s been in this business a long time. Join him and his singularly skilled colleague Solene in rainy Steel City as they take on a series of cases involving monsters, people, and that which falls between.
Grimnoir is a hypertext mystery game featuring seven main cases, multiple endings, and an inordinate amount of whiskey. An internet connection and speakers are recommended for the best experience, but not required. The game is not recommended for young children.

H.M.S. Spaceman
by Nat Quayle Nelson and Diane Cai
On the H.M.S. Spaceman, the first anatomically complete human-shaped space ship, the crewmen are genetically engineered to fulfill one purpose: intergalactic domination. Their latest conquest: the alien rhizoXls of Planet rhizoX. With the dangerously high levels of testosterone on board, and the aliens’ cryptic references to some upcoming “Big Bang,” these surrender negotiations are bound to go juuuuust fine.

by Wade
Yet another day is ending. Yet another day of dazzling bystanders with your spectacular illusions, all for a fistful of coins. Now it’s time to grab a bite and find a place to sleep, all alone in the big city. But little did you know that tonight, things are about to go a little… haywire.
Warning: may contain traces of violence, dark themes, and peanuts. No, really, peanuts.

I Should Have Been That I Am
by E. K. Wagner
You’re a bot, dealing cards in Vegas casinos. You live in a black and white world, an either-or world. Until now.

I.A.G. Alpha
by Serhii Mozhaiskyi
You may think this game is about a post-Soviet Research Institute. About an experiment that went out of control. You may think that the initials “I.A.G.” are somehow related to the Institute. You may think this game is unfinished. You may even think that the game ends exactly as the author tells you.
But then you will figure it out — these statements are not entirely true.
* There are two endings in this game.
* Credits roll at the end of the game.
* If you do not see the credits roll, you haven’t reached the end of the game. Yet.

Instruction Set
by Jared Jackson
How do you run a mind that cannot run itself? Enter the mind of Nora Atwood and with the help of a little science, you may be able to puzzle out her situation.

by Martyna “Lisza” Wasiluk
What do you do when you get stuck in a cell with that annoying rival agent of yours who’s been the bane of your existence for years?
In the world where words are weapons and secrets are worth more than gold, a casual conversation might be the most dangerous mission you’ll tackle yet.

Into the Lair
A simple story about blood, death, and revenge
by Kenna
You’re standing in the silent graveyard, by the entrance to the crypt Wil pulled you out of when she rescued you. The sky grows brighter and brighter behind you; soon, it’ll be too light outside for you to stand it. You’re terrified, and excited, to go back in.
You’ll sleep easier after the task is done – or you’ll be dead, really truly dead, and it won’t matter.

Junior Arithmancer
by Mike Spivey
A one-to-many-room puzzler.

The King of the World
by G.A. Millsteed
In this fantasy adventure, a boy discovers his destiny to become the legendary King of the World.

Let’s Explore Geography! Canadian Commodities Trader Simulation Exercise
by Carter Sande
Have you ever wondered what life is like for commodities traders? Why not hop in a truck, drive around Canada, and find out?
Tourism research and writing by Kyra Sande. Powered by the Desmos® Computation Layer™; download package includes access code, printable map, and solution manual. Aligned with Common Core standards CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.7, and CCSS.Math.Content.4.NBT.B.4.

the choice-based simulator game
by Bethany Nolan
Hey there, potential bank robber, today’s your lucky day.
Richman’s Circle Bank is ready, waiting, and unsuspecting. All you have to do is choose a team and try not to get caught (or die – dying is definitely a possibility).
There’s only three ways this kind of life goes: you either end up six feet under, behind bars, or sitting on a pile of money.
So get in, get the cash and get away. That’s all there is to it.

Linear Love
by Tom Delanoy
And old-school love story set where else but in France.

by Agnieszka Trzaska
You wander around in darkness – even though the lights are on.
Sandra is the only one to survive a mysterious attack on a deep space mining station. She is alive, but has lost her vision. Now Sandra must navigate the dangerous, damaged facility and overcome many obstacles, using her wits and the help of Odys, the artificial intelligence.
In Lux, the adventure game, you will explore the expansive space facility, solve puzzles and discover the truth behind the disaster.

The master of the land
by Pseudavid
Parties, power, paranoia, ghosts and dancers in the early 19th century Mediterranean. Roam freely, explore and get involved in a maze of stories with dynamic text.
The best festival in the year. All around Irene, political intrigues, social unrest and her own goal. Will she share the table with the rich or the poor? Will she understand the truth about her world, a precarious city in the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars? Will she get involved, or will she just lay back, enjoy the party and dance with the people wearing skulls?

The Mouse Who Woke Up For Christmas
by Luke A. Jones
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…
Well, that’s not quite true, there was a mouse stirring, not in the house, but in the shed at the bottom of the garden where he lived.

Murder at the Manor
A 1930s whodunnit
by Obter9
The year is 1936 and the murder of Lord Stagwood is your first big case as an Inspector of the Metropolitan Police, London.
You play the part of Inspector Percival Pike, tasked with investigating the murder of Sir Stanley Stagwood, Lord of Stagwood Manor.
Was Lord Stagwood murdered by the glamorous, yet tempestuous, Evelyn West in the parlor with the fire poker? Or did his heir-apparent, Henry Bray, stab him in the kitchen with the billiard cue?
Question the four suspects, examine the evidence, and search the manor. Only then will you have one chance to make an arrest. Will you detain the guilty party, or will the murderer get away scot-free?

Nightmare Adventure
by Laurence Emms, Vibha Laljani
A clock, a wizard and a delicious secret. Solve the riddle to restore life to a town that has all but disappeared.

The Origin of Madame Time
Authorized sequel to The Owl Consults
by Mathbrush
As an avid fan of superheroes and a harsh critic of villains, the battle over the abandoned amusement park captured your imagination. But when the nuclear airship Mephistopheles exploded above you, it seemed like all was lost–that is, until your latent powers manifested, and you became Madame Time! Explore a frozen world of unbridled power! Use the abilities of hero and villain alike to save the day!
The Origin of Madame Time is a simple (12K word) inform game set in a single moment of time in a small amusement park. The game is more difficult than my past games, and features less conversation. Madame Time has two hint systems using your powers of Foresight and Aftersight. This game was created in fulfillment of an IFComp 2017 prize.

by Jonathan Laury
A new government’s coming. A populist government looking to shake up the status quo. Your job in the Advertising Corrections Team is safe enough, but as tensions rise and regulations tighten you know that the only way to get through it all is to keep your head down and focus on your work. Isn’t it?
With knife-edge choices between compliance and rebellion, you must weigh up which consequence is worse. This is a game for right now.

by Michael Kielstra
Pegasus: the best friend of a democracy and the worst enemy of a dictator. Their Agents safeguard the liberty of the people around the world. Trained by and armed with the best humanity has to offer, they would love to see themselves as emissaries of a brighter future, but it doesn’t always work out that way. When your closest friends are trained to look around and see nothing but enemies, when your superiors are incontestably powerful and equally incontestably fallible, when your entire body is built for the sole purpose of causing pain, who can you trust?
And no, “no-one” isn’t a good enough answer.

Polish the Glass
by Keltie Wright
An odd story about a child, a bar, and something hiding in the glass. Does contain sound, recommend checking settings and using headphones for best experience. Mature content. There is only one ending.

Railways of Love
by Provodnik Games
They have feelings for each other. They are doomed to part. Train wheels click-clack monotonously. The ring of existence remains intact. Only you can break it giving the protagonists a chance for happiness. Play the fate’s part in Railways of Love, a road novel set in a science fiction world of the future.

Re: Dragon
by Jack Welch
Something went dreadfully wrong in last year’s IFFComp. Now a diabolical lawyer representing a cabal of angry dragons threatens to sue the Interactive Fiction Technological Freedom Foundation into oblivion over content on the IFFComp website.
Armed only with email, can you, George MacBraeburn, chief administrator of the IFTFF, find a solution that will save the competition and the Foundation itself?
Strap on your meta-goggles.

Shackles of Control
by Sly Merc
It was a normal day at school, but then that was gone. Teachers? Gone. Students? Also gone. You? Not gone.

Six Silver Bullets
A game of mystery by William Dooling
by William Dooling
You are the Silver Agent, a spy who has lost their mind.
You are alone in the city, without your memories…but you do have a mission, and it changes every time you play.
You also have your silver gun. It will kill any agent you choose to kill…but you only have six bullets. The city is full of agents. Friends and rivals, former lovers and mortal enemies. Can you accomplish your mission? Should you?
Decide quickly. There is not much time.

an experimental smooching simulator
by Devon Guinn
Is a kiss about the kiss itself—or the moments leading up to it? Explore all sorts of smooch-moments in this experimental interactive story.

Space Punk Moon Tour
by J_J
You are nineteen-year-old Tina Tessler: missing father, dead mother, and plagued by nightmares of things you can’t quite remember. You just won a ticket to see your favorite band. So, pack your bags and catch your space flight. You’re on your way to the Space Punk Moon Tour.

Stone of Wisdom
by Kenneth Pedersen
Once again queen Drana has a task for you. Can you obtain the stone of wisdom and will you ever be a free man?

by Steven Richards
A guided role-playing experience with some light puzzles, semi-optional combat, an extremely inexperienced GM and an imminent apocalypse.

The Temple of Shorgil
by Arthur DiBianca
One day, travel guides will talk about this “masterpiece of the Pirothian architect Kitral” — but only if you, the first person to visit it in over 1,000 years, can find out what’s inside.

Terminal Interface for Models RCM301-303
by VigiMech Corporation
A text terminal interface for interacting with your model RCM301-303 remote controlled mech.

by Linus Åkesson
“I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.” — Chuang Tzu

They Will Not Return
by John Ayliff
A post-apocalyptic tale of lonely robots.

Time Passed
by Davis G. See
All these years later and I still think about you.
A game about memory and middle school.

Tohu wa Bohu
by alex wesley moore
An immersive exploration of chronic depersonalization / derealization disorder. (Recommended listening: Radical Face, GHOST.)

by Ryan Tan
“And at last I resolved to scale that tower, fall though I might; since it were better to glimpse the sky and perish, than to live without ever beholding day.” ― H.P. Lovecraft, The Outsider
A game about words and castles. Please play online.

by A rabbit odyssey
Christopher Hayes and Daniel Talsky of [[Rabbit, Rabbit]]
You’re a regular rabbit who’s lived in the same warren your entire life. You have no reason to leave, but the THUD threatens to destroy all the baby kitens. Maybe something in the ancient places of the Ürs could help.
A lushly illustrated adventure about rabbits, inspired by Watership Down, City of Ember, Skyrim, Caves of Qud, Super Mario Brothers, and Rambo III.

Within a circle of water and sand
by Romain
A tropical archipelago with countless islands, a young woman on a quest with no clear goal, a strange tribe living on an isolated atoll, a race…
Is your journey merely beginning or is it already about to end ?

A Woman’s Choice
by Katie Benson
To breed or not to breed, that is the question. So what’ll it be, Jennifer?
Join Jennifer on her journey through life. The choices you make in her early years will resonate for years to come, sometimes with devastating consequences. But remember, as with so much of life, there are no right answers. What matters is Jennifer’s right to choose, a right that none of us can afford to take for granted.

Writers Are Not Strangers
by Lynda Clark
The meteorite could hit tomorrow, or in an hour, or six months from now. No-one seems to know, and so life goes on as normal. Although, for Alix, normal is relative.
Alix’s short stories are inspired by a variety of famous videogames and classic novels. Can you spot them all?