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shade.z5
For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.
Shade-R3.hqx
Mac OS Application (Encoded in Macintosh Bin/Hex format.)
shade.z5
original competition entry
For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.
shade-src.tar.Z
(Compressed with the Unix-style .tar.Z "tarball" format. Free unpacking tools are available for most platforms.)

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Shade

by Andrew Plotkin profile

Travel
2000

About the Story

"A one-room game set in your apartment." [--blurb from Competition Aught-Zero]

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: 3
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 6
Baf's Guide ID: 918
IFIDs:  ZCODE-2-000925-3AA8
ZCODE-3-001127-C86D
TUID: hsfc7fnl40k4a30q

Off-Site Reviews

Play This Thing!
Avert Your Eyes
Shade is one of those classics that get recommended anytime anyone recommends any IF to newcomers: it's brief, disquieting, ambiguous, memorable without being especially difficult. It offers an interaction style too guided and fluid to be called "puzzly", and which probably belongs in some other category. It threatens one's ideas of the relationship between the player and the protagonist. It has entered the canon, as far as interactive fiction has one.
See the full review

Adventure Gamers
It's "a one-room game set in your apartment" that starts off light enough, and slowly devolves into an absolutely disturbing masterpiece with an ending that will leave you stunned—and immediately desiring a replay. [...] Suffice it to say that Plotkin is a master of messing with your head, and this short work, to me, is his greatest masterpiece in that regard.
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Gaming Enthusiast
Do you want to play a creepy and ambiguous game that will mess with your brain? No better choice than Andrew Plotkin’s Shade (2000).
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International Business Times

The solid, algorithmic world of standard text-based games is turned into something more wobbly; after enough weirdness it starts to feel like anything could happen in Shade and that drums up the scare factor.
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Jay Is Games
What starts off as usual and ordinary soon develops into something quite different.
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SPAG

I cannot, without revealing entirely too much about this game, explain to you just what it was that had me raving about this game for two days afterwards, including randomly piping up with a particular rant that would, again, spoil things. Let me just assure you that this is the case: for two days, I was so haunted by this game that it was constantly in my head, teasing me... waiting for me in the darkness. In the shadows.

In the Shade.
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SynTax
I looked around for a while, became thirsty and managed to sate my thirst, but was still none the wiser as to what my objective was.
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>VERBOSE -- Paul O'Brian's Interactive Fiction Page

Quite simply, it blew me away. Not only that, it's one of those games that I wanted to restart right after I'd finished, just to try different things. When I did this, even more details came together in my head. Even now, little pieces are snapping together in my mind, and I'm getting flashes of realization about the meanings behind the meanings of so many of the game's elements. Few parts of the IF experience are as startling or as pleasurable.
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Page Update History

  v.11: 23-Sep-2013 15:32 - Edward Lacey (Current Version) - Edit Page - Normal View
Changed external review links
v.10: 17-Sep-2013 16:14 - Edward Lacey
Changed external review links
v.9: 05-May-2013 09:17 - Edward Lacey
Changed external review links
v.8: 25-Mar-2013 11:06 - Edward Lacey
Changed external review links
v.7: 12-Mar-2013 18:54 - Edward Lacey
Changed external review links
v.6: 03-Mar-2013 09:15 - Edward Lacey
Changed external review links
v.5: 07-Nov-2010 01:21 - Zarf
Changed author
v.4: 30-Apr-2008 16:18 - Paul O'Brian
Changed external review links
v.3: 27-Feb-2008 23:40 - David Welbourn
Changed description
v.2: 20-Feb-2008 17:20 - Emily Short
Changed cover art
v.1: 16-Oct-2007 01:48 - IFDB
Created page