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For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.
Play online via Parchment
Parchment version hosted at adamcadre.​ac
This is a pseudo-format used to represent download adviser records that apply to multiple formats.
MS-DOS Application
Contains VGAME.PRC
converted to PalmOS .prc file
Palm OS Application (PalmOS low res devices and later) (Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.)

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by Adam Cadre profile

Alternate History, Intrigue

Web Site

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: August 19, 1999
Current Version: 1.14
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 6
Baf's Guide ID: 429
IFID: ZCODE-1-990831-D8B4
TUID: ywwlr3tpxnktjasd

Off-Site Reviews

Adventure Gamers
The game ends after a set number of moves, and that number is small enough to demand numerous replays in order to fully understand what is going on in this palace.
See the full review

Gaming Enthusiast
Great writing, lots of dark humour, the opportunity to be really nasty and above all, the ending makes Varicella a great, unparalleled experience. Itís one of the best interactive fictions ever created, hands down.
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Jay Is Games
In Varicella, an ingenious piece of alternative history interactive fiction created by Adam Cadre, you have the pleasure of abandoning your usual scruples to play one of the most delightfully nasty antiheroes that I've come across: the eponymous Primo Varicella, Palace Minister at the Palazzo del Piemonte.
See the full review

Reviews From Trotting Krips

This game I thought would be that perfect, long game, but it's not - it has some definite flaws which, while they don't prevent it from being enjoyable, do prevent it from being a classic. If I-O is one of the most newbie friendly interactive fiction games I've ever encountered, this is probably about the least newbie friendly interactive fiction game I've ever come across.
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Varicella is a black comedy, with the accent on "black"--mayhem and self-aggrandizement are your character's primary objectives. It follows the lead of last year's "Little Blue Men" in making the PC amoral, driven by greed and unimpeded by sentimental things like compassion--but it addresses a factor that Little Blue Men did not, namely the problem of expecting the player to go along with the PC's objectives. All of the rivals you bump off, or arrange to have bumped off, are profoundly evil; most of them seem to enjoy abusing or exploiting those weaker than themselves. (It is arguable whether you, the PC, are just as evil, but certainly your enemies are unsavory folks.) The player can see Varicella as a sort of avenging force, therefore, even if there are no signs that Varicella actually feels that way or cares about the various evils perpetrated by his enemies except insofar as they affect him personally. It's a rationalization, but a useful one.
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Fineart Forum
Face It, Tiger, You Just Hit the Jackpot: Reading and Playing Cadre's Varicella
We consider a specific character, Princess Charlotte, in the 1999 interactive fiction work Varicella by Adam Cadre. To appreciate and solve this work, the interactor must both interpret the texts that result (as a literary reader does) and also operate the cybertextual machine of the program, acting as a game player and trying to understand the system of Varicella's simulated world. We offer a close reading focusing on Charlotte, examining the functions she performs in the potential narratives and in the game. Through this example, we find that in interactive fiction - and we believe in other new media forms with similar goals - works must succeed as literature and as game at once to be effective. We argue that a fruitful critical perspective must consider both of these aspects in a way that goes beyond simple dichotomies or hierarchies.
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Page Update History

  v.9: 24-Oct-2015 10:30 - Adam Cadre (Current Version) - Edit Page - Normal View
Changed download links
v.8: 23-Sep-2013 15:50 - Edward Lacey
Changed external review links
v.7: 17-Sep-2013 16:06 - Edward Lacey
Changed external review links
v.6: 10-Aug-2010 13:26 - Dave Chapeskie
Changed download links
v.5: 05-May-2010 08:29 - Emily Boegheim
Changed download links
v.4: 26-Aug-2008 15:09 - Emily Short
Changed external review links
v.3: 28-Feb-2008 09:44 - Eriorg
Changed author
v.2: 24-Feb-2008 20:44 - Adam Cadre
Changed cover art, publication date, genre, Web site URL
v.1: 16-Oct-2007 01:50 - IFDB
Created page