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scavenger.zip *
Contains scavenger.gam
For all systems. To play, you'll need a TADS 2 Interpreter - visit tads.org for interpreter downloads.
scavenger.zip *
Windows Application
For all systems. To play, you'll need a TADS 2 Interpreter - visit tads.org for interpreter downloads.
* Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.

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by Quintin Stone profile

Science Fiction

Web Site

(based on 21 ratings)
3 member reviews

About the Story

Search a war-shattered world for secrets of the past.

Game Details

Language: English (en-US)
Current Version: 1.2
License: Freeware
Development System: TADS 2
Forgiveness Rating: Tough
Baf's Guide ID: 2162
IFIDs:  TADS2-80C1FC87A8CCFE38E267C733E2B38956
TUID: ii7j0kliujc4k8wf


Nominee, Best Game; Nominee, Best Puzzles; Nominee, Best Individual NPC - 2003 XYZZY Awards

3rd Place - 9th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2003)

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide

Set in a fairly cliche post-apocalyptic environment, but with very solid game-play and a decent story. You are a scavenger seeking to recover some valuable items from before the holocaust, and are allowed to take your choice of equipment. (Each choice, as far as I was able to tell, will make one puzzle easier to solve; none is wrong.) That option, combined with multiple puzzle solutions and branching endings, adds a fair amount of replay value. There are a couple of good scenes with NPCs, as well. Overall, a strong work, not exactly experimental but making good use of existing techniques and ideas, with some old-school puzzles.

-- Emily Short

Two Translations
But the true strength of the game, in my opinion, consists in the level of involvement "Scavenger" manages to provide. At the beginning of the game, I thought, "It's as though I'm playing Doom in TADS." Indeed, the setting, the descriptions, and, in a certain sense, even the actions which the player has to take in order to make progress are similar to the ones in a first-person shooter.
See the full review

Inside the main location, I was frustrated by clear solutions combined with inability to get the required response. That said, the tension built nicely and crept up on me unawares. (Virginia Gretton).

The primary task breaks down nicely into subgoals, how to enter the base for instance, but there are also puzzles which are more of less optional, depending on the supplies you have and whether or not you want a full score. The balance between player freedom and keeping the plot moving was well handled in my opinion. (Cirk Bejnar)
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>VERBOSE -- Paul O'Brian's Interactive Fiction Page

I was smiling a lot during Scavenger, and my notes are full of little comments that read "VERY NICE" or something similar. It would have been improved by a few puzzle tweaks, a more original setting, and either being released outside the comp or streamlined to a more reasonable two-hour size, but I can still enthusiastically recommend it.
See the full review


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Member Reviews

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Number of Reviews: 3
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Solid entertainment, March 30, 2011
by Lipa (Slovenia)
I often compare playing IF to watching a movie. It’s an activity that will occupy me for a few hours in the evening and hopefully provide for some entertainment. Of course, if it also offers something deeper to let me think about, a sort of "opening the mind" experience, the more the better. However, I’m not always in the mood for complex movies. Indeed, sometimes after a long and tiring day, instead of watching a "Schindler’s List", I’d just like to make myself comfortable, crack open a can of beer, plug in a good old "Die Hard" or something, and just let my mind have fun on its own… And the same goes for interactive fiction. Although I highly appreciate complex IF masterpieces, sometimes all I want is a short, fun piece with a solid story and puzzles that won’t get me bogged down too late in the night.

In this respect, "Scavenger" truly delivers! Set in the (rather typical) post-apocalyptic world, the goal is to explore an abandoned underground base, learn a thing or two about its history and secrets, and safely return to the surface with something to show and a story to tell… Although the plot as such is obviously not something that we’ve never seen before, there are two aspects in which this piece truly shines: the first is the atmosphere, which lets you easily immerse in the experience, and the second is the perfectly smooth "flow" of the story. The plot unfolds at just the right pace, with very few obstructions. There are a number of "instant death" situations, but the prior warnings and the ability to undo afterwards makes them more of an interesting "detour" than a true dead end. The puzzles are brutally logical and straightforward, sometimes to the point of being almost too obvious, and most of the time the player has a very clear idea of what to do next (or even what to look for in order to solve a particular puzzle). This all makes for an exceptionally smooth, enjoyable ride through the story. The option at the beginning to choose from a few items which will make certain puzzles easier to solve (although none is necessary) is also a nice addition, which together with the multiple ending approach and the secondary quest of "how to get the full score" provides for some extra replay value.

I highly recommend "Scavenger" to all who are looking for good IF entertainment with a solid story, logical puzzles and great atmosphere. The rating is only shy of five starts due to the fact that it’s not particularly "deep". But hey, on a grey and rainy evening – does it really matter?

Fun sci-if base infiltration gem. Shortish game with some under clued puzzles, February 3, 2016
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 2 hours
I enjoyed Scavenger, and will probably revisit it. You play a scavenger in a post-apocalyptic society who has a lead on a big find. You have to find and search a base. There are no big surprises here, but plenty of fun puzzles.

Some of the puzzles, though fun, were a bit under clued. At least four puzzles depend on you searching or moving objects that are not obviously searchable, or that are similar to earlier immobile/unsearchable objects, or which you are explicitly told have nothing in them. This draws back from the fun.

The games NPCs have a lot of character, especially in their descriptions and responses.

It may seem as if I didn't like this game, but it has that elusive 'it'-ness that makes a game enjoyable and with it. Perhaps this is the reason it was nominated for a Best Game XYZZY.

Featured on Radio K #4, October 21, 2015
by Adam Cadre (Albany, California)
Kat Zhang and I discuss Scavenger at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dat2GbRdL8c#t=29m37s

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Games where a significant portion of the gameplay involves buying, selling, or trading items, especially if there are tactical advantages associated with different objects and the player has to decide which things to acquire for what...

Apocalypse How by katz
Post-apocalyptic games: equal parts cliche and fun. Authors are free to dispense with pesky NPCs, complicated modern technology, and implementing working everyday items. Players can have no inhibitions about acting like murderous...

Best cover art by MathBrush
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See all polls with votes for this game


This is version 6 of this page, edited by Edward Lacey on 19 February 2013 at 3:52pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item