Have you played this game?You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.
Playlists and Wishlists
RSS FeedsNew member reviews
Updates to downloadable files
All updates to this page
About the Story"Late Thursday night. You've had a hard day and the last thing you need is this: shopping. Luckily, the place is pretty empty and you're progressing rapidly. On to the next aisle...
Aisle started out as a game which would not need the usual meta-verbs... i.e. a game with only one turn. The initial idea was: How do I make a game with only one turn interesting? Give it lots of endings--in fact there are many 'endings' and (hopefully) every sensible action results in an 'ending'. There is no winning action. There is however more going on than just this and the more endings you see the more things should become clear." [--blurb from The Z-Files Catalogue]
Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: May 28, 1999
Current Version: revision 3 release 1
Development System: Inform 6
Forgiveness Rating: Merciful
Baf's Guide ID: 431
Spoofed by Pick Up the Phone Booth and Aisle, by David Dyte, Steve Bernard, Dan Shiovitz, Iain Merrick, Liza Daly, John Cater, Ola Sverre Bauge, J. Robinson Wheeler, Jon Blask, Dan Schmidt, Stephen Granade, Rob Noyes, and Emily Short
Referenced in Fingertips: The Day That Love Came To Play, by S. John Ross
Nominee, Best Story; Nominee, Best Individual PC; Winner, Best Use of Medium - 1999 XYZZY Awards
-- R. Serena Wakefield
Sam Barlow's Aisle is without a doubt one of the most unusual works to hit the IF community in quite some time. In no sense is it a game; trying to "win" it is futile, and the suboptimal outcomes aren't bad choices to be avoided as such. Rather, the point is to explore the central character and take a look at the various possibilities available to him from one point in time. That said, however, it's not clear that Aisle is an entirely successful experiment. [...] (Duncan Stevens)
See the full review
Reviews from Trotting Krips
Yes, this is experimental IF. I cringe at the very thought, normally. Aisle, however, is far and away the most effective, enjoyable experimental IF game I've come across. It's flawlessly implemented, wonderfully written, and intensely evocative. It is a very moving experience, and should stick with you long after you leave your interpreter.
See the full review
Play This Thing!
Aisle is a one-turn game. Play a turn, and the game ends.
Restart. Try something else. The game ends again.
This isn't a case where working out just the right single move will win, either. (For that, try Andrew Pontious' brilliant but difficult Rematch.) No, Aisle is partly about exploration -- an astonishing number of commands are implemented, ranging well outside the usual set of interactive fiction commands -- and partly about assembling the story that you're interested in.
See the full review
Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Crucially, a number of the less eventful endings provide hints as to your characterís backstory, which in turn fill your mind with possibilities as to new actions you could attempt. Hence, Groundhog Day - each attempt you make at the game is informed by the events of the previous one(s). You revert back to exactly the same situation every time, but though the world hasnít changed, your knowledge has - and with that comes an uncanny sense of progress.
See the full review
The writing is very good, evoking an atmosphere that I readily took part in. There were responses to all the inputs I tried, even to some that I typed simply because they always provoke a stock response from the game. My advice is to try as many ways getting information about the story as you can. Put yourself behind the trolley and into his shoes. Beware, I found some responses a little disturbing.
See the full review
|Average Rating: |
Number of Reviews: 17
Write a review
Most Helpful Member Reviews
If Aisle was just an exercise in trying random actions to see what results, it might be fun and intriguing, but hardly heartbreaking. And make no mistake: for me, Aisle is heartbreaking, oozing the same sort of neon-drenched romantic loneliness as a Wong Kar Wai film. You'll find some of the finest writing in IF here:
The trolley is a small cage of steel with bent rubber wheels. Full of your shopping: meals for one, drinks for one (well, drinks for several, but hey, who's counting?).
Gnocchi for one wouldn't really work. You settle for spaghetti and continue on to the next aisle.
As you play again and again, the backstory -- or rather, several possible backstories, but each drenched in the same melancholic longing -- gradually reveal themselves. One or two endings even hold out the promise of an end to the PC's isolation...
Truly, a great piece of work.
Also, there are some amusing twists based on IF conventions that are quite unexpected and funny.
Literary and fun: what more could one ask for?
I'd say these's about an hour of non-stop enjoyment in this title - and I haven't yet gone into the walkthrough to see what I missed.
See All 17 Member Reviews
If you enjoyed Aisle...
Related GamesPeople who like Aisle also gave high ratings to these games:
The barbarians are coming!, by Daniel Kosacki
Average member rating: (4 ratings)
My very first twine story! This is a story of you saving your village from a bunch of meanspirited barbarians. A bunch of stuff happens in the middle as well. The humor is weird and the story even weirder still, so it's not for everyone...
|Zork II, by Dave Lebling, Marc Blank|
Average member rating: (69 ratings)
The Wizard appears, floating nonchalantly in the air beside you. He grins sideways at you. The Wizard incants "Fantasize," but nothing happens. He shakes his wand. Nothing happens. With a slightly embarrassed glance in your direction, he...
|The Speaker, by Norbez|
Average member rating: (12 ratings)
Daniel Riviera lives on an Earth very different from our own, populated by both aliens and humans. A. A. Arthur is one of those aliens, a popular blogger and adviser for all of the planet's residents. Every day, he answers questions that...
Recommended ListsAisle appears in the following Recommended Lists:
A timeline of some important games for authors by MathBrush
This is a timeline of some highly influential games that used innovative techniques or left a mark on future games. I have not included 2015 games yet because it's hard to know what mark they will leave on the future. It leaves out games...
Great "lunchtime length" games by MathBrush
These are games that can generally be completed in 30 minutes or less. Some can be completed much faster. Included in this list are games that have multiple endings that can individually be reached quickly. It also includes several Twiny...
PollsThe following polls include votes for Aisle:
No Mazes, please! by AndyC
I am a returning player to IF (which I loved 30 years ago) having recently discovered the fantastic Frotz for the iPad. Looking at some of the old games again has really blown me away. I don't enjoy drawing maps but I love reading good...
One-room conversation games by Sorrel
I'm looking for a one-room game where the main focus is the conversation with an NPC. The kind of game where the NPC feels so realistic that you actually begin to feel an emotional connection of sorts. Something to the effect of Galatea.
Mouse & Milquetoast - Modern-World Games With a Timid Protagonist by Ghalev
In some games, you play a brave hero, or a cynical crime-fighter, or a cunning robber. In others, you play an artificial mind, an alien, or an animal. In many, you play nobody in particular, just an average person of some kind, doing a...
This is version 9 of this page, edited by Edward Lacey on 20 March 2013 at 10:35am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item