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Abuses of the IF engine

Recommendations by mjhayes (Niagara Falls, NY)

Although various interpreters were written to facilitate play and creation of interactive stories, it should be obvious that some people would find ways to write computer games using the various aspects of the interpreters.

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1. SameGame, by Kevin Bracey (1998)
Average member rating: (3 ratings)
mjhayes says:

Use your mouse to click on a cluster of two or more pieces of the same color to clear them. Strategically create the biggest cluster you can for maximum points. The top ten scores can be saved to a separate file.

2. The Mad Bomber, by Neil James Brown (1997)
Average member rating: (3 ratings)
mjhayes says:

Use the spacebar to drop bombs from your plane to clear out the scenery below before you crash into it. Uses "timer" functions to operate in real-time.

3. Robot Finds Kitten, by David Griffith, Leonard Richardson (1997)
Average member rating: (14 ratings)
mjhayes says:

Self-described as a Zen simulation, it's not really a game, but a fun way to waste time. Use the arrow keys to move the "robot" around, bumping into ASCII characters that represent who-knows-what, until you find the one that is Kitten.

4. Paint and Corners, by L. Ross Raszewski (1998)
Average member rating: (1 rating)
mjhayes says:

An adaptation of a game idea that has had many different names on as many platforms, from SNAFU on the Intellivision to Dominoes in 1970's arcades. Also familiar as the "bike scene" from the movies Tron and Tron Legacy. Use the arrow keys to create a trail of paint, and try to use your trail to entrap the AI player before the AI does the same to you (or you entrap yourself).

5. ASCII Cars!!, by Jorge Arroyo (1998)
Average member rating: (3 ratings)
mjhayes says:

Classic car racing, now in an IF format!

6. Sylenius Mysterium, by C. E. Forman (1997)
Average member rating: (4 ratings)
mjhayes says:

Starts off as a regular IF game but then turns into ASCII Super Mario Bros. Real-time auto-scrolling with keyboard commands for jumping. There are four levels. If you can get the hang of this and clear even the first level, give yourself a jewel-encrusted egg.

7. ZassBall, by L. Ross Raszewski (1998)
mjhayes says:

Another real-time game in IF. A little bit like Qix - build walls to entrap bouncing balls, but don't let them bounce into walls while they're being built.

8. Reverzi, by John Menichelli (1999)
Average member rating: (2 ratings)
mjhayes says:

The board game Reversi, AKA Othello, ported to IF.

9. Space InvaderZ, by L. Ross Raszewski (1998)
mjhayes says:

The name should tell you what this is about. No further explanation necessary.

10. Tetris, by Alexey Pajitnov (1985)
Average member rating: (9 ratings)
mjhayes says:

Formerly known as Freefall, it's Tetris in IF. Just make sure your interpreter can handle timed events.

11. Hunt the Wumpus, by Gregory Yob, Magnus Olsson, and David Ahl (1972)
Average member rating: (12 ratings)
mjhayes says:

Not exactly an "abuse" game, but an excellent adaptation of a computer game from the early '70s. Navigate your way through any of five networks of caves, finding the Wumpus before it finds you. Watch out for bats and slime pits along the way.

12. Z-Chess, by Eric Schmidt (2002)
mjhayes says:

Chess with no AI, so you'll need a friend to play with you.

13. Zokoban, by Jake Wildstrom (1999)
Average member rating: (1 rating)
mjhayes says:

Sokoban - Japanese for "Warehouse Puzzle" - ported to IF. Use the arrow keys to move the worker around the warehouse, pushing crates onto glyphs on the floor. You can only push one crate and a time, and you cannot pull crates. The puzzles get pretty hard fast.

14. Robots - Another abuse of the Z-machine, by Torbjörn Andersson (1995)
Average member rating: (2 ratings)
mjhayes says:

On some computer platforms, this was called "Daleks." You are surrounded by robots, all of which take a step toward you every time you take a step. Manipulate the robots to ram into each other and leave behind scrap heaps which can destroy other robots, until none of them are left. Each new level has more robots. Strangely addictive.

15. Zombies, by ANONYMOUS (1999)
Average member rating: (4 ratings)
mjhayes says:

Very similar to Robots, only there are pits which you have to manipulate the zombies to fall into. You can play with shallow pits, which fill when a zombie falls into it, or with deep pits, which don't fill.

16. zRogue, by Gevan Dutton (1998)
Average member rating: (5 ratings)
mjhayes says:

AKA NetHack. You are being warned - if you play this game and have never played it before, you can kiss your productivity goodbye for the next few days. You will get hooked! Rogue is a dungeon crawler with randomized dungeons.

17. Z-Life, by Julian Arnold (1996)
Average member rating: (2 ratings)
mjhayes says:

Conway's Game of Life, ported to IF. Watch the cells through the generations and the colonies ebb and flow.

18. Frobozz Magic Video Poker, by Zach Matley (2000)
mjhayes says:

Uses the graphics file from Zork Zero (which you must provide) to simulate Poker. There is also a version which uses ASCII graphics.

19. Super Z Trek, by John Menichelli, Chris Nystrom, David Ahl, Mike Mayfield, and Bob Leedom (2000)
mjhayes says:

The popular Star Trek game from early computer platforms, ported to IF.

20. ZRacer
by David Fisher
(2007)
Average member rating: (2 ratings)

mjhayes says:

Another racing game, which uses the interpreter's timer functions.

21. Z-snake, by Zach Matley (2000)
Average member rating: (2 ratings)
mjhayes says:

The "snake" game was popular on many computer platforms, new and old alike. Use the arrow keys to navigate a snake around to eat "apples." Each time you eat an apple, you grow a little, and another apple respawns in a random location. Grow your snake as long as you can before you inevitably bite your tail.


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