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Linear thriller games

Recommendations by MathBrush

These are games that are pretty straightforward, and which are designed to be easy enough that you can keep moving forward while hard enough to make you nervous. These games get your blood pumping.

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1. Attack of the Yeti Robot Zombies
by Řyvind Thorsby
(2006)
Average member rating: (24 ratings)

MathBrush says:

The quintessential thriller game. Playing through more than once spoils the illusion a little but gives you a better appreciation of the planning involved. Made my palms sweat.

2. Hunter, in Darkness, by Andrew Plotkin (1999)
Average member rating: (102 ratings)
MathBrush says:

A claustrophobic thrill ride through a dark cave pursuing a sinister enemy. Great pacing.

3. All Roads
by Jon Ingold
(2001)
Average member rating: (124 ratings)

MathBrush says:

I didn't really enjoy this game the first time I played it, but now I realize I was just put off by the escape puzzle at the beginning. After that, the game really takes off as the story unfolds around you. Confusing and exciting, this one is worth playing multiple times to understand.

4. Spider and Web, by Andrew Plotkin (1998)
Average member rating: (213 ratings)
MathBrush says:

Now, this game isn't quite the same as the others because you retrace your steps so much, but the heart-pounding feeling is certainly there. Consistently ranked as one of the best games of all time.

5. Shade
by Andrew Plotkin
(2000)
Average member rating: (314 ratings)

MathBrush says:

I didn't want to include yet another Andrew Plotkin game, but this game fits the bill; a progressively creepier, linear horror game.

6. Gun Mute
by C.E.J. Pacian
(2008)
Average member rating: (112 ratings)

MathBrush says:

Contains a few inappropriate elements (like the tractor woman), but otherwise a great shoot-em-up. Blast your way through a dozen sci-fi-western critters to save your man.

7. Andromeda Dreaming
by Joey Jones
(2012)
Average member rating: (13 ratings)

MathBrush says:

An on-the-rails game in the Andromeda Universe with an interesting new language to learn and trippy flashes between dream and reality.

8. Tales of the Traveling Swordsman
by Mike Snyder
(2006)
Average member rating: (39 ratings)

MathBrush says:

Help 3 different groups of people as you journey to free a village from a tyrant. You are a mute swordsman. Folk-tale feel.

9. Eurydice
by Anonymous
(2012)
Average member rating: (32 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A beautiful, haunting modern retelling of Orpheus and Eurydice. Short and sweet.

10. Mercy, by Chris Klimas (1997)
Average member rating: (17 ratings)
MathBrush says:

Shortish game set in a hospital during a pandemic. Suffer from smallpox and love.

11. The Cabal, by Stephen Bond (2004)
Average member rating: (22 ratings)
MathBrush says:

Stop the shadowy figures who rule the IF world.

12. Deadline Enchanter
by Alan DeNiro
(2007)
Average member rating: (50 ratings)

MathBrush says:

One of the first games I ever played, and that drew me into IF. A bizarre fairy alien princess sends you a text adventure detailing her escape plan.

13. The Tower of the Elephant, by Tor Andersson (2006)
Average member rating: (17 ratings)
MathBrush says:

A well-paced adaptation of a Conan the Barbarian story.

14. The Hours
by Robert Patten
(2011)
Average member rating: (23 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A short game about time travel, with a simplified navigational system.


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