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Games of Infocom quality and length (or better)

Recommendations by MathBrush

These are games that are as long as an Infocom game (i.e. Shade would be too short) and are as good quality (so Colossal Cave Adventure, though fun, is out). By quality, I mean the kind of things accomplished by numerous testers: few parser errors, plenty of non-standard responses, feels finished, etc.

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1. Curses!
by Graham Nelson
(1993)
Average member rating: (96 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A big game with awesome plot, intricate and detailed puzzles, interesting characters, and fantastic locations. Better than any Zork or Enchanter games.

2. Anchorhead
by Michael Gentry
(1998)
Average member rating: (267 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A big Lovecraftian horror game. Much more substance than the generally fluffy infocom games. Book-worthy plot.

3. The Mulldoon Legacy, by Jon Ingold (1999)
Average member rating: (33 ratings)
MathBrush says:

As long, hard, and detailed as Spell Breaker, if not a bit longer. Explore a magical museum.

4. Not Just An Ordinary Ballerina
by Jim Aikin
(1999)
Average member rating: (25 ratings)

MathBrush says:

Explore a creepy, abandoned mall on Christmas Eve. Very large, lots of difficult puzzles. Fabulous atmosphere.

5. Jigsaw
by Graham Nelson
(1995)
Average member rating: (61 ratings)

MathBrush says:

Another game like Spellbreaker, but sci-fi. Travel to a large number of points in time to stop a timetraveller, solving very difficult puzzles in the mean time.

6. Lydia's Heart
by Jim Aikin
(2007)
Average member rating: (20 ratings)

MathBrush says:

Another Lovecraftian horror game, but longer and more difficult than Anchorhead. Escape a bad situation in the swamps of Louisiana (or somewhere nearby).

7. Worlds Apart
by Suzanne Britton
(1999)
Average member rating: (72 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A sci-fi novel in interactive fiction form. Mild puzzles, extremely big game.

8. Endless, Nameless
by Adam Cadre
(2012)
Average member rating: (34 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A witty fantasy game that is also a commentary on the IF community in general.

9. Babel
by Ian Finley
(1997)
Average member rating: (115 ratings)

MathBrush says:

You wake up in an arctic base, alone and wearing a hospital gown. You do not know who you are.

10. Bronze
by Emily Short
(2006)
Average member rating: (186 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Very high quality, with hints for beginners. Good length.

11. Savoir-Faire
by Emily Short
(2002)
Average member rating: (93 ratings)

MathBrush says:

An extremely well-polished game of moderately long playtime. You play a upper-middle class man from a few centuries ago on hard times who has a special brand of magic. You are searching your childhood home, which is now deserted.

12. So Far, by Andrew Plotkin (1996)
Average member rating: (63 ratings)
MathBrush says:

Incredibly hard, trippy game. Go to various bizarre worlds as you are recovering from a bad relationship (but mostly just trying to solve very hard puzzles).

13. Make It Good
by Jon Ingold
(2009)
Average member rating: (59 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A dissolute detective has one last chance to redeem himself by solving a murder. Long, difficult, with multiple plot twists.

14. Counterfeit Monkey
by Emily Short
(2012)
Average member rating: (74 ratings)

MathBrush says:

I was too overwhelmed to finish this game, but many consider it one of the best IF of all time. Use wordplay and letter removal/addition to escape a crazy city.

15. Blue Lacuna
by Aaron A. Reed
(2008)
Average member rating: (84 ratings)

MathBrush says:

I never got far in this game, but I am using a walkthrough now, and it is still huge. Very, very big game, with incredible implementation, especially of NPCs.

16. The King of Shreds and Patches
by Jimmy Maher
(2009)
Average member rating: (56 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A Lovecraft game involving Shakespeare and his associates. Very long, well crafted horror game.

17. Nightfall
by Eric Eve
(2008)
Average member rating: (43 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A huge-map game with fun, well-directed puzzles and a real-life setting. Reminded me of the layout of A Mind Forever Voyaging, but focused on solving a conspiracy and finding a lost friend.

18. Risorgimento Represso
by Michael J. Coyne
(2003)
Average member rating: (27 ratings)

MathBrush says:

Classic Infocom style game with huge numbers of optional puzzles, AMUSING things to do, chemistry, magic, etc.

19. Losing Your Grip
by Stephen Granade
(1998)
Average member rating: (18 ratings)

MathBrush says:

Excellent, excellent mind-imagery game with feelies, all divided into 5 acts or 'fits'. Come to grips with your memories.

20. Lost New York, by Neil deMause (1996)
Average member rating: (15 ratings)
MathBrush says:

Time travel game throughout historical New York. Long,very hard, excellent research and writing.

21. Hadean Lands
by Andrew Plotkin
(2014)
Average member rating: (26 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A big alchemy scifi game by one of the greatest authors of all time. This was commercial, giving it much higher production values than almost all other games.

22. Once and Future, by G. Kevin Wilson (1998)
Average member rating: (7 ratings)
MathBrush says:

This game was the biggest news in the IF community for the five years it was in development before release as a commercial game. An Arthurian romance, it is now forgotten. Very long, with hard puzzles; okay-ish prose with occasional bursts of beauty.

23. Blighted Isle
by Eric Eve
(2007)
Average member rating: (37 ratings)

MathBrush says:

Similar to Once and Future, but more modern. I prefer this one. Lots of optional quests, and dating sim on the side.

24. First Things First
by J. Robinson Wheeler
(2001)
Average member rating: (15 ratings)

MathBrush says:

Well-polished, big time travel game exploring and shaping a small town over 50 years. It's fun how much of the future you can directly shape.

25. Lunatix - The Insanity Circle
by Mike Snyder
(1999)
Average member rating: (5 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A great homebrew game in QBasic that is only available by using a DOS emulator (instructions are in my review). You are the director of an asylum, forced by the inmates to take a drug trip after they take over. The inmates have their own money, economy, language, etc. Nominated for 4 XYZZY awards.

26. 1893: A World's Fair Mystery
by Peter Nepstad
(2002)
Average member rating: (16 ratings)

MathBrush says:

Very large, detailed murder mystery game set in Chicago's 1893 world fair, with a variety of difficult puzzles and a compelling backstory.

27. Return to Ditch Day
by M.J. Roberts
(2004)
Average member rating: (24 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A great, big game that treats electrical engineering the same way other games treat magic. Try the opening sequence!

28. Finding Martin
by G.K. Wennstrom
(2005)
Average member rating: (4 ratings)

MathBrush says:

As long as Mulldoon Legacy or Lydia's Heart. Explore a crazy, crazy house to find your friend Martin. A ton of pop culture references, smooth implementation, crazy gadgets. Also, despite many in-game hint systems, a very hard game.

29. Future Boy!
by Kent Tessman, Derek Lo, Dan Langan, and Nate Laguzza
(2004)
Average member rating: (8 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A former commercial game that is fully illustrated and voice-acted. A superhero game with some throwbacks to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

30. Ollie Ollie Oxen Free, by Carolyn VanEseltine (2013)
Average member rating: (19 ratings)
MathBrush says:

This game is pretty much exactly the same quality as Infocom, and about the same length. If Infocom had made an easier version of Suspended, it could have been this. Command six kids as you help them get out of a bombed-out school. Some spotty implementation (use CLIMB, not STAND ON), but this is similar to Infocom.

31. Augmented Fourth
by Brian Uri!
(2000)
Average member rating: (51 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A long and well-implemented funny game about a magical musician in an underground volcano.

32. Speculative Fiction
by Diane Christoforo and Thomas Mack
(2012)
Average member rating: (8 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A long, puzzly finished version of an Introcomp game. Play as a wizard commanding a crow as you try to bust out of jail.

33. Christminster, by Gareth Rees (1995)
Average member rating: (71 ratings)
MathBrush says:

An excellent but hard game searching for your lost brother in a college with a history of alchemy.

34. Perdition's Flames
by Michael J. Roberts
(1993)
Average member rating: (13 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A giant game set in a bureaucratic hell which has essentially merged with heaven.

35. Unnkulian Underworld: The Unknown Unventure, by D. A. Leary (1990)
Average member rating: (8 ratings)
MathBrush says:

Explore the underworld of the Unnkulia Demons beneath the Beegas'hel mountains to honor the memory of your mentor Kuulest.

36. Unnkulian Unventure II: The Secret of Acme, by David Baggett (1991)
Average member rating: (6 ratings)
MathBrush says:

The adventure continues as you try to preserve your fame and learn more about Acme Cheez products.


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