Home | Profile - Edit | Your Page | Your Inbox Browse | Search Games   |   Log In

Games for beginners

Recommendations by Eric Eve (Oxford, England)

Many of the games in this list are ones I enjoyed as a beginner, but the main aim of this list is to suggest games that are reasonably short and not too hard (so that enjoyment should generally exceed frustration!), and which should introduce new players to many of the conventions of IF while illustrating something of the range of possibilities of the medium.

Add a comment

1. Glowgrass, by Nate Cull (1997)
Average member rating: (75 ratings)
Eric Eve says:

This is a good game to begin with, not only because it is a nicely-constructed piece with a pleasing story and satisfying puzzles, but because it is featured in Stephen Granade's guide on How to Play a Text Adventure at http://brasslantern.org/beginners/playta1.html.

2. 9:05
by Adam Cadre
(2000)
Average member rating: (421 ratings)

Eric Eve says:

A very short game that cleverly demonstrates how the conventions of IF can be used to misdirect the player.

3. Photopia
by Adam Cadre
(1998)
Average member rating: (450 ratings)

Eric Eve says:

A classic of 'puzzleless' IF, illustrating not just the use of the medium to tell a story, but to tell a story made up of narrative fragments from different viewpoints.

4. Pytho's Mask
by Emily Short
(2001)
Average member rating: (63 ratings)

Eric Eve says:

A reasonably short game, with puzzles that are not too hard, a combination of topic-based and menu-based conversation system, and an intriguing evocation of a different kind of world.

5. Galatea
by Emily Short
(2000)
Average member rating: (254 ratings)

Eric Eve says:

A one-room game focusing purely on conversation (with a rather unusual conversation partner). A single playthrough will not take long, but you can replay to find different endings.

6. The Fire Tower
by Jacqueline A. Lott
(2004)
Average member rating: (36 ratings)

Eric Eve says:

Another puzzleless game that should not take long to play, but does a very good job of representing the experience of taking a mountain walk through an area well known to the author; this is a game that is particularly worthwhile for its skillful evocation of place.

7. Bronze
by Emily Short
(2006)
Average member rating: (206 ratings)

Eric Eve says:

A slightly more substantial game (but still not too long) that offers plenty of scope for exploration, some puzzles of varying difficulty, an intriguing back-story to uncover and a dark twist on a familiar fairy-tale.

8. Distress
by Mike Snyder
(2005)
Average member rating: (19 ratings)

Eric Eve says:

A reasonably short SF game with puzzles that should not too hard. Distress creates an atmospheric setting that succeeds in drawing the player into its story.

9. Madam Spider's Web, by Sara Dee (2006)
Average member rating: (34 ratings)
Eric Eve says:

A game with a seemingly strange setting (in the house of a spider), but with nice attention to implementation details, and a number of not too difficult puzzles, the central one of which is key to the twist at the end.

10. Swineback Ridge, by Eric Eve (2006)
Average member rating: (7 ratings)
Eric Eve says:

Okay, it's really cheeky and probably against all the rules for me to include one of my own games in this list, but Swineback Ridge is at least short, its puzzles are fairly easy, and it does illustrate mainstream IF conventions. It's also a bit tongue-in-cheek and its quirky humour may not be to everyone's taste!


View this member's profile
See all lists by this member

Create your own Recommended List