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Forgotten Treasures of IFDB

Recommendations by MathBrush

These are games that are great, either in my opinion or in many others, but which have been forgotten.

By forgotten, I mean it satisfies the following:
1. Not an IfComp or XYZZY Best Game winner,
2. Not in Best 50 Interactive Fiction (either edition)
3. Not an Emily Short or Andrew Plotkin game.

As well as one or more of the following criteria:
1. 15 or less ratings
2. 1 or fewer reviews
3. Not mentioned on intfiction.org very often
4. On less than 3 polls/lists.

Many of these games are old-school huge puzzle games, which have come out of favor as more games became available and time to play went down per game.

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1. The Axolotl Project
by Samantha Vick
(2013)
Average member rating: (28 ratings)

MathBrush says:

The most recent game on my list. A non-ifcomp 2013 Twine game that has some of the highest ratings for Twine games. The most parser-like Twine game I have seen, with a multitude of NPCs in a large, explorable base.

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

MathBrush says:

One of my favorite games of all time. Used to be a touchstone for every game in terms of story and imagery. Almost revered. Now who hears about it? A very hard psychological journey through a man's relationship with his father.

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

MathBrush says:

By the founder of intfiction.org. Short, odd, but deeply satisfying. You are a castaway in space, trying to survive your first night. You are not alone.

4. Constraints, by Martin Bays (2002)
Average member rating: (17 ratings)
MathBrush says:

Unusual 4-games in one game, where each one places strong constraints on the player. One instance of strong profanity. One of the most unusual games I have ever played.

5. Funeral for a Friend, by Porpentine (2011)
Average member rating: (5 ratings)
MathBrush says:

One of Porpentine's first games. A parser game. Very short, but very interesting to see her early work.

6. Risorgimento Represso
by Michael J. Coyne
(2003)
Average member rating: (28 ratings)

MathBrush says:

Very big, well-crafted chemistry/alchemy fantasy game. I think the name and cover art make people think it will be a renaissance game or something else odd.

7. Building
by Poster
(2005)
Average member rating: (12 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A very good explore-the-structure long form game. The author had frequent intense online battles with large groups of authors, and I feel that this game is ignored perhaps because of the association with the author. Also, the prose is occasionally overwritten. Great game.

8. She's Got a Thing for a Spring, by Brent VanFossen (1997)
Average member rating: (22 ratings)
MathBrush says:

Used to be mentioned ALL the time as a great game, and a source of inspiration for later classics like Worlds Apart. A nature exploration game.

9. Afflicted, by Doug Egan (2008)
Average member rating: (39 ratings)
MathBrush says:

Weird health inspector game that becomes supernatural. Has a Taco Fiction vibe at first.

10. Scavenger
by Quintin Stone
(2003)
Average member rating: (22 ratings)

MathBrush says:

Really a very good post-apocalyptic game. Choose your gear, explore a deserted village and an enemy base, find and use new technology. Should be played more.

11. Time: All Things Come to an End, by Andy Phillips (1996)
Average member rating: (5 ratings)
MathBrush says:

MASSIVE time travel game. Linear and under-clued, it should really only be played with a walkthrough, as the gameplay is too frustrating. Intricate and intriguing story.

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

Could have been an Infocom game. Time travel throughout New York to preserve its heritage and improve its future.

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

Once titled Avalon, this was the most hyped about IF game ever. 5 years of work, a commercial release, and an entire issue of SPAG magazine dedicated to reviewing it; there was no way it could live up to its own hype. On its own, a very solid, long, enjoyable Arthurian romance. The moon was very memorable.

14. First Things First
by J. Robinson Wheeler
(2001)
Average member rating: (16 ratings)

MathBrush says:

Most well-developed and thought-out time travel game I have scene. Manipulate a town, finances, and your house through 5 decades.

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

MathBrush says:

Winner of the first Andromeda Legacy comp. short and very sweet. Play it now, you can finish it in twenty minutes or less.

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

MathBrush says:

Another Mike Snyder game. Can be played on DosBox. You run an asylum, but it's been taken over. Worth downloading DosBox for. I preferred playing without graphics, or mouse controls.

17. Chancellor, by Kevin Venzke (2005)
Average member rating: (15 ratings)
MathBrush says:

Looked over in IFComp due to no explicit walkthrough, length, and the fact that it gets much better after twenty minutes. Beautiful metaphor/abandoned horror/atmosphere game.

18. Degeneracy
by Leonard Richardson
(2001)
Average member rating: (15 ratings)

MathBrush says:

The game itself isn't strongly compelling, but its main mechanic (which is hidden for a few dozen turns) is very interesting. Also features alchemy.

19. Nevermore, by Nate Cull (2000)
Average member rating: (16 ratings)
MathBrush says:

Lovecraftian alchemy set in Poe's poem's setting. Too fiddly for me, but many people enjoyed it.

20. The Light: Shelby's Addendum, by Colm McCarthy (1995)
Average member rating: (6 ratings)
MathBrush says:

An old XYZZY best game nominee. Pretty long, some under clued puzzles, but very fun to explore, peek at walkthrough, explore, etc. Had secret bases and lighthouses before Babel or Anchorhead.

21. 1893: A World's Fair Mystery
by Peter Nepstad
(2002)
Average member rating: (16 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A very large game that accurately represents the worlds fair. However, it is much more like a fantasy game in feel; exploring new cultures, bizarre settings, etc. Very big, but with 10 almost independent quests, as well as one final quest.

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

MathBrush says:

I find the number of ratings of this game (1, before mine) completely inexplicable. Imagine a game containing Curses!, Grandma Bethlinda's Variety Box, All Things Devours, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and Edifice as subgames. Vast, complicated quest through space and time to find your friend Martin and bring him home.

23. 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.

24. A New Life, by A O Muniz (2005)
Average member rating: (6 ratings)
MathBrush says:

Took second place in IFComp. In a bizarre fantasy world with gender-fluid protagonists, explore a heavily-branched story filled with goblin kids and mysterious magic.

25. The Race, by Andy Why (2011)
Average member rating: (8 ratings)
MathBrush says:

A really enjoyable choicescript game about an Amazing Race-like gameshow in Peru. Some language issues, but great puzzles.

26. Frobozz Magic Support, by Nate Cull (1996)
Average member rating: (6 ratings)
MathBrush says:

A Zork tribute game with six locations full of Infocom references. XYZZY nomination for best puzzles, and has good writing.

27. Inevitable, by Kathleen M. Fischer (2003)
Average member rating: (5 ratings)
MathBrush says:

Very hard Sci fi game with 3 difficulty levels. Explore an abandoned temple in a land whose people you saw massacred 20 years earlier.

28. 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.

29. Tryst of Fate, by G. M. Zagurski (1997)
Average member rating: (8 ratings)
MathBrush says:

A very good, polished puzzler about a housewife going to a cowboy world. Not too long.


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