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Games That Will Keep You Busy For Weeks

Recommendations by Raksab (Seattle, Washington)

These games are long. It may take you days, weeks, or even months to finish them. Not because the puzzles are incredibly hard (although some are), but simply because the worlds are so big and the plots so complete that it will take you a good long time to explore.

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1. Curses!
by Graham Nelson
(1993)
Average member rating: (98 ratings)

Raksab says:

It's a classic. This was the first game published in Inform, and one might say it IS Inform, since (if I understand r.a.i.f. history correctly) one developed alongside the other. Even if you used a walkthrough, this game would take you hours. Without a walkthrough, it'll take you months. (Hint: save every time your environment changes significantly, and try not to lose any items. Do not delete or overwrite these saves. It is ridiculously easy to get this game into an unwinnable state, and you may need to replay a lot of times.)

2. Anchorhead
by Michael Gentry
(2018)
Average member rating: (280 ratings)

Raksab says:

A large, long game that hangs together exceptionally well. The plot is sensible and linear, without forcing the player's hand. Not super difficult until the last quarter or so (though getting a full score takes effort, and there are one or two bugs). Beware, this one is NOT for the under-14 set. It's horror, and it is horrifying, in some places quite graphic. I've played other IF games that were shocking or disturbing, but this one was the most frightening. Try playing it late at night in an empty house for extra chills, if you like that sort of thing. I'm not a huge fan of horror, but this one is a very good and well-written story, not just a genre piece.

3. City of Secrets
by Emily Short
(2003)
Average member rating: (83 ratings)

Raksab says:

This game was my first introduction to Glulxe format. In spite of the troubled, slightly buggy game engine (not the fault of CoS), the game was fun. Puzzles are well integrated into the story, as you play a character who is exploring a foreign city, and uncovering a ... conspiracy? Or is it two or three? You get to see the same conflict from multiple points of view -- your character never changes, but you talk to a lot of people who all have different opinions. In spite of some irrevocable things that happen in the game, it's hard to trap yourself in a state where you cannot finish. Puzzles usually have multiple solutions depending on what decisions you've made.

4. Jigsaw
by Graham Nelson
(1995)
Average member rating: (63 ratings)

Raksab says:

Lots and lots of puzzles. Lots and lots of locations. They're connected in an interesting fashion, though: you're a time-traveler, and each of the places in the game can be reached from a central hub. As with Curses (same author!), it is possible to lock yourself out of victory in this game, so be sure to pick up everything and inspect everything carefully, and leave a trail of saved games as you go.

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

Raksab says:

I still haven't finished playing this one. The locale is big, and there are puzzles galore. The slightly creepy atmosphere of a dark mall after-hours makes for an interesting setting.

6. The Mulldoon Legacy, by Jon Ingold (1999)
Average member rating: (34 ratings)
Raksab says:

Another one I'm still in the middle of. The museum slowly opens up over the course of the game -- at first there are only a few rooms to visit, but gradually more and more...


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