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Recommendations by mjhayes (Niagara Falls, NY)

These are the games that I recommend for people new to IF.

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1. Anchorhead
by Michael Gentry
(1998)
Average member rating: (277 ratings)

mjhayes says:

Unlike many other pieces of IF which are otherwise well-written, this game does not slam the player with difficult puzzles from beginning to end. It starts off "open-world," with a large map that the player is relatively free to explore, and gradually increases in difficulty once the player is immersed in the environment and plot. The rooms are highly descriptive of a typical backwater New England coastal town, and most rooms replaced the banal "you can't go that way" message with a list of possible directions to travel in.

2. Photopia
by Adam Cadre
(1998)
Average member rating: (433 ratings)

mjhayes says:

Some authors have tried their hand at "puzzle-less" IF for those people who want a truly interactive story and not a computer game with no graphics. Unfortunately, most of the puzzle-less IF pieces are morbid, and this is no exception. It nudges the player when a little help is needed, so it is easy to never get stuck. There is not much else I can say about this piece without spoiling anything, so all I can provide is a recommendation to try it out for yourself.

3. Zork I
by Marc Blank and Dave Lebling
(1980)
Average member rating: (161 ratings)

mjhayes says:

Zork is regarded by many within the IF community as the one that started it all, although there were a few precursors. Within the original Zork trilogy, Zork I is still my favorite because of the environment. It starts the player in a clearing in the forest, near a boarded-up house, evoking a sense of childhood adventure. Although it is not very user-friendly by today's standards (the world map is not plotted out on a grid, so moving in one direction and then the opposite direction often brings the player into a different room than before) it isn't so difficult that it quenches interest in trying out more IF.


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