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A starter pack for those new to interactive fiction

Recommendations by MathBrush

I had a list like this before which I deleted, but I noticed it had a lot of views on intfiction, so I thought I'd make a new one to help people out.

It has 10 web-based games, 10 parser games for beginners and 10 parser games of medium to easy difficulty. Each list is organized alphabetically.

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1. Birdland
by Brendan Patrick Hennessy
(2015)
Average member rating: (58 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A girl at a summer camp has the strangest recurring dreams about birds who are unusually curious about human society.

2. Cape
by Bruno Dias
(2015)
Average member rating: (31 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A gritty superhero story, written in Undum. Takes 30-45 minutes to play.

3. Creatures Such As We
by Lynnea Glasser
(2014)
Average member rating: (53 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A choicescript game that is both free and long. As a tour guide on the moon, you try to escape the mundanity of life by playing a video game.

4. First Draft of the Revolution
by Emily Short, Liza Daly and inkle
(2012)
Average member rating: (34 ratings)

MathBrush says:

Use magic to rewrite letters to and from a group of nohility in an alternate 18th century France.

5. Hana Feels
by Gavin Inglis
(2015)
Average member rating: (37 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A touching story of a woman involved in self-harm, with some good graphics.

6. howling dogs
by Porpentine
(2012)
Average member rating: (79 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A dystopia future where you are imprisoned, but have access to escapist VR software. Written in twine

7. my father's long, long legs
by michael lutz
(2013)
Average member rating: (64 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A very good creepy story. Takes less than 3p minutes, written in Twine.

8. The Play
by Dietrich Squinkifer (Squinky)
(2011)
Average member rating: (40 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A flustered director must organize their idiosyncratic crew to pull off an excellent play. Written in Undum.

9. Solarium
by Alan DeNiro
(2013)
Average member rating: (36 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A large twine game in an alternate future mixing alchemy, politics, and relationships.

10. You Will Select a Decision
by Brendan Patrick Hennessy
(2013)
Average member rating: (39 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A humorous game purporting to be the translation of some Russian CYOA novels.

11. Aisle
by Sam Barlow
(1999)
Average member rating: (222 ratings)

MathBrush says:

The first parser game on the list. Every move ends the game, so you can just experiment with different actions.

12. Aotearoa
by Matt Wigdahl
(2010)
Average member rating: (43 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A kid-friendly game about an alternate reality where New Zealanders fought off the British with dinosaurs. Has several features helpful for those new to interactive fiction.

13. Bronze
by Emily Short
(2006)
Average member rating: (184 ratings)

MathBrush says:

An introductory game. You play as Beauty in a dark interpretation of Beauty and the Beast.

14. The Dreamhold
by Andrew Plotkin
(2004)
Average member rating: (114 ratings)

MathBrush says:

Another introductory game, by Andrew Plotkin. Explore the stronghold of a sorcerer and reconstruct their memories.

15. Ether
by MathBrush
(2015)
Average member rating: (18 ratings)

MathBrush says:

I'm putting my own game on here because other people have recommended it for newcomers, including voting for it on a list of beginners games. You play as a floating creature in a 3d world, trying to gather ingredients to leave it.

16. Kerkerkruip
by Victor Gijsbers
(2011)
Average member rating: (43 ratings)

MathBrush says:

An RPG with only a few commands to learn. Randomized, big and fun.

17. Lime Ergot
by Caleb Wilson (as Rust Blight)
(2014)
Average member rating: (30 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A grim, short game that consists mainly of looking at objects. Often recommended for beginners.

18. Superluminal Vagrant Twin
by C.E.J. Pacian
(2016)
Average member rating: (31 ratings)

MathBrush says:

An engaging game with very few commands. A large space-saving game with an economy.

19. Toby's Nose
by Chandler Groover
(2015)
Average member rating: (27 ratings)

MathBrush says:

You are Sherlock Holmes' dog, and using nothing but your sense of smell and memory you have to solve a case.

20. Weird City Interloper
by C.E.J. Pacian
(2014)
Average member rating: (26 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A shirt, simple game consisting of traveling around a city doing conversations. The whole game is nothing but dialogue.

21. All Roads
by Jon Ingold
(2001)
Average member rating: (120 ratings)

MathBrush says:

This is the first mid-difficulty game on the list. A mind-bending game set in Renaissance Venice. Has a hard puzzle at the beginning, but becomes easier.

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

MathBrush says:

The biggest game on the list, and more difficult. It's an epic story of creepy horror in a Maine fishing town.

23. Coloratura
by Lynnea Glasser
(2013)
Average member rating: (60 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A more difficult game. Play as an alien being who influences other people's emotions.

24. Galatea
by Emily Short
(2000)
Average member rating: (230 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A purely conversational game that focuses on exploration more than winning.

25. Lost Pig
by Admiral Jota
(2007)
Average member rating: (324 ratings)

MathBrush says:

You play as a dimwitted orc chasing after their lost pig. A funny, fairly simple game that can be hard to finish.

26. Photopia
by Adam Cadre
(1998)
Average member rating: (415 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A game that jumps perspectives and time to tell a powerful story.

27. Shade
by Andrew Plotkin
(2000)
Average member rating: (301 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A short, creepy story about a young man in his apartment.

28. Slouching Towards Bedlam
by Star Foster and Daniel Ravipinto
(2003)
Average member rating: (153 ratings)

MathBrush says:

An older game, but short with an excellent setting. I recommend trying an introductory game or two first.

29. Taco Fiction
by Ryan Veeder
(2011)
Average member rating: (61 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A mid-length humorous game about a young man who seemingly discovers something sinister in his town.

30. Violet
by Jeremy Freese
(2008)
Average member rating: (258 ratings)

MathBrush says:

A funny game that is easy to get into but hard to finish. You have to finish your PhD, and your girlfriends voice is constantly encouraging you, despite a multitude of distractions.


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