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personal favorites from 2015

Recommendations by Anya Johanna DeNiro (Minnesota)

These are probably idiosyncratic, and I haven't hit nearly everything I probably ought to have. While I play catch up I'll hope to add to this list a bit as well. Also, there are a few IF works that are not yet in IFDB that deserve closer attention (either commercial works or Twine games by people who aren't "regulars" in the community), so I'll hope to add a couple of those as well. I'm always on the lookout for new works from under-represented communities.

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1. Hollywood Visionary
by Aaron A. Reed
(2015)
Average member rating: (13 ratings)

Anya Johanna DeNiro says:

Not only a ton of fun, with some cool set pieces with Hollywood "royalty" from its Golden Age, but a thoughtful and incisive view of the balance between commercialism, artistic expression, and political paranoia.

2. A Trial
by B Minus Seven
(2015)
Average member rating: (6 ratings)

Anya Johanna DeNiro says:

From one of my favorite newer writers in IF, this is uncanny, haunting, and viscerally poetic.

3. Tonight Dies the Moon
by Tom McHenry
(2015)
Average member rating: (11 ratings)

Anya Johanna DeNiro says:

It's hard to beat Horse Master, but this comes awfully close. The bifurcation of narratives gives this a feeling that it's more than the sum of its parts. Plus the writing is top notch and whip smart.

4. 18 Rooms to Home
by Carolyn VanEseltine
(2015)
Average member rating: (5 ratings)

Anya Johanna DeNiro says:

Hugely ambitious and conceptually staggering, I hope to see more of this in 2016.

5. Midnight. Swordfight.
by Chandler Groover
(2015)
Average member rating: (35 ratings)

Anya Johanna DeNiro says:

Some of my favorite worldbuilding in a game in a good long while, and the mechanics complement the setting (both temporal and spatial) seamlessly.

6. Summit
by Phantom Williams
(2015)
Average member rating: (23 ratings)

Anya Johanna DeNiro says:

On a surface level it's Porpentine-esque but something much different is going on here. Shimmering and surreal.

7. Neon Haze
by Porpentine and Brenda Neotenomie
(2015)
Average member rating: (9 ratings)

Anya Johanna DeNiro says:

Quietly menacing, and heart wrenching as usual, Neon Haze also boasts--by far--the best sound design in an IF game this year.

8. Map of Fahlstaff
by Ian Hinck
(2015)
Average member rating: (8 ratings)

Anya Johanna DeNiro says:

Weird and wonderful and--yes--a bit like Welcome to Night Vale. It has its own distinctive, dark charms, however.

9. Beautiful Dreamer
by S. Woodson
(2015)
Average member rating: (17 ratings)

Anya Johanna DeNiro says:

Yeah, do play this.


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