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Recommendations by Kiyo

A list to keep track of my personal favorite IF games. Opinions on each forthcoming.

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1. howling dogs
by Porpentine
(2012)
Average member rating: (93 ratings)

Kiyo says:

I wouldn't describe this game as broadly appealing, but to me it is the most deeply personal one. It's a fantastic emotional art piece that echoes themes of depression, isolation, and escapism. There's the meaningless, lonely, decaying routine that you seemingly cannot break. There's the disjointed and immersive series of surreal dreams that you temporarily escape into via a computer. What's the point? What's the meaning of anything you do or experience? The game is an aching emotional mirror. It holds up a picture and invites you to draw its meaning from within yourself.

2. Eat Me
by Chandler Groover
(2017)
Average member rating: (49 ratings)

3. Midnight. Swordfight.
by Chandler Groover
(2015)
Average member rating: (48 ratings)

4. With Those We Love Alive
by Porpentine and Brenda Neotenomie
(2014)
Average member rating: (69 ratings)

5. Toby's Nose
by Chandler Groover
(2015)
Average member rating: (55 ratings)

6. HUNTING UNICORN
by Chandler Groover
(2014)
Average member rating: (23 ratings)

7. Photopia
by Adam Cadre
(1998)
Average member rating: (471 ratings)

Kiyo says:

Photopia reminds me somewhat of a more wholesome Panís Labyrinth; whimsical adventure intersects with stark reality. A heartfelt story thatís both sobering and comforting.

This would likely be my first recommendation to introduce someone to the IF genre. It's intuitive, streamlined, and about the right length to be immersive yet fairly low-commitment. The game provides opportunities to experiment without letting the player get stuck or lost. The story is emotionally moving and unfolds in a satisfying manner, wrapped in the layer of dreamlike intrigue that makes IF one of my favorite storytelling mediums.

8. Make It Good
by Jon Ingold
(2009)
Average member rating: (66 ratings)

Kiyo says:

A fantastically elaborate, clever murder mystery featuring a burnt-out detective in a house of suspects. It's very challenging and great fun to chew on for hours.

9. Lost Pig
by Admiral Jota
(2007)
Average member rating: (382 ratings)

Kiyo says:

Charming, funny, and featuring the most lovable orc narrator on his quest to fetch a runaway pig. The writing is excellent and guaranteed to make you smile.

10. Sting of the Wasp, by Jason Devlin (2004)
Average member rating: (29 ratings)
Kiyo says:

A darkly satirical quest featuring a sex scandal, blackmail, and a country club full of conniving bimbos (including yourself). The game's humor is witty and acerbic, and exploring everything with the parser is a rewarding delight. The story is fairly straightforward and uninteresting in itself, but the timed puzzles, narcissistic narrator, and hilariously bitchy flavor make for a fun time.

11. Gris et Jaune, by Jason Devlin (2010)
Average member rating: (23 ratings)
Kiyo says:

Amnesia, body horror, voodoo, and a cast of characters who are flawed and sympathetic. The process of unraveling your identity and backstory is fascinating, but once everything is figured out, the ending portion is somewhat anticlimactic.

12. Varicella
by Adam Cadre
(1999)
Average member rating: (107 ratings)

13. The Wizard Sniffer
by Buster Hudson
(2017)
Average member rating: (61 ratings)

14. All Roads
by Jon Ingold
(2001)
Average member rating: (133 ratings)

15. Bogeyman
by Elizabeth Smyth
(2018)
Average member rating: (30 ratings)

16. my father's long, long legs
by michael lutz
(2013)
Average member rating: (85 ratings)

17. Aisle
by Sam Barlow
(1999)
Average member rating: (256 ratings)


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