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ADRIFT Authors' Iconic Works

Recommendations by DB (Chicago, IL)

I have attempted to assemble a list of some major (and some minor) authors for the ADRIFT platform along with a game iconic of their style. The games are listed by seniority of the authors, where seniority is determined by the year of an author's first publication in ADRIFT. I'd be happy to hear your thoughts on this collection.

Caveat: this is all based on my opinion and I haven't played all of the games of every author in question. Even though the ADRIFT community has some notable ones (e.g., Christopher Cole), I have also purposefully omitted works of pornography from this list, as well as authors whose works are entirely or primarily pornographic in nature. This is my own personal choice, and anyone bothered by it can make their own recommended list.

Also please note that this is a list of iconic works rather than best works. I hope to produce a "Best of..." list at a later date.

If you are an ADRIFT author mentioned in this list and believe you have been misrepresented or see anything else strange or out of place, or if you want in on the list, please contact me about it on the ADRIFT Forum, along with what you think is your iconic game.

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1. Cave of Wonders, by Campbell Wild (2000)
Average member rating: (1 rating)
DB says:

Not pictured: The ADRIFT platform itself (definitely Wild's most iconic creation) or Wild's port of Jacaranda Jim.

2. Selma's Will, by Dana Crane (2002)
Average member rating: (1 rating)
DB says:

Iconic work of Dana Crana (aka "Mystery"), culmination of her "Monster in the Mirror" series.

3. The Evil Chicken of Doom, by Mel S (2002)
Average member rating: (6 ratings)
DB says:

Iconic work of Mel S, this bite-sized piece showcases his wacky, over-the-top style of comedy. Wild, satirical comedy that delights in subversion.

4. Menagerie!, by David Good (2001)
Average member rating: (2 ratings)
DB says:

Iconic game of David Good, winner of ADRIFT Spring 2001 Minicomp. Menagerie! features minigames, music, graphics, and adjustable levels of difficulty. What makes it iconic in his oeuvre is the level of attention Mr. Good pays to his characters and plot. Not a single character is "just a person" and the plot is original.

5. Silk Noil, by Heal Butcher (2001)
Average member rating: (2 ratings)
DB says:

Surreal, genuinely strange, even a little creepy. Audiences have wondered if the author wrote under the influence of hallucinogens-- they might even feel like they've taken some after reading his work. Almost certainly written with thesaurus in lap. Though Heal Butcher left ADRIFT early with only 2 works to name, no one can say Heal Butcher's works are unoriginal.

6. Doomed Xycanthus, by Eric Mayer (2001)
Average member rating: (4 ratings)
DB says:

A published fiction author with awards to his mystery titles, Eric Mayer may best be remembered in the IF world for this fantasy adventure inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith. Notable similarities to Smith's Tsathoggua in its god toad, and to HPL's "The Doom That Came to Sarnath."

7. Paint!!!, by David Whyld (2004)
Average member rating: (9 ratings)
DB says:

Mr. Whyld has written enough games that investigation of his works reveals games in genres from erotica to straight-laced fantasy to horror, and he is also known for the creation of Clueless Bob Newbie, but "Paint!!!" showcases the off-the-wall, farcical style for which he is probably best remembered.

8. The PK Girl, by Robert Goodwin, Helen Trevillion, Nanami Nekono, and Oya-G (2002)
Average member rating: (28 ratings)
DB says:

Hailed as "ADRIFT's Finest Moment," it is notable for taking the highest place of any ADRIFT game in the IFComp, as well as for its sheer size, use of music and graphics, and implementation detail. A giant adventure and dating sim, loved by fans and perhaps the common IF player, but highly divisive amongst IF intelligentsia.

9. Unraveling God, by Todd Watson (2002)
Average member rating: (10 ratings)
DB says:

A notable piece by a one-time author, "Unraveling God" has been compared to "Photopia" for its use of puzzleless, linear structure in service to fiction.

10. The Woods Are Dark, by Laurence Moore (2003)
Average member rating: (5 ratings)
DB says:

Horror writing that could stand to be more lean, honored as iconic to the author in Mystery's "ADRIFT-O-Rama."

11. To Hell in a Hamper
by J. J. Guest
(2003)
Average member rating: (88 ratings)

DB says:

By far Mr. Guest's most well-known game, it shows off his trademark humor, wacky and wily. Aside from winning the ADRIFT Spring Comp in 2003, it won the End of the Year Comp, 3 InsideADRIFT Awards, and was a XYZZY finalist in Best Game, Writing, Story, Setting, and Use of Medium.

12. The Pyramid of Hamaratum, by KFAdrift (2003)
DB says:

KF, as he is known, is probably better known in the community as an organizer and moderator rather than an author. However, his few modest attempts at the craft have given us a few short adventures like this one.

13. The Long Barrow, by Christy Henshaw (2006)
DB says:

An "hourglass" game, The Long Barrow shows off Dr. Henshaw's specialty in archaeology. Unfortunately, it is somewhat underimplemented as a result of the time limit that produced it.

14. Vague
by Richard Otter
(2009)
Average member rating: (3 ratings)

DB says:

Mr. Otter has done us the favour of making his own iconic game by rolling his oeuvre (as of 2009) into one piece.

15. Provenance, by Corey W. Arnett (2005)
DB says:

A sizeable adventure with an old school feel, the only game by this formerly active member of the ADRIFT community.

16. Crazy Old Bag Lady, by Anna Fruen (2005)
Average member rating: (1 rating)
DB says:

Crazy Old Bag Lady may not be the tidiest of games out there, but its zany humor is wrought with a curious mix of gusto and an eye for weirdness in the everyday.

17. The Professional, by The Dominant Species (2006)
DB says:

TDS has written horror and horror parodies, but this satire probably stands out as one of his most memorable works.

18. Marika the Offering, by revgiblet (2007)
Average member rating: (20 ratings)
DB says:

Though he may be better known for "A Fine Day for Reaping," this reversal of the one-room escape is perhaps more iconic of Mr. Webb's horror and writing style in general.

19. Aegis, by Lumin (2010)
Average member rating: (3 ratings)
DB says:

Lumin writes in several spec fic genres and styles, but will probably best be remembered for writing epic fantasies about mythical flying beasts, as she does in "Bringing the Rain" and here. The only active ADRIFT author with a fan club.

20. Cursed, by Nick Rogers (2011)
Average member rating: (9 ratings)
DB says:

This labour of love is the author's only game, despite his being a long-time 'DRIFTer.

21. Return to the Forest House, by Seciden Mencarde (2008)
Average member rating: (1 rating)
DB says:

Unfortunately, the author will probably be remembered for the number of spin-offs he wrote to "The Forest House" rather than for the original itself.

22. Business As Usual, by Abbi Park (2008)
DB says:

The author not only created the competition in which this game was featured, but authored multiple games for it. Of them, this probably best demonstrates her investigation of alternative ludic techniques in IF.

23. A Witch Tale, by Dan Blazquez (2008)
Average member rating: (1 rating)
DB says:

Promising one-time author with many plans, his activity on the ADRIFT Forum created a surge in community activity for the year. Blazquez was the first ADRIFT author to have his own fan club.

24. Ba'Roo!, by Hensman Int'l (2010)
Average member rating: (3 ratings)
DB says:

Ambitious work, perhaps best played with a walkthrough handy.

25. Shadowpeak, by Kevin Bailey (2008)
Average member rating: (1 rating)
DB says:

Another one-time author, Mr. Bailey's labour of love is a deliberately old school fantasy epic. He has updated the game a number of times.

26. The Ascot
by Duncan Bowsman
(2009)
Average member rating: (23 ratings)

DB says:

I like to think my work is known for having twists, "Aha" moments, and a bit of weirdness. Please let me know if you feel I'm off the mark here.

27. Beanstalk the and Jack
by David Welbourn
(2008)
Average member rating: (4 ratings)

DB says:

While his greatest icon will probably always be his three ring binders, this author shows his unique, puzzle-based approach to IF in ADRIFT with this game.

28. Ghost Town
by Finn RosenlÝv
(2009)
Average member rating: (1 rating)

DB says:

As with many of the author's other works, this one is filled with eye candy and tries to accomplish a lot in one sweep. Deliberately old school: lots of darkness, limited matches.

29. Mr. Fluffykin's Most Harrowing Misadventure, by Justahack (2009)
DB says:

Tough to find an icon for an author whose work spans genres, styles, and forms... so here is one that uses an IF language to make a humorous CYOA.

30. Yon Astounding Castle! of some sort
by Tiberius Thingamus
(2009)
Average member rating: (6 ratings)

DB says:

Faux olde English abounds... zounds and forsooth or some such!

31. Give Me Your Lunch Money, by DCBSupafly (2009)
Average member rating: (4 ratings)
DB says:

The author attempts to focus on emergent gameplay, so there are many possible solutions leading toward the same general goal.

32. Suburban Prodigy, by Mike Desert (2011)
Average member rating: (2 ratings)

33. In Memory
by Jacqueline A. Lott
(2011)

DB says:

Though "In Memory" is her most iconic ADRIFT game, the author is an active writer and organizer in other platforms, probably best known for "The Fire Tower" or Club Floyd.


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