A breakdown of IFComp games by Genre, Platform, and Length

I’ve finished playing all 79 games (except two that I’ve reserved for long-term play due to awesomeness). I saw Wade Clark say he planned on picking out games by genre, to help with figuring which of these (many, many) games to play. My hope is that this chart will inspire someone by giving them a more reasonable chunk to plow through.

I’ve sorted these games by genre, and then by platform, and then by length. Short games generally take 15 minutes or less, long games take an hour or more, and medium are in between. Some of the games are especially long.

I’ve omitted any notion of quality from the chart, as I am an author, and cannot comment publicly on individual games in a way that would influence judges.

Finally, some genres are subjective. Guttersnipe is comedy and horror; Eat Me is fantasy and horror; the Wizard Sniffer is comedy and fantasy; etc. I’ve tried to place games in categories where someone looking for that category would enjoy that game.


Traditional Parser
-Haunted P (short)
-Antiquest (short)
-Fake News (medium)
-Goodbye Cruel Squirrel (medium)
-Guttersnipe: St. Hesper’s Asylum for the Criminally Mischievous (long)
-What Once Was (long)
-The Owl Consults (long)

-Just Get the Treasure v0.9.1 (medium)


Traditional parser
-Grue. (short)
-Tuuli (medium)
-Rainbow Bridge (medium)
-Swigian (medium)
-Land of the mountain king (medium)
-A Castle of Thread (long)
-VR Gambler (long)

Limited Parser
-The Wizard Sniffer (long)
-Eat Me (long)
-The Wand (long)

Hybrid/parser-like cybertext
-Domestic Elementalism (long)
-The Castle of Vourtram (very long)

-The Dragon Will See You Now (short)
-Nyna Lives (short)
-Insignificant little vermin (short)
-The Adventure of Esmeralda and Ruby on the Magical Island (medium)
-Rage Quest: Disciple of Peace (medium)
-Day of the Djinn, by paperowl (medium)
-Harbinger (medium)
-Into the Dark (long)

Paper/pdf CYOA
-Silver Gauntlets (long)


Traditional Parser
-8 Shoes on the Shelves (short)
-Measureless to Man (medium)
-My Night (medium)

-The Murder in the Fog (short)
-The Living Puppet (short)
-Moon Base (short)

Magical Realism (a catch-all for games focused on mundane activities in a magical or futuristic world or magical activities in a mundane world)

Hybrid parser/cybertext
-Behind the Door (short)

-Hexteria Skaxis Qiameth (short)
-Salt (short)
-The Very Old Witch and the Turnip Girl (short)
-Bookmoss (medium)
-Harmonia (long)
-Charlie the Robot (extra long)


Traditional parser
-The Cube in the Cavern (short)
-A Beauty Cold and Austere (very long)


Hybrid/Parser-like Cybertext
-Redstone (long)

-The Fifth Sunday (short)
-Unit 322 (Disambiguation)(medium)


-Queer in Public: A Brief Essay (medium)


-a partial list of things for which i am grateful (short)
-Étude Circulár (short)

-Run of the Place (long)

Real Life (including Slice of Life)

Traditional Parser
-The Richard Mines (short)
-A Walk in the Park (medium)
-Ultimate Escape Room: IF City (medium)
-1958: Dancing With Fear (long)

-Black Marker(short)
-Something (short)
-10pm (medium)
-Off the Rails (medium)
-The Skinny One (medium)
-Will not let me go (long)
-Mikayla’s Phone (long)

Source Code + Accompanying game
-One Way Out (medium)

Science Fiction

Traditional Parser
-Inevitable (short)
-Future Threads (medium)
-Escape from Terra (very long)
-Word of the Day (very long)

Limited Parser
-Absence of Law (long)

-A Common Enemy (medium)
-Deshaun Steven’s Ship Log (medium)
-Transient Skies (long)
-The Traveller (long)


Tradtional parser
-Textcraft: Alpha Island (is completely in real time) (long)

-The Unofficial Sea-Monkey® Simulation (long)


Traditional Parser
-Temperamentum (long)

-The Dream Self (medium)
-Alice Aforethought (long)

1 Like


Thanks for the list.

This is awesome, Brian. Thanks for doing this!

If it isn’t a violation of the no-spoilers agreement: which two did you reserve due to awesomeness?

This year’s crop of games is large enough to be divided up into any number of categories by subject, e.g., RPGs, sci-fi, murder mysteries, or structurally, e.g., parser-based, limited-parser, hypertext, CYOA, etc. Having reviewed each and every game in the competition at this point, I’d like to propose a number of new and entirely arbitrary categories:


…mentioning cheese in some capacity (including in the context of Macaroni and Cheese): Eat Me, What Once Was, Absence of Law, Run Of The Place, Nightbound, A Castle of Thread, The Skinny One, The Castle of Vourtram.

…involving conversation with birds: 10 pm, Harbinger, Eat Me, Alice Aforethought, The Dragon Will Tell Your Future Now, Goodbye Cruel Squirrel, The Adventure of Esleralda and Ruby on the Magical Island, The Wand, and kind of, The Owl Consults.

See the blog post for the full list: blog.templaro.com/ifcomp-2017-extended-taxonomy/

@dhakajack - What does TMWNMTK mean?

@MTW – TMWNMTK = Things Man Was Not Meant To Know

Now you know :smiley:

  • Jack

Thanx. :nerd:

What Once Was also involves conversation with a bird (a foul mouthed pigeon).

Totally weird. A Castle of Thread has a couple of foul-mouthed parrot-like birds.

Thanks - now that you mention it, I do remember the sadiki birds in A Castle of Thread.

In my session of What Once Was, I ran into a pigeon but wasn’t able to talk to him at the time. I think I have a late restore point – maybe I should go back and see what he had to say…

Thanks for the corrections; I’ve updated the blog entry.

  • Jack

An excellent set of lists. Everyone should read the whole thing.

This also reminds me of Emily Short’s Cheese-Friendly Game Directory, sadly now sitting and gathering digital dust for well over a decade:

These are very cool lists!

If mentions or images of dragons count, Rage Quest: Disciple of Peace features a rock formation that looks like a dragon’s head.

There is already a cheese list? Huh. I didn’t know that was a thing, but like the grading system. Is there some quantum-level weak-cheese force that guides the writing of IF?

Regarding the dragon list: I’ve edited it to include RQ:DoP.

Thanks for the suggestions.

  • Jack

String cheese theory?:slight_smile:

Your “involving time travel on college campuses built around huge, partially buried boulders in the quadrangle” category was my favorite by far, made me laugh out loud when I got to it.