Anchorhead, what a game!

In short, this is one of the best games I’ve played!

I played a lot of IF during the '80 but drifted away from it when Infocom folded and I got other interests (like starting a family and such). The release of Infocom’s source code last year got me interested in IF again and now I’m catching up by playing the “best” games from my hiatus. Last week my family still was on vacation and I was alone at home. No better time to play Anchorhead…

I played the 1998 version and when I was finished I iimmediately went out and bought the 2018 version from and played that too. I actually liked the 1998 version more (somehow I thought it was more “charming”). The thing I most missed in the 2018 version was the score. It helps me keep progress and alerts me clearly when I did something right.

Something that struck me was that the game layout, with a town that change shape and appearence, much reminded me of Wishbringer (with a more adult content) and of course there is an umbrella (just like in Trinity). The Wishbringer connection is something I never seen mentioned elsewhere, so maybe its just me…

The writing is top notch and I think it successfully could be converted book or film (or has it already?).

In my personal ranking this is up there with Trinity and Curses! (remember, I have a lot of games between 1988-2020 still unplayed…). This game will stay with me and be remembered fondly for a long, long time.


Nice review! I have always wanted to play this but feel like I don’t have enough time these days to give an intricate parser game like this the attention it deserves. My skills are rusty enough as it is.


Really nice review. I would recommend to adapt this to a Steam review. It could help the game to improve in the platform.

This is like I remember the game. Probably the best Lovecraft game yet.


I also played (the old) Anchorhead a little over a year ago and had a really high opinion of it.

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I’ve been meaning to play the new version some day, so I bought it on Itch. But now it seems the Linux version no longer works:

$ ./Anchorhead 

(Anchorhead:4349): Pango-ERROR **: 19:32:24.226: Harfbuzz version too old (1.3.1)

Trace/breakpoint trap

Does anyone know if the Anchorhead.gblorb file can still be played in a standalone interpreter, e.g. through Gargoyle, or are there features that depend on the bundled interpreter?

I didn’t start for me either with the bundled interpreter (Win10_x64). No error though, just loaded forever with a blank screen in the Lectrote version it was bundled with.

I then started the .glorb-file (/resources/app/anchorhead/anchorhead.gblorb) directly with Lectrote 1.3.5 (Lectrote-1.3.5-win32-x64) with no problem.

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I’ve played the new version of Anchorhead with WinGlulxe (through WINE), and I suspect the X11 version of Glulxe will work also.

That’s good to know. I know it starts in Gargoyle (which seems to default to the confusingly named “git” interpreter, rather than glulxe, but that can be changed if needed), and the graphics seems to work. But I wasn’t sure if the bundled interpreter had some non-standard features that the game took advantage of or not.

The main advantage of the bundled Lectrote interpreter over Gargoyle is autosave and autorestore. Quitting the interpreter and then restarting the game will take you back exactly to where you were. On the other hand, Gargoyle is a lot snappier, especially with the Git interpreter. Nu-Anchorhead can be pretty sluggish at times.

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