Big, ignored games to add to a list

I have a bunch of lists I keep on IFDB to sort games into different categories. I haven’t updated them much in the last year or two, but I’m going through and ‘cleaning house’ while I’m stuck inside by Texas weather.

One of my lists is ‘Opus ignored’, for very big games that authors worked on a long time or had high hopes for that kind of fizzled out (in a relatively way. One game on the list, Endless, Nameless, is actually quite popular, but the author had before written some of the most popular of all IF work, and expressed disappointment in the reception of this game).

I was wondering if anyone wanted to self-nominate one of their games. Is there any very large game you worked on for quite a long time that you expected or hoped for a big reception to but were disappointed? I’m looking for games that took months or years to make, or had very large maps or big branching gameplay.


I like this kind of games. I have been digging your reviews sorted “more than 10 hours” gameplay.

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I’d be thrilled to see Cygnet Committee on the list…maybe you had it in mind already since you beta tested it. For the record, it took about six months of work and the specific OS requirements seemed to prevent people from playing it.

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Note to myself: Put Human Relations on the list once it’s released. :rofl:

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Cygnet Committee would be a great fit, I’ll definitely add it.

@Grueslayer I would be honored to add another great work to my list. Let’s just hope it doesn’t become enormously popular and disqualify itself.


@mathbrush As you know I have made sure this is not going to happen. :wink:

Back to the topic: Does Finding Martin fall into the category? Do the (or rather: some) Textfire games fall into the category? The Empath’s Gift, for instance, has zero reviews as of yet. Shame!


A number of large, well crafted games which passed largely under the radar include:

Warp (mainframe);
Gorm (Archimedes);
Crystal Caverns (Commodore 64 and Apple II);
Hezarin (mainframe, BBC and MS-DOS);
Adventure 770 (various);
Mirror Of Khoronz (updated version on Archimedes);
Search For The Lost Orb (BBC);
Castle Ralf (MS-DOS);
The Fortress Of Fear and other Larry Horsfield ADRIFT games;
The Daemon Quest Trilogy (MS-DOS);
T-Zero (MS-DOS);
Birmingham IV (Inform);
Robico Software Games (BBC);
Haunt (mainframe);
Castlequest (mainframe).

That lot would keep you busy!


I think it’s safe to say we were hoping to have any ratings at all on IFDB by now for Vacation Gone Awry. We started working on the game in 1987, and I think we sent it to a reviewer in 1987. The first public release (re-worked, de-mazed and re-platformed) was in 2001.



Your game has just appeared on our radar. It has been downloaded and is now awaiting processing and judgment.



I’ll add it to the list!


Whatwhatwhaaat? There’s another Textfyre game out there besides Jack Toresal and Shadow? I would love to rate and review it, if you could point me in the right direction to obtain it. (The Textfyre website libnked from IFDB has been converted into an In Memoriam).



Maybe this` page helps? But as you know, The Empath’s Gift comes with some sort of unrelated prequel called Anuba that needs to be tested first in its latest version. :wink:


Stuga (Also available in English as Cottage). Came out in 1978. Ported to Inform in 2009 and translated to English the same year IIRC.

I helped port this game, which is historically significant in that it seems to be the first known text adventure in a language other than English. Parts of it is also quite difficult, so I played it through by peeking at the code, and added a hint menu.

This may not be the best game ever produced, but I do think it provides a whacky, fun world to explore, and plenty of puzzles. Good fun for an evening, even if you never complete it.

I think IFDB’s way of displaying average ratings for games as soon as they have one rating may be part of the reason why few people seem to play it. One person played it early on and rated it a 1. Since then, I guess few people will give it a shot. Perhaps it would be better to wait until there are n (5?) ratings to show an average, like some other sites do?


That seems like a sane suggestion. I’ll toss it up on the IFTF slack and see if it goes anywhere.