Dietro l'Angolo - italian choice-based game in Inform

Hello there. I know this will be of limited interest to people here - if you speak Italian you already know about it, and if you don’t you won’t be able to play it anyway. But I thought I’d bring it up.

“Dietro l’Angolo” (“Around the Corner”, I think) has been recently released. I’m enjoying it immensely, I’m finding it just the sort of story I can dig my teeth into, like Imajica or The Longest Journey - loving it. But it’s also very interesting because it’s an Inform 7 choice-based game with a world model and an inventory.

Guys/gals, I play your web-based games mostly on my iPod, and even when I play them on my desktop I always have the same issues - font size and word wrap (the only web browser I can use for offline playing in my iPod doesn’t word-wrap if I just pinch-zoom). I am, however, able to play DlA perfectly, because it plays using iFrotz which is customised for the text size that’s best for my eyes.

In fact, since I can play it in LANDSCAPE mode and turn off the keyboard entirely, I can just play it by tapping the hyperlinks.

The overall experience is, to me, FAR superior than the experience of playing most web-based games.

Plus, you know, it’s a great story so far.

Another thing - it has a most interesting visual system. The inventory is always displayed on the right-hand side. I don’t know if this is properly supported in its online incarnation - I thought it was, but checked it now and it didn’t seem to - but you can CLICK an inventory item to start USING it, and then if you select a hyperlink that you can use it on, you get that option.

F’rinstance, if you have some screws, you always get the option to unscrew them, but it won’t work unless you have the screwdriver AND have clicked on it, indicating it is an “active inventory item”, i.e., the thing you’re ready to use; in effect, clicking the object and then the target for your actions, like a graphical adventure.

Furthermore, at the bottom of the sidebar, there’s a great little map.

I’m bringing this up because discussion of choice-based/hyperlink in I7 sometimes comes up, and the overall consensus is, it’s nice to have a world model but there are better suited tools for making CYOA.

This is an example of choice-based in I7 done superbly right, and I thought I should share.

PS - As an additional nicety, you can play it all without the graphics, in a simplified manner where if you merely have the screwdriver then you will be able to unscrew the screws just by selecting them. Accessibility-wise, this is superb. I really think this game deserves a look for its technical merits even if you don’t speak the language.

Ok, so having finished the game it was less of an Imajica experience, more like a vignette from Neverwhere. Very enjoyable, even if I apparently failed to complete an optional puzzle.


Ho intenzione di migliorare la mia. (I think that’s correct lol)

The good news is that it is far easier just reading in another language than reading AND writing.

The bad news is that I found the descriptions of rooms crude and devoid of interest. Perhaps I’ll make the extra effort to see if it ever raises a bit higher above Scott Adams level, but I won’t hold my breath.

Also, why are you calling it choice-based? Just because of hyperlinks? It’s very clearly a map and inventory text adventure.

Unfair. Of course the descriptions are leaps above Scott Adams, and so is almost every game in the IF Archive.

EDIT - If you find the descriptions in Dietro l’Angolo too functional, you’ll probably enjoy Darkiss. Personally, I think it’s a mistake to conflate “functional” with “Scott Adams” - DlA manages, I thought, to convey lots of atmosphere and scenery in a small number of words, which played to its strength: my imagination.

Anything that’s not parser-based to me is choice based, world model being irrelevant. I’m not pushing this definition down anyone’s throat (EDIT: true, you wouldn’t know if from the way I’m arguing - sorry, I’m verbose!), but I’m not changing it either - to me, the biggest difference really is between the act of, a) skimming through the text looking for the emphasised hotspots, or b) reading the text and thinking of ways to manipulate the game world. This is what defines my personal experience with the game.

I’m not making a big point here, mind, I just want to clarify my position. :slight_smile: I mean, what would you call it? It’s not parser based. If clarification were required, I’d call it a hyperlink-based world-model text adventure. But that’s a mouthful and, to me, the most important thing still is that you don’t type your commands in. The fact that you have an inventory and freely explore a map doesn’t change that - just like in Sorcery!, the Inle games. They’re choice-based. Thing is, they’re also a number of other things. What they’re not is parser - and power to them, because they work perfectly the way they are.

EDIT - The Final Fantasy gamebooks, that I loved, had an inventory and some of them allowed you to traipse back and forth between a map, within limitations. Map and inventory - and I’m still calling them “choice”.

If anything my mistake would be to conflate CYOA with choice. I do tend to do that, yes. Though I never call this particular game CYOA.