Do you replay IF games?

How often do you replay IF that isn’t designed for replay (see below)
  • Never
  • Very rarely (once every four years or more)
  • Rarely (every 2-3 years)
  • Occasionally (maybe once a year)
  • Frequently (more than once a year)

0 voters

Something I’ve wondered about over the past year or so is, “Does the IF community replay IF games?” Do you? How often? Only the classics? Or everything? Do you replay with a goal in mind (efficiency challenge, etc)? Or just to experience the game again?

Note: some games are specifically designed for replay, such as 4x4 Archipelago or Kerkerkruip. Furthermore…

So, not games like that. I’m talking bog standard, linear story games. They might have alternate puzzle solutions, sure, but playthroughs do not change significantly from one to the other.

Please answer the poll and share your thoughts!


I’ve replayed one game and it was almost 40 years later.


Full disclosure: I “replayed” Zork I as well, but I never finished it the first/second/third times.


I might, once a year or so, if I get particularly nostalgic for it. Part of this is that I tend to play short, atmospheric games- like poetic Bitsies.


Depends on the game. Puzzle games or very linear stories will usually only get one play from me. But games with a lot of variation or that had a big impact on me when I played it (or that are super short), I will try it again a few times.


Completed more than once:
A Runcible Cargo
Pogoman Go!
STARFLIGHT: A Cosmic Adventure
Swigian (when graphical version came out)
The Axe of Kolt
The Heart of Gold
When I Was Shot By Elephants III (VERY short and funny)
Zeppelin Adventure

Not completed fully 25 years ago:
Zork I - Zork III - Anchorhead - Scapeghost

All games above are great games in my opinion.


Replaying IF is very much akin to rereading a book to me. After time has passed, some games will have settled in my mind as particularly good. I play/read those again years after I first did.

I played through Worlds Apart three times. (Favourite game.)
Several games I revisited once after first playing: Return to Ditch Day, Illuminizmo Iniziato, Delusions, Babel.

And I play Molly and the Butter Thieves when I feel sad or when the weather is awful and I want to snuggle up with a blanket and some comfort-IF.


I replay a game when after playing it I have to play in a streaming or IFMUD, but…
When testing a game I frequently play a game a lot of times.


This is my thinking, too. I’ve “reread” Anchorhead a couple of times, for instance, because I enjoy the prose. I’m not looking for the same satisfactions (solving problems, etc), but rather the joy of reading.


I’ve played Curses! 4 or 5 times, but the last time was a while ago.

I replayed the games I made sequels to.

I think in general I replay about 2.5% of the games I’ve played. I replayed Endless, Nameless, for instance I think 3 times. Spellbreaker, So Far, Spider and Web (that one is at least 3 times), Slouching Towards Bedlam, Deadline Enchanter, Eidolon, You have arrived at a crossroads, Howling Dogs, most Chandler Groover games, Metamorphoses, Cannery Vale and most of Hanon’s other non-AIF games, Shade, Creatures Such as We.

There are several Choicescript games I played a year after originally playing them (Heart of the House, The Tower Behind the Moon come to mind).


Me too. I like re-experiencing something I already liked once. Sure, I won’t get the satisfaction of figuring out the solution, but for me a good game has much more to offer than that.


Occasionally, if a game connects with me emotionally and I’m hit by a craving to see a specific scene or line just one more time. I will replay games for the promise of variation more frequently, but generally I’m not a huge replayer (immediately). I’ve got to let the original play sink in and marinate my brain juices for a while first.


I think I should say that as an author, you get most feedback after the first playthrough; rarely does anyone say ‘hey I replayed this and saw…’. So while people replay a lot of games, it is unlikely they’ll replay your specific game and comment on things they liked about how it changed.


I’ve been replaying Infocom adventures (some of which I completed and many of which I didn’t back in the 80s), mostly inspired by Eaten By A Groo and @Carrington.

So far I’ve re-played Bureaucracy, Enchanter (my favourite Infocom adventure, and the only one I solved at high school without any hints), and I’m playing Hollywood Hijinks.

For more modern IF, I’ve replayed Anchorhead at least once, just for the writing and atmosphere.

As @rovarsson said, it’s like re-reading a book, although I’d liken it more to re-reading a mystery. Once enough time has gone by I can re-read it without remembering anything more than the vague outline of the plot, and so it’s almost new again.


I think that from a nostalgia point I have played the Infocom games I own, or used to own, numerous times. The most recent is Spellbreaker (for which I still have the original ‘box’, along with the Amstrad 6128 hard ‘floppy’ disc and the feelies [all the ‘playing’ cards] intact.) - Since having access to the Zil ‘source code’ I have re-played the Infocom games more so, to see how things were ‘implemented’ (pardon the ‘pun’) and to use the ‘knowledge’ in my own games. I have also re-visited (I am replaying) Anchorhead (which I remember finishing - but can’t remember the ‘solution’) and Bob Bates’s, ‘Thaumistry: In Charm’s Way’ - which again, I know I finished but can’t remember the solution too. At nearly 60, I think your ‘brain’ becomes a little ‘addled’ and there are a lot of things from the past that become a little ‘faded’ from your memory - I always used to ‘laugh’ at the joke that when you are ‘old’ you walk up the stairs to get something and before you reach the top step, you have forgotten why you went up the stairs in the first place, only to remember doing exactly that the other day! - I am also of the opinion that, given the opportunity, you should attempt to experience things more than ‘once’ and that ‘every day is a school day’. You will always find something within a game that you most certainly ‘missed’ on the first ‘play’ and that ‘find’ can be just as exciting as when you played the game originally (even if that was some 20 to 30 years previous).


I’ve replayed some Infocom games several times. Not all of them. For Gold Machine, I had to replay Seastalker, The Witness, and Suspect, for instance, and would not replay them for any other reason. I recently replayed Howling Dogs a few times because somebody in my game said something about it.

Mostly, I haven’t played any IF lately that isn’t for Gold Machine or Repeat the Ending (my game) in a while. I feel like I have so much going on that I want to do something else.

One of these days I’d like to replay some of the old Telarium/Spinnaker games. I remember some of them fondly, but I have no idea how they hold up. I seem to recall that Jimmy Maher wasn’t terribly impressed.


I play a game for the first time to enjoy it. I go back to it to look at it from a different lens, noting design decisions, what worked, what didn’t, and, most importantly, what I could learn from or repurpose from the game itself.


Since IF most commonly involves a plot of some kind, it’s similar to books: you’ll read the good ones probably a couple times. Most do not specifically compel replay as you’d normally think of in a video game.

That’s not to say you can’t create a game that compels people to return to it.

“Open world/Systemic”
Ryan Veeder’s Authentic Fly Fishing
Fallen London

“Speedrun/Optimization hook”
Captain Verdeterre’s Plunder
80 Days


see I can replay a game and get the satisfaction of finding the solution again because my memory is swiss cheese, it’s the only thing that having 0 recall ability is useful for!


I was going to vote ‘Never’, but that’s not entirely true. As I play parser-based games, the objective is to solve the game. Once solved, there’s no need to play it again. Or is there?

I’m probably a little different to most people. As I contribute maps and solutions to CASA, I might play the same game a dozen or so times to make sure that I’ve thoroughly covered everything that needs to be covered and I have an optimum solution. Then I can move onto the next game.

However, there are games that I haven’t finished and need to play again, or games that I played 40 years ago and need to play them again to refresh my memory or write up a solution. As an example, I need to replay all the Scott Adams and Brian Howarth games just for the fun of it.

If I wasn’t doing this, I’d rather be playing something new rather than replaying something from the past. Given that there are over 10,000 adventures out there, I want to play them all! Unfortunately, I won’t live long enough to achieve that dream.