FIFP Round 1, Division 1 (Voting/Fan Choice Commentary)

Welcome to opening round of the Free IF Playoffs! (See here for details and ground rules.)

This post is for Division 1’s first round matchups. All matches were made at random.

Match 01: Lost Pig vs. Suveh Nux

  • Lost Pig
  • Suveh Nux
0 voters

Match 02: Superluminal Vagrant Twin vs. Excalibur

  • Superluminal Vagrant Twin
  • Excalibur
0 voters

Match 03: A Long Way to the Nearest Star vs. The Impossible Bottle

  • A Long Way to the Nearest Star
  • The Impossible Bottle
0 voters

Match 04: Cryptozookeeper vs. Junior Arithmancer

  • Cryptozookeeper
  • Junior Arithmancer
0 voters

Match 05: Dr. Ludwig and the Devil vs. Midnight. Swordfight.

  • Dr. Ludwig and the Devil
  • Midnight. Swordfight.
0 voters

Match 06: City of Secrets vs. The Wizard Sniffer

  • City of Secrets
  • The Wizard Sniffer
0 voters

Match 07: Birdland vs. Of Their Shadows Deep

  • Birdland
  • Of Their Shadows Deep
0 voters

Match 08: Zozzled vs. And Then You Come to a House Not Unlike the Previous One

  • Zozzled
  • And Then You Come to a House Not Unlike the Previous One
0 voters

Vote in the matchups above, and feel free to talk up your selections on this thread. Voting will close and Round 1 for Division 2 will begin in one week.


Wow, this might be tough… the very first matchup pits two of my favorites against each other!

Lost Pig is a delight to play that speaks to one’s inner child while still serving up proper puzzley fun, and it raised the bar on active NPCs and imbuing the parser with a memorable voice. Suveh Nux is my personal top choice among “magic” games because it manages to get so much mileage from its unique system – it presents the feeling of being an apprentice magician better than any other of that type. Hmmm…


I decided to make a tag. Only voted on two of them so far, since all the others have at least one I haven’t played. Will add commentary soon!


Suveh Nux, to me, was a perfect example of a game that presents tricky puzzles that seem overwhelming at first, but helps the player through them by rewarding experimentation and providing helpful feedback on failed attempts. It was so satisfying to work through, full of those magical (ha) “aha!” moments that make you feel very smart. :smile:


Excellent idea! Can be repeated every year :grin:

1 Like

For me the wanted effect (getting people to play) has come true: I plan to play two of these games, probably already tomorrow.


How long will the first round go? I hope for a while considering I haven’t played most of the games.


Wow, these are some rough matchups.

Lost Pig is of course a classic and many people’s early introduction to IF, notable for a very well developed PC and NPC, while Suveh Nux has a real analytics and logically satisfying puzzle style.

Superluminal Vagrant Twin is very accessible, has a nice grind loop and is very nonlinear, with tons to do. Excalibur has a unique format (fake wiki) and a lot of layers. Both have excellent world building.

A Long Way to the Nearest Star is a choice game with great story and NPCs and some very satisfying interactions, while Impossible Bottle is extremely well polished and has some of the best puzzles out there.

Cryptozookeeper is probably the least played game on here and if anyone is going to start playing the games to vote better I’d get on this one first. Very squicky/profane and irreverente humor, kind of buggy, tons of interactive NPCs, fully developed pokemon style mini game, music, art, and some very memorable sequences. Junior Arithmancer is just a completely overt puzzle box based on math, which is very very fun.

Dr Ludwig and the Devil and Midnight Swordfight share good writing, a humorously dark vaguely 1700-1800’s ish setting and a vibrant leading NPC. Ludwig has more traditional gameplay en more humor while Swordfight has unique gameplay mechanics and is framed as a play.

City of Secrets isn’t talked about much but it’s one of my favorite Emily Short games. It was commissioned by an Indie band that didn’t use it and has one of the best developed cities in IF, with a thriller story. Wizard Sniffer, on the other hand, is a hilarious fantasy game with tons of NPCs in a large castle using a limited command set.

Birdland was the most popular tribe game for years (maybe still is?) and has great humor with gameplay that contrasts between awkward teen summer camp and dreams where talking birds attempt to recreate human society. Of Their Shadows Deep is a beautiful story of loss and love based on real experiences, with art and poetry.

Zozzled, like Dr Ludwig and the Devil or Lost Pig, is a well-tuned and very funny example of classic parser gameplay polished to perfection. It has a flapper setting and lots of ghost and alcohol themed puzzles. And Then You…is a very detailed and multilevel story involving playing multiple games on a computer and being able to transfer items between games and even real life, while having a thoughtful and touching story.

I’m not sure if the idea is to vote for what you think is objectively best or your personal favorite, but either way this is pretty hard.


@pieartsy and @mathbrush: I’ve added a FAQ at the main post.

Also, I nominate mathbrush to be the official “sportscaster” for the tournament. (On a volunteer and as-time-permits basis, of course.)


Yeah if that was helpful I’d love to do it more for later rounds!

There are so many very close matches here, very interesting to see which way people will lean!


Oh, great… Another reminder of how many great games I haven’t played yet.

I could only vote on two match-ups, the others all have only one game I’ve played.

  • Lost PigSuveh Nux :
    I choose Lost Pig. While I loved the central language and deduction puzzle in Suveh Nux, I felt it was too restricted, too much of a one-trick pony. Lost Pig is a more allround game, with a variety of puzzles, some player-deception, a cool map, and a wonderful NPC.

  • City of SecretsThe Wizard Sniffer :
    Very tough. I’m going for Wizard Sniffer. I remember having high expectations for City of Secrets and being somewhat disappointed. It has a certain unfinished feel to it, which probably has to do with some issues during the development process. I put Wizard Sniffer in the same “family” of games as Lost Pig (together with Augmented Fourth and Yes, Another Game With A Dragon!). They share a great sense of humour and whimsy and creative puzzles, while being incredibly robust under the hood. Wizard Sniffer also has a great arc of rising tension throughout the game, leading to a frenzied and hilarious finale.

-Yes, Another Game with a Dragon! - Details (
-Augmented Fourth - Details (



Strangely, I found the complete opposite. I loved the magic system in Suveh Nux, but really can’t understand the hype for List Pig.

Same with the Wizard Sniffer, it was a really fun game (much more so than Lost Pig to me), but City of Secrets was such an intriguing, great game.

Same with Zozzled. It had nothing … Interesting about it. It never felt worthwhile. ATYCTAHNUTPO was very interesting, and fairly fun to play through.


Ouch. I know I don’t play much but I’ve only played one in this list. :grimacing:


I, too, am part of Lost Pig vs Suveh Nux club. Those are the two games I’ve played in this division. They’re both strong contenders, Lost Pig has fantastic writing and Suveh Nux is an excellent puzzle. I voted Lost Pig because I think its writing wins out over Suveh Nux’s puzzles. (And without denigrating Suveh Nux, Lost Pig’s puzzles beat Suveh Nux’s writing.)

The Impossible Bottle and The Wizard Sniffer are on my to play-list, but I don’t know if I can squeeze in both them and their competitors in time to vote in this playoff.


Holy crap. It’s like a weird dream in which you suddenly find yourself in the boxing ring with Muhammad Ali. I think OTSD is a pretty good game, but it’s not in the same league. Can’t I just tap out and buy Hennessy a drink instead?


Yellow cards thrown on @rovarsson and @SomeOne2! Remember the rule: Don’t put down the ones that you don’t pick – instead talk up the ones that you do.


If you really want to forfeit, then I guess you’re welcome to do so. Just let me know here or by DM, and I’ll register it officially. (I hope that you don’t, though. This is just for fun.)


No-- it would be an honor to be whipped by Hennessy. It’s just bizarre to have come back after a few days on the road and see this, which is not something I ever would have predicted.


I bet you could get disqualified real quick if you start charging for it! :smiling_imp:


Good point! Sorry :smile: