Five Scarabs - a one-room Twine game with verb-based interface

Recently I’ve come up with an idea for a Twine game which would use a verb-based interface, similar to what’s found in many older graphic adventures. To see if I can make such interface work at all, I decided to write a very short game based around it first, and thus Five Scarabs was born.

The game, a tiny one-room puzzle, can be played here:

EDIT: I’ve added the game to the IFDB as well.

I’ll appreciate any feedback, especially about the interface! One thing I’ve already noticed – it will likely be easier to implement it in a bigger game, but with less interaction points in each room (which is good news considering my planned project).

Here’s a sample screenshot of the game:

Also, if you know about any Twine games that use something similar, please point me to them! My cursory Google search yielded no results, but if such games exist, I’d very much like to see them.


I tried on my phone, and the game seems to work, but the forced landscape mode is annoying because I keep accidentally activating the switch-between-apps function as I reach towards the left part of the screen with my right thumb. For some reason this happens more frequently with this interface than in other choice-based games.


I tried the game on my phone and for me it switches between landscape and portrait modes. That being said, I agree the interface doesn’t work all that well on mobile devices, because you constantly need to scroll down to see the verbs and inventory. I have no idea how to improve this without making the font horribly small, hovewer… I could put the verbs on top of the screen, but then you’d have to scroll down to read the room description.

If you’re unfamiliar with the tool Texture it’s worth checking out…though I suspect that clicking on verb then noun is (potentially) more screen-reader friendly than Texture’s drag-and-drop mechanics, which were designed for mobile (I think?).

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