IF for education/kids ?

I’m new to the whole IF domain, and i find it extremely interesting !

I’m looking for stuff that is targeted for children (ages 6-12), meaning, not too difficult, no harsh stuff - the aim is educational.
I’m hoping someone can point me to the right direction where to start searching?

We have an “Educational” category here textadventures.co.uk/games/tag/educational

When I’ve run workshops getting kids (aged about 8-14) into text adventures, I usually start them off with “Escape from Byron Bay” - a reasonably straightforward game that was created by a teacher. textadventures.co.uk/games/view/ … -byron-bay

See these too:

ifdb.tads.org/search?searchfor=t … 20children
ifdb.tads.org/search?searchfor=t … 0beginners

Here’s one teacher’s list.

Hope it’s helpful.

Brendan Desilets
“Teaching and Learning With Interactive Ficion”

Ryan Veeder’s Captain Verdeterre’s Treasure would be a good game for kids. There’s not much objectionable material (unless you think pirates are a no-no), and the resource management puzzle at the heart of the game could be considered educational. Also worth a look is So You’ve Never Played a Text Adventure Before, Huh, by the same author. It’s an IF tutorial, like the title suggests, and kids might find it a fun way to learn how to play parser-based IF, or text adventures.

Other than that, there’s always perennial favorite Lost Pig, as well as older games for children, like A Bear’s Night Out, or Mother Loose. If you’re teaching in a religious context, Cana According to Micah, a goofy retelling of the water into wine miracle, may be helpful as, say, an introduction to the Gospels. If you aren’t, then Sunday Afternoon, by the same author (his real name is Christopher Huang) would be a great look at late Victorian society from a child’s perspective, as well as World War 1.

Finally, there are a couple IF that center around wordplay; these may be too difficult or inappropriate for the age group you’re looking at, but I’ll list them off in case it helps:
Ad Verbum by Nick Montfort (mostly unrelated wordplay gags)
Shuffling Around by Andrew Schultz (anagrams)
A Roiling Original by Andrew Schultz (anagrams, sequel to the above)
Patanoir by Simon Christiansen (metaphors)
Goose, Egg, Badger by Brian Rapp (verbs that are also nouns, and vice versa)
The Gostak by Carl Muckenhoupt (game is in English but uses an entirely different vocabulary, hard to explain in such short space)
That’s far from an exhaustive list, but it should be a good start. I might come back later and recommend some choice-based/Twine IF as well.

Hi all,

I’m new to the forum and was coming here with just the same question (and to introduce myself). I played a few games as a kid, and I’m looking forward to setting up an interpreter and looking at a few of the games recommended here. I am also very much looking forward to looking over some of these games and getting the kids playing them in the school library I work at.

I have so far only glanced over the replies and it will take a while to work through the links etc. but thanks to all who contributed. I love the idea of using this resource with kids. I saw an article about interactive fiction and the reluctant reader and it sounds about right.



Hi, Rob,

For the past few years, I’ve been offering an interactive fiction club at the local public library. The ages of the participants has varied quite a bit, from eleven to eighteen, but the weekly sessions have usually been good, literate fun. These are the stories that we’ve used so far:

“Lost Pig”
“The Sleeping Princess”
“Mrs. Pepper’s Nasty Secret”
“Robin & Orchid”
“Taco Fiction”
“The Enterprise Incidents”
“Paper Bag Princess”
“Warbler’s Nest”
Winter Wonderland

Best of luck with your students.


I played through Lost Pig with my 6-year-old last Spring, which gave me the opportunity to teach him about maps and parts of speech and some other odds and ends. It was a pretty interesting experience; I wrote about it over here.

Interesting read, Sig - thanks for sharing that writeup!

Thanks for a fascinating account, Sig. It’s never occurred to me that “Lost Pig” would be especially good for the youngest readers, but it’s great that you found it so successful.

In your blog, you asked about other text adventure for early readers. Here are a few possibilities.
Mrs. Pepper’s Nasty Secret
The Matter of the Monster
Lost Islands of Alabaz

Have a great day.

Brendan Desilets
“Teaching and Learning With Interactive Fiction”

I’m not sure if it’s referenced in one of the above links, but Nellan is Thirsty is a very early text adventure / puzzle game, possibly the first intended to be played by the very small. I am its only booster 8)