Looking for iOS net browser with certain characteristics

Hey there. I’ve done a lot of looking around, and I’ve found a solution that works halfway - I’m now asking around to see if I can find something better.

I do a lot of my IF gaming on my iPod, loving the portability (I just finished Jigsaw in it, and man, being forced to sit at the computer for that giant would have been frustrating, but I digress). At the moment that means Inform/Infocom, web-based games and PDFs/texts like Trapped in Time or Encryptment (if you remember that one).

I use FileApp as a file manager. FileApp also opens HTML files, so it allows me to play web-based games. It even opens external files within reason (i.e., .ogg files are out, but I wouldn’t expect otherwise), so I can play Twine games with music/images as long as they’re provided (I can also get the music/images if I turn on my WiFi, but I haven’t got net everywhere).

However, some Twine games like Remembered (and similar games of that era and that author) don’t display properly and are unplayable in FileApp. Also, I haven’t got a “BACK” button to go back a passage or two, and the interface has a problem: the status bar and footer bar aren’t fixed and keep popping in and out as I’m trying to select passages, often obscuring text or being in the way.

Still, it works. Even plays Undum games, to my amazement.

Now, I’ve also tried Mercury, which is the only browser I’ve found that can open external files. That is: when I select the HTM(L) file in FileAppl and choose “Open With”, it’s the only of the six browsers I’ve installed (I’ve been experimenting) that comes up as a possible program to open the file with.

It eliminates the biggest problem of FileApp: the status bars. It makes for a much better playing experience. Big drawback: I can’t get it to read the external files, and I’ve messed around the files a lot. The folder where the files should theoretically be stored in Mercury is not touchable by the user. Still no BACK button either.

Curiously, some games will work on FileApp and not on Mercury, and vice-versa. Games like “Remembered” won’t work either way. “Undum” games won’t work in Mercury - probably because of the external files issue.

I’m trying to find the optimal way to play web-based games on my iPod offline. So here’s my question:

What free browsers do you know for the iOS that can open external files? I can experiment from there. Also, to clarify, I mean opening offline HTML files. Currently I know that Mercury does, and that Safari, Chrome, Opera Mini, Puffin Free and Dolphin don’t.

On a side note, what with iFrotz and all, whatever other gripes I may have with Apple, I find iOS and its portable devices to be the answer to my portable-IF prayer, and am only hoping for a iOS TADS interpreter at some point. And that iFrotz’s bugs get ironed out, but the maintainer of the app seems very active.

I haven’t an answer for your main question, but re:

I was testing a Twine game for someone on ios the other day and noticed this. The following is not a highly practical workaround for the average player, but in lots of Twine games using simpler header code, I found you can alter one word in the html file to stop the status bar zooming on smartphones. So really, you’re hacking the css.

Open the file in a text editor, search for the word ‘position’, and at the first incidence, which will say ‘position:static’, change the word ‘static’ to ‘absolute’. Save the file. Then it’s fixed for iphone and ipad. If this doesn’t work, the game is probably using a more sophisticated version of the header, and more complex css and code in general.


Thanks for the info, but it’s really an issue with FileApp - the status bar is of the App, nothing to do with the Twine games themselves. But it’s useful info to have!

Bump: I’ve found a way to get games to work pretty well. If anyone’s interested:

To play, say, an Undum game offline in your iOS, I’ve found that the best browser is Mercury; it’s the only one I’ve found that allows you to open local files, be it because it’s stored in its own storage space or because you’re opening the .html file from another app, like, say, a file manager app such as FileApp.

What you do is copy the whole folder of the game into Mercury. Except that you can’t do it directly; you have to be sneaky and use, say, DiskAid to place the whole folder of the game there. Tested with Hallowmoor and Ceteri Paribus. Once it’s there, you can easily access the story file and play the game, offline, in your mobile device.

EDIT - No BACK button, though, which is a drawback when playing poorly-designed TWINE games. But then, of course, you have to ask whether it’s worth it to even be playing poorly-designed TWINE games.

EDIT - Incidently, since in my original post I mention iFrotz updates, I should say that for the past couple of weeks the maintainer of iFrotz has been very active indeed. I’m expecting an update quite soon.