Newbie here, looking for good IF titles [SF/horror mostly]

It all began with a Reddit thread about free horror games; shortly later, Anchorhead took the bronze cup in my all-time favorite video games [Planescape:Torment, arguably another IF game, got the gold – Silent Hill was second, if that helps anyone know what I’m interested in]. A friend recommended that I switch from writing plain text horror/sci-fi to interactive fiction for a change of pace, and now here I am, learning I7.

If you have any science fiction, horror, psych, or mystery titles I should see, please recommend them. I’m more interested in seeing what can be done with Inform7 than I am interested in length or challenge. I’d like to see some more deep games [x self – I don’t want to be as good-looking as ever].

I’ve played most of's small collection of IF highlights. I’m interested in's database, but I can’t seem to find it. That has to be a mistake on my part, right? No one would create a huge repository of IF games without a means to browse it, right…?

If I could see the source code for the games, that would be a plus, but anything that will keep me thinking about what I can do with the medium would be great.

Edit: oh, I need more than the names of the titles, please. I actually have no idea where to GET them, and I’d rather hear about what sites you folks use than go on a wild google chase for them.

You’re looking for IFDB, which is the big searchable database of IF titles, containing polls, ratings, reviews, and links to download and/or play online.

Here for instance is a search for horror games rated 3 stars or higher.

(Other people may have more specific recommendations; horror isn’t my favorite genre. But just knowing about the database may help.)

Oh, and one of the tags you can use in advanced searching is “I7 source available”, which will show you just the ones with downloadable source code. Though I’m seeing just a couple horror games that meet that criterion.

In addition to what’s been mentioned, I’d like to single out Ghosterington Night as a horror game with a commented source code. There’s also The Statue Got Me High, based on the They Might Be Giants song of the same name, which is kind of a low-key horror game. (No source code, though.)

Edit: Also, I can’t believe I forgot about Fail-Safe, since it’s one of my favorite games ever.

Lz_erk… I’m slowly trying to play my way through most of the horror games I can find on IFDB, excepting the ones that aren’t in English and skipping most or all of the ones which are Speed IF. (Speed IF refers to IF games programmed within some kind of time limit, like a few hours or a day, usually as part of a competition in which the time limit is a condition of entry. The haste with which they are put together inevitably produces rough, buggy or incomplete games. Some people dig these, others like myself usually don’t.)

I note you’ve already played Anchorhead. Games which are pastiches of or based on or otherwise emulating the output of H P Lovecraft, whether serious or jokey, make up a larger than the average person would expect proportion of IF horror games, so there are tons of those around if you’d like to try them. I don’t think there are any others as big as Anchorhead, but you can do a search for games that are tagged ‘lovecraft’ or ‘lovecraftian’. I’ve reviewed a decent number of these myself.

Since you like Silent Hill (hooray!) you are very likely to like ‘One Eye Open’, about which I’ll say no more except that I’m a big fan and that it seems to go down pretty well even with people who normally don’t like horror.

I haven’t played ‘Babel’, though I sorta feel like I have by now, and again, I think if you like that kind of storytelling from console survival horror games, it’s likely you will like this.

There is a Quest engine game called ‘First Times’ which actually drops explicit references to Silent Hill games. The programming is a bit rough but being interested in its subject matter should help you on that front.

One that I quite like but that others haven’t said much about (IE no other IFDB reviews) is ‘Blind’, in which you play a blind woman trying to escape from a serial killer. Again, this isn’t a super tight game, but there aren’t many IF games dealing with this more savage material, and I think it’s pretty good at it in places.

Another one I would recommend is ‘Theatre’. This is a big and solid horror game with logical puzzles and a strong atmosphere.

My own game ‘Leadlight’ takes a lot of cues from console survival horror games, but I will probably have a new version of it out in the semi-near future, so I would recommend you wait a little for that version if you are interested in playing it.

  • Wade