Non-English or Non-Euro/American IF?

I’m simply just curious:

I’ve heard/read about existing IF in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch.

1.) Are there IF pieces in another language? I bet there are.

2.) Are there IF pieces not from Europe or America?

Edit: Please don’t be insulted by the term “foreign”. It is used to express different cultures than mine (which is European).

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You can find a bunch of language codes in the Search function of the IFDB below:

language:code lists games written in the given spoken language. You can use the English name of the language, or a two- or three-letter ISO-639 code (“en” for English, “fr” for French, etc).

After this text, there is an arrow you can click, which will show the different language codes
Then click on the language you want to browse

As for non European/US pieces, there are a lot of authors from outside of these regions that create pieces in English (I know Interact-IF has interviewed some IF author in the Tumblr space). It’s kinda hard to know unless the author indicate where they are from.
Or are you looking for pieces that are not set in Europe/US?

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Sorry, that didn’t help me. Ah, you edited your post. More useful now :slight_smile:

No, not the game setting but the author.

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Yes and yes.

The Hobbit, from 1982, is a famous parser IF from Australia. However, I don’t know a lot about parser games outside Europe/North America.

There are a lot of visual novels from Japan and other East Asian countries whose original language was Japanese, Korean or one of the Chinese languages.

Twine has taken off worldwide, so I suspect there are a lot of games in Twine that I don’t know about that are neither from Europe/North America nor in a language associated with either continent.


Just coincidentally mentioned a Japanese IF from 1983 in the chat:

Chat messages mentioning Japanese IF:
Originally sent in Lounge

So, someone kindly shared this to the Interactive Fiction Club Discord. This is basically an actual attempt to replace a traditional parser with an AI model. It also has the virtue of being free to play:

"This software is an educational demonstration of Natural Language Processing (NLP), an AI technology, as applied to the adventure game “The Portopia Serial Murder Case” (created by Yuji Horii and first published in Japan in 1983). At the time of the game’s original release, most adventure games were played using a “command input” system, where the player was asked to type in text to decide the actions of their character. Free text input systems like these allowed players to feel a great deal of freedom. However, they did come with one common source of frustration: players knowing what action they wanted to perform but being unable to do so because they could not find the right wording. This problem was caused by the limitations of PC performance and NLP technology of the time.
40 years have passed since then, and PC performance has drastically improved, as have the capabilities of NLP technology. Using “The Portopia Serial Murder Case” as a test case, we’d like to show you the capabilities of modern NLP and the impact it can have on adventure games, as well as deepen your understanding of NLP technologies."

If you would like to play the original game this was based off of first, some hardcore fans spent 4 years porting (and translating to English) the original NEC PC-8801 version to the NES emulator. It's really a labor of love:

Our Rev. B/B2 release features:

  • Fully re-translated script by a native Japanese person who grew up in the USA and played the game when it first came out on a Famicom
  • Additional code hacking to allow emulation on more emulators, more special characters creating improved Shinkaichi scene, more accurate menus, and more
  • Fully translated manual in HTML format with graphics from the original Japanese manual
  • Updated read-me with hints tailored to this release, since it now includes the actual manual translation
  • New Secret Word, Secret Word entry form, and Updated Secret Page
  • New map of game locations based on a Google Earth shot of Japan

You can read more about that restoration/translation project here: - Translations - Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken

If you want to play the original Japanese version (text is Japanese, obviously), that rom can be found as well.


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A fair few Japanese text adventures, yes…
…and obviously lots of modern games produced in Japan in the “visual novel” genre, that definitely qualify as “IF”.

Historically, the Spanish had the biggest non-English text adventure scene in Europe, followed by Germany and Italy. There’s a load of games from Eastern Europe too, from the 80s & 90s… There are some great articles out there on those.

As a previous poster pointed out, there were plenty of text adventures produced in Australia (and New Zealand), particular for Commodore & Atari machines; as well as machines that were specifically popular in that region.

A breakdown of text adventures, by language, on CASA:,6/


There’s been a pretty active text adventure scene in Sweden. It’s more quiet now.

“Stuga” (1978) may have been the first text adventure in a language other than English.


French IF is apparently huge, and they love Vorple.

I used to lurk the Russian-language forums because I worked in AXMA which was developed in Russia and had to seek help with it, likely embarrassing myself via Google Translate.

We’ve just integrated our Spanish-language forum categories and Ectocomp has solicited both Spanish and English entries for several years.


There were a couple DOS CYOA games in Hebrew: ערס קווסט גרסת הסופים הרעים - YouTube


A 1989 Czechoslovakian game, originally in Czech language. Lost code, but remade in both English and Czech:

The Adventures of Indiana Jones in Wenceslas Square in Prague on January 16, 1989 - Details (


Thanks to all. Those are some interesting anwsers. And there will be more, I hope.

Any African games?


We don’t hear about those a lot, but I’m sure they exist. It starts to get a bit more difficult as languages stray from non-Arabic characters and language formats. That’s why we don’t get too much crossover from Russian IF with Cyrillic characters (though they have a scene) and Chinese/Japanese/Korean/Mandarin/Arabic/Hebrew/Greek/etc poses other issues for language parsing that don’t solve easily - unless they’re basically translated by the author or a fanbase.

There are people who do a lot of work with the vagaries of “natural language” parsing in Inform 7 specifically for Spanish, Italian, French and German. Choice narratives tend to be a more popular option since the engine can hyperlink instead of trying to figure out what the player is saying.


Is that how we appear to the rest of the world? Great! :smile: We aren’t that big, especially compared to the English-speaking community, but yeah, we are quite active and are one of the most important community, I guess.

Turns out we have on our site an article (in French) about interactive fiction across the world (dates from a few years ago, so might not be up to date). Languages listed: Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, Slovene, Greek, Icelandic, Japanese, Swedish, Danish, Czech.

Also, not really “foreign” since it’s a constructed language that’s not “tied” with a country, but there’s been at least one work in Esperanto.


The English community is likely not any bigger! It’s a matter of scope. “Huge” in IF means “we have a couple of events every year” or “Sometimes video meetings attract ten people!”


There was talk about Indonesian games at one point… hold on.


Here: Any Indonesian?

And Here: IF in another language.


I got curious and realized that on IFDB it might be faster to remove the languages you are not interested in (EDIT: To figure out which languages are on IFDB - when you know it is easier to search for that specific language).

You can do it with this query:

-language:en -language:fr -language:de -language:english -language:da -language:ja -language:it -language:es -language:portuguese -language:ru -language:ch -language:chinese -language:swedish -language:scots -language:esperanto -language:dutch -language:hungarian -language:finnish -language:czech -language:arabic -language:polish -language:slovak -language:bengali -language:slovenian -language:malay -language:serbian -language:jp -language:indonesian -language:cz -language:bosnian -language:romanian -language:catalan -language:korean -language:croatian -language:greek -language:icelandic -language:norwegian

(Corresponding search)
(This search leaves two entries: Someone put html in the language field and another one says that the game " supa lape mi li ike" is the first in Toki Pona, a constructed language.)

So Korean, Indonesian, Malay, Japanese, Bengali, Arabic and Chinese seem to fulfill your requirements.


While we are speaking of constructed languages, I remember IFWiki says Adventure has been translated into Lojban.


I mean, there’s a whole section in this forum now for Spanish speakers’ discussion of IF. From @Jade

translation of the post

Actually the catalog of interactive fiction in Spanish far exceeds 800 works. There’s a lot to choose from, for all tastes and preferences.
My to-do list of games to finish includes Rescate 2019 and Retorno a las Mazmorras de Antur - which along with the Aventura Casi Original are the most lengthy and vivid works in Spanish this past year.
Coming up is the “Rayuela de Arena” tournament which is having this year’s themes chosen right now and looks like it’s going to be a great amount of fun.


Germany had a very active IF scene from the early 80s to the mid 90s. I would say we were close to the Spanish IF scene, which was probably the biggest non-English speaking IF scene in Europe. I remember so many iconic games from that period which, and I think that’s a shame, never saw an English release. Unfortunately the German IF scene is considerably smaller these days with the biggest interest for new IF still being rooted in the retro scene (new releases for the old 8-bit / 16-bit systems).

A few of the games I vividly remember are:

SOUL CRYSTAL (1992), Starbyte Software (C64, Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS)

DIE DRACHEN VON LAAS (1991), Attic (Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS)

DAS STUNDENGLAS (1990), Weltenschmiede (Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS)

Especially Weltenschmiede was considered the German Infocom equivalent. They wrote three illustrated text adventure games which are considered some of the finest German IF classics these days: Das Stundenglas (The Hourglass), Die Kathedrale (The Cathedral) and Hexuma.

Also, very recently my own well-known game “The Curse of Rabenstein” had been translated to German, though I have to admit that I didn’t do the translation myself.


Das Stundenglass and Die Kathedrale have been patiently waiting their turn in my DosBox for years now, until that moment in my life where I find the courage to sit down with a German-English or German-Dutch dictionary and wrestle through them.

I haven’t found a copy of Drachen von Laas yet that will install correctly in my DosBox.