Pointless IF with no solution or endgame?

An idea has been playing on my mind to make an IF game with no real purpose or engame, just to immerse the player (or even just myself) in a theme and setting.

The idea is not to follow a pre-destined “walkthrough” or “solution” but just to play and explore the game world.

This could still have puzzles and unlockable or discoverable areas, there is still a game world to explore and progress through if desired, perhaps even several paths which may or may not be mutually exclusive.

I imagine such a thing would not have a wide audience but that’s ok to me.

Does anything exist like this?

Being There by Jordan Magnuson is a bit like that.

Journey to Alpha Centauri (In Real Time) (ifdb.tads.org/viewgame?id=nidzkipeux0uusqk) isn’t technically pointless as it has a goal, but for all practical purposes it fits your bill, in a most boring way.

More seriously, there’s Exhibition (ifdb.tads.org/viewgame?id=ruaersctvvr7t6vh).

Try also Lex.

drive.google.com/folderview?id= … jFDUjlyQ2M

I never played it, but your order reminds me of period descriptions of The Fire Tower…

I suppose my game Moquette is a bit like that textadventures.co.uk/games/view/ … w/moquette - probably not really my intention, but certainly some people wondered what they were supposed to do, to which the answer is, just explore and absorb.

Partly. The Fire Tower isn’t really open-world - it’s an essentially-linear walk from one end of the map to the other, and then the game ends - but the point of it is definitely about poking around in the world rather than puzzle-solving or advancing a plot.

It’s not IF but you might want to have a look at Knytt Underground. It’s a puzzle platformer that (when you get to the main game) does have a long elaborate main quest, but the main quest sends you on a lot of exploration, and it’s full of sidequests that are more and less silly as they go on, and there’s a lot of hints throughout that the main quest isn’t the point and may even be pointless (about halfway through it you get the option to say whether you think there’s any point to what you’re doing–I chose “Maybe”).

Oh, and arguably the bulk of A Mind Forever Voyaging could qualify. So might Book And Volume. But then we’re veering into fringe territory, maybe not what you’re looking for.

Nearly anything from the “landscape” division of the IF Art Show should be roughly what you mean given that was the entire premise of the competition.


The Cove from 2000 for instance is raw exploration with no goal.

True. But it does have a delevoping story, a linear sequence of events and an end-game situation. I’m not sure how the OP feels about these. That’s also the reason why AMFV and B&V may not be adequate either.

If Illuminate had a goal then I never found it, but it was fun to fiddle around with.

Many thanks to all for the IF suggestions. I look forward to exploring these.

I love and have finished all the Knytt games :slight_smile: On the off chance you don’t know, this style of puzzle platformer where the entire world is walkable, but areas are not accessible until you gain abilities later in the game - eg: double jump, high jump, flight can unlock high areas, swimming or a scuba suit can unlock underwater areas, special boots or suit can unlock hot areas - is called a “Metroidvania”.

That word being a portmanteau of Metroid and Castlevania, referring to Metroid on NES, Super Metroid on SNES, and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night on PlayStation. Besides those games, the Metroids on GBA are fantastic, as are Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (GBA) and Dawn of Sorrow (NDS). If you’re not a console gamer, try Fez or Cave Story (the free version) on PC.

The idea of this game has long been a favorite of mine, completion through observation is quite clever. I’ve started it a few times but have never finished it, perhaps I should.


A Walk at Dusk

(My experience of) Galatea fits that description, as does Aisle. (Although I’d totally understand people disagreeing with this.)