For baby’s first parser game, I really suggest anything by Amanda Walker. Fairest is an extremely gentle, well implemented foray into typical parser conventions, and even as someone who can’t quite seem to get a handle on the syntax of parsers, I have happily enjoyed a handful of her games.
For a personal recommendation of a parser- conversational menu based, no puzzles (except that damn sailing scene, but it’s totally play-through-able) and quite touching, I would suggest Sting by Mike Russo. This is the game that sold me on trying out more parsers, because the writing was beautiful- not like elaborately overwrought Gothic tales can be (of which I’m quite fond!), but in a quite earnest, honest way.
For choice based games: Porpentine’s catalogue is foundational, and you totally need to play through at least a few if you wanna get in on the weird girlblogger 2016 Twine girlies scene. They are lurid, neon, nauseating, and thought provoking. I liked Vesp: A History of Sapphic Scaphism, but howling dogs and Their Angelical Understanding are more popular around here.
For more recent games I associate more with the Tumblr style of IF: Manon Amora’s stuff is really fun- especially the latest Goncharov game, and she has killer styling/aesthetic appeal to her games. The Thick Table Tavern was recently entered into IFComp, and did quite well! I also would suggest looking at Autumn Chen’s catalogue: for slice of life, moody pieces made with Dendry: very fun, multiple endings, and they give you quite a lot to think over when it comes to the characters and the lives they lead. I especially liked Pageant.
On a personal suggestion for choice games, I would suggest anything from litrouke. The writing is gorgeous, literary, densely atmospheric- and kind of both inspirational and aspirational for me. I want to write like that. It’s the kind of writing you have to put down for a moment to catch your breath sometimes- the sort that makes you lay down on the floor after finishing a really damn good novel and have half a moment of mourning over it coming to a close, before you desperately need to speak to someone else about what it did to you. I really liked The Second Floor, and January is on my to play list: I need to do it after the academic semester ends as a little treat for myself and so I can cry hysterically in my bedroom alone about it.
None of these suggestions will come as much of a surprise to you, Blade, since I’m usually fangirling over their work anyway, but there you go! :3