Rec me some of your fav text adventure games!

So, while I’m very enthusiastic about games and the like in general, I don’t really have much experience with solely text adventure like games!

I’d like to expand my horizons cause my game is going to be a text adventure and I also recently found out I adore this style of game a lot! Anything goes! I’m not easily disturbed or freaked out. :slight_smile:


Okay, it’s like recommending The Beatles, but here goes: Counterfeit Monkey, the top-rated game on IFDB, and for good reason. (Counterfeit Monkey - Details) It’s all word play, really well done.


Anchorhead is a very atmospheric cosmic horror game.

Going waaay back, I recommend Enchanter and A Mind Forever Voyaging


All those games are really good, but I wouldn’t recommend them to a newcomer. There are lots of friendlier games to help you get comfortable with the general rules for playing parser games. I recommend first playing anything from the Text Adventure Literacy Jam from the last couple of years on Itch, as those are supposed to have tutorials and be a little easier. They’re also really good. Here’s the link to this year’s jam:


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


On the subject of Infocom, while it’s not their best game, Wishbringer is a good place to start if you’re not confident of your ability to solve some of the harder games. Wishbringer - Details

My personal favorite Infocom game is Planetfall - Details


That feels so broad though… I’ve learned from librarians to ask: tell me about a few games that you like? (games that you like the storytelling, maybe? and what you like about them?)


I’d recommend Eat Me by Chandler Groover. The author has incredibly good writing, and its a very dark retelling of a fairy tale where a boy has an unholy appetite and can eat literally anything, set loose in a castle where everything is made of food (including the people).


Fair in both cases.

I think I would recommend A Mind Forever Voyaging as a tenth or later game. There are only two ways to die, just one of them likely, one puzzle, and there’s no way to get locked out of winning.

It’s a very gentle game, I think? Someone can correct me if I’m off base.

edit: by coincidence, my third (most analytical) Wishbringer post was viewed 7 times today


It’s broad cause I genuinely can’t pin down things I particularly like! Lemme get it a try though. What remains of Edith Finch is a really good one, I think! Hm, I enjoy the Bayonetta series in terms of more ‘wacky’ storytelling, and I think my favorite horror game to this day…is one I either can’t remember or it’s several. I spent a good few minutes trying to think of games I played only to come up blank, so sorry! My brain is kicking my ass here trying to pick through my folder of memories. :sweat_smile:

Edit: Oh my gosh I forgot to say why I enjoyed the two I listed, my bad. What remains of Edith Finch’s method of story telling is absolutely breath taking! Going through the old family home of the Finchs, who are all cursed to die in painful ways, much too young, and learning of their life through their old things, through the memories of the protagonist Edith, is both beautiful and heartbreaking. It’s just one huge memorial to her family.

Bayonetta is the kind of game where story-telling is more so focused on the characters, in this case, character. It’s all about the umbra witch and her trials and tribulations going against the forces of Inferno and Paradiso, all while trying to look good and have fun! The plots are like, universe spanning for her too, because her whole thing is being a powerful and absolutely attractive woman with no sense of shame in any bone of her body. So, it’s kind of wacky but it keeps a playful tone throughout the games!


Ah. I don’t know how much overlap we have, hmm. I tend to like either straight-up puzzle games like Junior Arithmancer, which is basically, let’s do number puzzles with a lightly humorous story in the background.

Or silly upbeat things; there are lots of those. Chuk and the Arena is a silly point-and-click style adventure done in text/Twine about a small color-changing alien who’s trying to learn his opponents secrets so he can defeat them in arena battles and…win his planet’s valuable crystal moon back?

Pace Smith’s short choice-based Limerick Heist:

Rule 1 is that no one gets iced.
Rule 2: the loot’s evenly sliced.
There’s only two rules.
Now listen up, fools!
We’re pulling a…

Zozzled: a fun romp but a seriously puzzly parser game:

Hotsy-totsy! It’s 1928 and you’re madcap flapper Hazel Greene, tottering around the city’s finest hotel with a gullet full of giggle juice…until a gaggle of ghosts shows up to spoil the fun by turning every drop in the place into lousy, undrinkable WATER. Explore the beautiful Poseidon Grand Hotel, meet Barnaby Mooch the Magnificent Pooch, and get splifficated on a snootful of ectoplasm in this paranormal puzzle comedy.

Ryan Veeder’s You’ve Got a Stew Going! also sticks in my head, for some reason. Small parser based game: you’re a rat and your lazy “friend” invited you over for stew but now you have to do all the work of finding ingredients.

But yeah, I’d second Brian’s recommendation of Eat Me: the writing is over the top decadent and…gothic? And Chandler Groover usually puts in a bit of a tutorial and you can do almost everything with directions and eat so less complicated to play (which doesn’t necessarily mean the puzzles are easier).

I don’t do horror much…I only recognize a few of the top ones on IFDB, but the ones I do seemed good. Elizabeth Smythe’s Bogeyman, Amanda Walker’s first game (right?) What Heart Heard of, Ghost Guessed, michael lutz’s my father’s long, long legs (short-ish, Twine, very creepy and well-done). Anchorhead, as Drew said, is very atmospheric, but also… 1998… it’s old-school parser: hard and often doesn’t have much guidance. And there’s a timed puzzle (limited number of turns) at the end, right? Be prepared to use a walkthrough on that one several times, probably.



Everybody Dies


Lost Pig is a great starter game if you’re a newcomer to the genre. It’s short and funny, and the puzzles aren’t too complicated. It’s not going to blow you away with its deep storytelling, but it will get you used to playing parser games while making you chuckle.


From reading your posts and replies, I have an inkling that you might enjoy the story and atmosphere of Worlds Apart by Suzanne Britton.

A sprawling parser game with easy to medium puzzles that takes place in a variety of settings. Despite the size and the amount of puzzles, it manages to remain very intimate and personal, with weird, unsettling and symbolic changes to the locations and some dreamlike internal mindscape sequences.
The past personal relations between the PC and her mother and uncle are at the heart of the revelation during this Fantasy/SF story.

One of the most memorable scenes: Climbing the Tree of the Will-o’-the-Wisps to share memories with your uncle.

Worlds Apart - Details (

(My favourite IF of all time, by the way. Can’t help but recommend it.)


Dinner Bell - a one room (escape room?) farce by Jenni Polodna
The Temple of NO - by Crows Crows Crows who were involved in the Ultra Deluxe version of The Stanley Parable.
SPY INTRIGUE Emily Short says: “SPY INTRIGUE is one of the finest and bravest things ever produced in this medium: personal and true, technically masterful in both code and design, literary in the best sense.”
SCREW YOU, BEAR DAD! - If you know Xalavier Nelson, you know he’s funny.
Oppositely Opal - A very funny spell casting game with a well considered reverse mechanic.
Violet - a masterclass in giving the parser a character voice.

Also, peruse the IFDB Top 100.


I think that Night House is a quite weird (but not as creepy as it says it will be), but also sad story. The only thing I would say is, remember to read the letters scattered around the house.


Oh thank you very much Josh! It’s always good to have some variety, so i’m definitely gonna take a look at a few of these today!! Much appreciated! :slight_smile:

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Oooh, I loved the deluxe version of the stanley parable! The title is already hilarious too! That will be fun to play for sure! Thank you!!!


…including Amanda’s own charming The Lonely Troll.

I’d been reading this thread thinking “what, no one’s mentioned Violet?!” but then Hanon mentioned Violet.

Fortunately, I had a backup: “what, no one’s mentioned Bronze?!” Bronze is by Emily Short; it is a good game for relative newcomers, as well as being a very good game in general. I credit it with re-sparking my interest in IF.

I think Short’s aforementioned Counterfeit Monkey is the single best work of IF I’ve encountered, but agree it’s not a great choice for people without a few parser games under their belt.

It’s (deliberately) slight as a game, but MathBrush’s 77 Verbs is a useful trainer in what the default Inform 7 commands are, and is useful for parser games in general (far from all parser games are in Inform 7, but most parser game engines share a lot of the same vocabulary and similar world models).

Recent IFComp winner The Grown-Up Detective Agency has laugh-out-loud funny bits on nearly every page.

Our own MathBrush is the most prolific reviewer of IF, and his categorized IFDB lists make a great map of the overall IF terrain, with prominent landmarks labeled. For instance: a starter pack for those new to IF.