Results of the 2019 Interactive Fiction Top 50

Here they are, the results of the 2019 Interactive Fiction Top 50. Thanks to everyone who voted! For me, it has been an educational experience, allowing me to know as never before where the big and gaping holes in my knowledge of the IF canon lie. :slight_smile:

I received votes from 50 people, casting a total of 806 votes for no fewer than 306 different games. Of these, 136 games received 2 or more votes; 94 games received 3 or more votes; 68 games received 4 or more votes; and 45 games received 5 or more votes. I’ll take the latter group as the official ‘top 50’. Of course, the rankings should be taken with a big grain of salt and one can get inspiration from the entire list. For that purpose, please do visit the spreadsheet. You can copy-paste it into your own spreadsheet if you want do some fancy data analysis!

Without further ado, here is the top 46, sorted by vote total and then alphabetically.

Game Year Author Votes
Counterfeit Monkey 2012 Emily Short 21
Lost Pig 2007 Admiral Jota 17
Anchorhead 1998 Michael Gentry 16
80 Days 2014 inkle and Meg Jayanth 13
Galatea 2000 Emily Short 13
Photopia 1998 Adam Cadre 13
Spider and Web 1998 Andrew Plotkin 13
Trinity 1986 Brian Moriarty 13
Hadean Lands 2014 Andrew Plotkin 12
Superluminal Vagrant Twin 2016 C.E.J. Pacian 12
Birdland 2015 Brendan Patrick Hennessy 11
Slouching towards Bedlam 2003 Star Foster & Daniel Ravipinto 10
Curses! 1993 Graham Nelson 9
howling dogs 2012 Porpentine 9
Violet 2008 Jeremy Freese 9
Wizard Sniffer, The 2017 Buster Hudson 9
Eat Me 2017 Chandler Groover 8
Horse Master 2013 Tom McHenry 8
Mentula Macanus: Apocolocyntosis 2011 Adam Thornton 8
Shade 2000 Andrew Plotkin 8
Vespers 2005 Jason Devlin 8
Will Not Let Me Go 2017 Stephen Granade 8
Bee 2012 Emily Short 7
Creatures such as we 2014 Lynnea Glasser 7
Kerkerkruip 2011 Victor Gijsbers (et al) 7
Midnight. Swordfight. 2015 Chandler Groover 7
Savoir-Faire 2002 Emily Short 7
With Those We Love Alive 2014 Porpentine & Brenda Neotenomie 7
Aisle 1999 Sam Barlow 6
Blue Lacuna 2008 Aaron Reed 6
Gun Mute 2008 C.E.J. Pacian 6
King of Shreds and Patches, The 2009 Jimmy Maher 6
Mind Forever Voyaging, A 1985 Steve Meretzky 6
SPY INTRIGUE 2015 furkle 6
Wishbringer 1985 Brian Moriarty 6
Beauty Cold and Austere, A 2017 Mike Spivey 5
Cactus Blue Motel 2016 Astrid Dalmady 5
Coloratura 2013 Lynnea Glasser 5
Harmonia 2017 Liza Daly 5
Lime Ergot 2014 Caleb Wilson 5
Rameses 2000 Stephen Bond 5
Spellbreaker 1985 Dave Lebling 5
Suspended 1983 Michael Berlyn 5
Wand, The 2017 Arthur DiBianca 5
Zork I 1980 Marc Blank & Dave Lebling 5

Posting the entire list is a bit much – see the spreadsheet – but here are, in addition, the games that received 4 or 3 votes.

Game Year Author Votes
1893: A World’s Fair Mystery 2002 Peter Nepstad 4
Adventure 1976 William Crowther & Donald Woods 4
Alias ‘The Magpie’ 2018 J. J. Guest 4
Baron, The 2006 Victor Gijsbers 4
Bogeyman 2018 Elizabeth Smyth 4
Cragne Manor 2018 Ryan Veeder, Jenni Polodna (et al) 4
Edifice, The 1997 Lucian P. Smith 4
Endless, Nameless 2012 Adam Cadre 4
Everybody Dies 2008 Jim Munroe 4
Fallen London 2009 Failbetter Games 4
Foo Foo 2006 Buster Hudson 4
Gostak, The 2001 Carl Muckenhoupt 4
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The 1984 Douglas Adams & Steve Meretzky 4
Hoist Sail for the Heliopause and Home 2010 Andrew Plotkin 4
Human Errors 2018 Katherine Morayati 4
Inside the Facility 2016 Arthur DiBianca 4
Junior Arithmancer 2018 Mike Spivey 4
Make it Good 2009 Jon Ingold 4
Sub Rosa 2015 Joey Jones, Melvin Rangasamy 4
Suveh Nux 2007 David Fisher 4
their angelical understanding 2013 Porpentine 4
Toby’s Nose 2015 Chandler Groover 4
Varicella 1999 Adam Cadre 4
17776 2017 Jon Bois 3
16 Ways to Kill a Vampire at McDonalds 2016 Abigail Corfman 3
500 Apocalypses 2016 Phantom Williams 3
Adventurer’s Consumer Guide 2007 Øyvind Thorsby 3
All Things Devours 2004 half sick of shadows 3
Beyond Zork 1987 Brian Moriarty 3
Brain Guzzlers from Beyond! 2015 Steph Cherrywell 3
Cannery Vale 2018 Hanon Ondricek 3
Christminster 1995 Gareth Rees 3
Enchanter 1983 Marc Blank & Dave Lebling 3
Eric the Unready 1993 Bob Bates 3
Fabricationist DeWit Remakes the World 2015 Jebediah Berry 3
For a Change 1999 Dan Schmidt 3
Gateway 1992 Mike Verdu (et al) 3
Invisible Parties 2014 Sam Kabo Ashwell 3
Laid Off from the Synesthesia Factory 2015 Katherine Morayati 3
Lurking Horror II: The Lurkening, The 2018 Ryan Veeder 3
Magical Makeover 2014 S. Woodson 3
Open Sorcery 2016 Abigail Corfman 3
Planetfall 1983 Steve Meretzky 3
Sunless Sea 2015 Failbetter Games 3
Warbler’s Nest 2010 Jason McIntosh 3
Wonderland 1990 Magnetic Scrolls 3
You Will Select A Decision 2013 Brendan Patrick Hennessy 3
Zork II 1981 Dave Lebling & Marc Blank 3
Zork III 1982 Dave Lebling & Marc Blank 3
17 Likes

Thanks for putting this together! I’m really pleased to see Superluminal Vagrant Twin and Birdland so high on the list, since to me they represent new directions IF branched into in the last 4 years.

I couldn’t have predicted these results at all. It’s really interesting to see what the collective group of voters thinks of as important. I can definitely say though that this is a great list for someone looking for fun games!

Random statistics:

Infocom comprises 6 out of 45 entries (13%). IFComp 2017 also comprises 6 out of 45 entries (13%). Old and new. Healthy?

12 non-parser games in the list: 27%. 80 DAYS leads that group.

VESPERS didn’t place last time round, despite being eligible, but has shown up at #13 this time. The top new entrant that wasn’t published in the last 4 years. Similarly, GALATEA has rocketed up the charts - the highest climber, up 37 places. Inexplicable surges in popularity?

Congrats to SUPERLUMINAL VAGRANT TWIN, the only newly-published game to break the top 10 (although BIRDLAND came close)!

2 Likes

It is really nice to see Trinity up there so high, next to so awesome modern games.