While Anchorhead’s map is pretty intuitive once you’ve got the hang of it, and I don’t dispute that it’s playable without mapping, I think that mapping would make life a lot easier at first. Particularly for a novice player.
It isn’t one-room, but Emily Short’s Bronze is very playable without mapping. It has a command that lists all the rooms you’ve visited, and another that automatically navigates you back to any of them (likewise all the objects you’ve seen). It otherwise has much of the feel of a “classic” adventure game – puzzles and wandering around a castle and such – but with better prose and story.
With the Easter weekend fast approaching (Maundy Thursday already!!!) and tensions running high, here, spoiler alert, is a link to a map of Anchorhead. This is mostly to remind the people recommending this game of what they’re getting our octopal into. Anyone who hasn’t played the game should just glance at it, at the very most. Don’t look at anything too closely.*
If you don’t want to be spoiled at all, good for you. I’ll give you the rundown: There are about a hundred rooms, taking up five pages of PDF. One of these pages (the aforementioned maze) looks like it was designed by a crazy person.[/spoiler]
If you’re not very good with maps then you should probably build your skills with something else first. Probably Bronze. I’ve been known to get lost in Bronze, but I never used any of the commands tove alluded to.
Also, you should consider drawing out maps on paper! In my opinion this is one of the most enjoyable elements of IF.
*“Don’t look at anything too closely,” coincidentally, is also the town motto of Anchorhead.
I managed to play through Anchorhead in its entirety on my phone without a map. But then, I have excellent mental mapping skills: I could still tell you how to get from the ale tent to the ferret races at an agricultural fair that I visited for a few hours 7 years ago. Names and faces come and go, but I’ll always know to turn left by the olive stands then right at the goat tent.
Thank you for all of your suggestions, however I might leave ‘Anchorhead’ for when I get back and have my Trizbort mapping software to hand.
I am leaving for my three day trip in an hour or so and thanks to all of your suggestions, I have lots of stories to choose from. I look forward to sitting down in the hotel lobby, IOS device in hand and letting my mind wander off somewhere new.
I like name ‘octopal’, I have been using ‘Octofuzz’ for years in one form or another but ‘octopal’ is a new one on me!
Have a great Easter everyone, I am incredibly grateful for your help. I will update you when I get back as to how it all went.