What apps to recommend?

I’ve been thinking of submitting an article to Yahoo Voices/Contributor Network about IF. Instead of trying to convince people that IF is cool, I simply include IF with other forms of storytelling, as if assuming the readers already knew about it, even though they probably haven’t. The title of the article would be something like “Top Resources for Interactive Storytelling,” and it would go on to say where ebook-lovers can find “interactive novellas,” and where fiction writers can find “writing tools” for developing interactive plots. I would list the major blogs and websites, the major interpreters (without using that word, of course), and the major development tools, trying to explain them without bringing in any internal distinctions, as if the readers of the article have always known what IF is, and just need to be filled in on the trends that they’ve been missing. There would be no “text adventures” (aside from a possible off-hand reference), and there would be little explanation about the differences between parser and choice-based.

Naturally, apps for iOS and Android would be among the most important resources for readers. I might specifically relate playing IF to summer novel reading on a Kindle or Nook. However, I have almost no experience with apps for any mobile platform. I’ve been browsing old threads here, but I don’t know how things currently stand for mobile IF players.

iFrotz for iPhone/Pad/Pod? JFrotz for Android and Blackberry? Is there anything official for Kindle?

iFrotz for iPad definitely. Some people seem to have issues with it, but for me on iPad 3 it works pretty much perfectly.

JFrotz and Twisty are the only options I’ve been able to find for Android, though both are unpolished and neither seem to support anything outside z-code. In terms of app options it’s definitely under-powered; I switched to a Samsung Galaxy from an iPhone and took a serious hit to the range of games I could play.

Someone’s also ported Adventure for Android, and not done a terrible job. And there’s a few other standalone games for it. But yeah, in terms of standard interpreters that I’ve seen, there’s sadly not much going on.

Parchment works quite well in my opinion.

ZMPP and Hunky Punk are other Android options; there’s also Hunky Mod which adds Glulx support.

None of them are 100% there yet, but Hunky Punk/Hunky Mod is pretty slick as far as it goes.

Both Hunky variants are no longer working with recent Android releases (from android 4.1 I think) so it’s not a viable solution.

Zmpp is working fine and looks good. What I’d like in such terp would be to copy in the input line words we click on so it’d be quicker to type. If I remember well, a terp called frostz on windows mobile could do that: jpdefault.altervista.org/?p=software&id=frostz

Here is a quick link to all the apps I’ve currently released for iOS, Android and Windows Phone:


iOS: iFrotz, hands down.

Also check out Inkle Studios’ apps, though - Frankenstein, Future Voices and Sourcery.

And Mike Berlyn has written three apps as well. I’m just waiting for my paycheck to check them out.

I really struggle with it on iPad, because the keyboard disappears after every inputted command. I tried looking for a workaround, but couldn’t find anything. Obviously this is more a iOS/Safari issue than a Parchment problem. Any advice?

The Quest web player doesn’t do that - the keyboard stays up. Not sure what I’m doing differently but the source is there to look at. It’s probably something as simple as .focus()

If it is that simple, then get on it Parchment peeps! You’re killing me here!

I had trouble with this when I was working on Quixe. I think the necessary trick is to keep the element in the DOM. Don’t remove it and replace it after each input. (However, I have not gotten Quixe to do this.)

Thanks, everyone. I just submitted my article, so we’ll see if it gets published. If not, I’ll throw it on my neglected blog or something.

They published it:

voices.yahoo.com/top-interactive … 37721.html

wtg y0!


Please comment here if you’re having trouble with Parchment on a mobile device, thanks!

Just read your article, Paul. Good work.

  • Wade

I’ve just downloaded ‘Son of Hunky Punk’ on the Android market. I some difficulties at first with gamers not recognising that I’d entered a command, but the developer was very quick in addressing my issues.

I was experiencing a lot of slowdown with Twisty. ZMPP was great apart from a lack of scroll function, which was very off-putting, and you couldn’t play your own downloads from ifdb.

Son if Hunky Punk lets you play downloads, scroll text and recognises blorb and TADS files. I’ve nit play-tested throughly yet, but seems ok up to now.