Best Short Games (5-60 minutes) - an IFDB Poll

by Sasha Davidovna
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I'm pretty new to IF and am having a lot of fun, but in between a toddler and a job and other real life stuff, I'm having trouble finding time to finish many of the longer games I want to play. Can you please recommend me some fun and/or interesting short games, say 5 minutes to an hour to solve? I'm pretty open genre-wise: mystery, fantasy, humor, horror, historical... It's all good.

Thanks in advance!

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9:05, by Adam Cadre
32 votes
"Must play - 10 minutes" [+]"Must play - 10 minutes" --Jeff Sonas... "Perfect in its shortness" [+]"Perfect in its shortness" () --Nusco... "surprising, fun and well crafted" [+]"surprising, fun and well crafted" () --lagran-G-an... "Surprisingly satisfying for such a short game." [+]"Surprisingly satisfying for such a short game." () --Mark Jones... "Very short with a surprising ending." [+]"Very short with a surprising ending." () --AndyC... "Caught me completely on he wrong foot ;-) Great short fun" [+]"Caught me completely on he wrong foot ;-) Great short fun" ( - Full review) --Coldfinger... "Short and easy to get the hang of with a great plot twist" [+]"Short and easy to get the hang of with a great plot twist" --candicorn... "great fun" [+]"great fun" () --Denk... "Easy and short with a twist" [+]"Easy and short with a twist" () --tekket... "Short, simple game. A difficult awakening in a normal work day." [+]"Short, simple game. A difficult awakening in a normal work day." --Jade68... (No comment) [+](No comment) --Mike Sousa... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --aaronius... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Grey... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Danielle... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --smurfas666... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --SarahTheEntwife... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Dave Chapeskie... (No comment) [+](No comment) ( - Full review) --tggdan3... (No comment) [+](No comment) --KalaNag... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Karl Ove Hufthammer... (No comment) [+](No comment) --Richard Otter... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --[delete this account]... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Peloquin... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --amciek... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Sobol... "Perfect..." [+]"Perfect representation of what a perfect short IF should be" --Vieu... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --TheAncientOne... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --DustyCypress... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edo... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --RichCheng... (No comment) [+](No comment) --CJ ... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Kinetic Mouse Car...

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Fail-Safe, by Jon Ingold
12 votes
"Very short and very interesting. I did find the inability to save the game frustrating, and there is at least one time where your wording has to be very specific to find what you need. " [+]"Very short and very interesting. I did find the inability to save the game frustrating, and there is at least one time where your wording has to be very specific to find what you need. " --J'onn Roger... "Meta-IF that's actually fun to play" [+]"Meta-IF that's actually fun to play" () --Nusco... "a sometimes frustrating but fun, short, conceptual adventure" [+]"a sometimes frustrating but fun, short, conceptual adventure" --ellsbelles... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Dave Chapeskie... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Juhana... (No comment) [+](No comment) --Merk... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Grey... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --smurfas666... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --amciek... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --DJ... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Sobol... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Karlok...

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Suveh Nux, by David Fisher
10 votes
"fun to cast spells and figure out what the magic words mean" [+]"fun to cast spells and figure out what the magic words mean: can be played in a short time and has good hints" --melar... "Quick to win,..." [+]"Quick to win, though there are a bunch of easter eggs if you want to play longer." ( - Full review) --Emily Short... "Can beat quickly,..." [+]"Can beat quickly, but lots of fun stuff to play around doing!" ( - Full review) --tggdan3... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Nusco... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --amciek... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --DJ... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Sobol... "Got 3 other..." [+]"Got 3 other non-IF friends playing it for a couple days :) " --Vieu... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Felix Pleșoianu... (No comment) [+](No comment) --IFforL2...

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Violet, by Jeremy Freese
8 votes
"Very entertaining!" [+]"Very entertaining!: Probably can't finish this in an hour but it's fun even if you don't get to the end" --Jeff Sonas... "Absolutely hilarious." [+]"Absolutely hilarious." --J'onn Roger... "loved the 'voice' and the extra touches like the hilarious scene out the window" [+]"loved the 'voice' and the extra touches like the hilarious scene out the window: Can be played to completion in a short time, but then you'll want to play it again to enjoy all the responses and extras." --melar... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --smurfas666... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --AndyC... (No comment) [+](No comment) --explorington... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Sobol... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --DustyCypress...

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Aisle, by Sam Barlow
8 votes
"Its a one-turn game, so you can make it as short as youd like!" [+]"Its a one-turn game, so you can make it as short as youd like!" () --Karl Ove Hufthammer... "a classic one-turn with many satisfying outcomes." [+]"a classic one-turn with many satisfying outcomes." --ellsbelles... (No comment) [+](No comment) --HumanHand... (No comment) [+](No comment) --Jordan Magnuson... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --DustyCypress... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edo... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Malasana... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Karlok...

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Galatea, by Emily Short
8 votes
"Each individual play-through usually takes about 10-15 minutes, but it has TONS of replay value." [+]"Each individual play-through usually takes about 10-15 minutes, but it has TONS of replay value." --J'onn Roger... (No comment) [+](No comment) --Bernie... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --AndyC... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Sobol... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --IFforL2... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --DustyCypress... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edo... "Famous for its..." [+]"Famous for its extremely detailed implementation of the central NPC. Short playthroughs with a great number of possible outcomes." --Christina Nordlander...

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Photopia, by Adam Cadre
7 votes
"A beautiful story that guides you all the way through" [+]"A beautiful story that guides you all the way through: When you first play, it will seem to be a bunch of disjoint snippets, but that provides the intended effect. There's little more I can say without spoiling the experience." --mjhayes... "A game based in colours, short and easy." [+]"A game based in colours, short and easy." ( - Full review) --Jade68... "I forget how long..." [+]"I forget how long this was. 30 minutes?" () --blue/green... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Denk... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Sobol... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edo... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Karlok...

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Lime Ergot, by Caleb Wilson (as Rust Blight)
6 votes
"Probably no more than 30 minutes." [+]"Probably no more than 30 minutes." ( - Full review) --CMG... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Sobol... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edo... "Original and..." [+]"Original and atmospheric with a unique game mechanic." () --Christina Nordlander... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Jade68... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Kinetic Mouse Car...

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Shade, by Andrew Plotkin
6 votes
"Creepy, haunting, strang, different" [+]"Creepy, haunting, strang, different" --Coldfinger... (No comment) [+](No comment) --Dominic Delabruere... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --DJ... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Sobol... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edo... "Well-written,..." [+]"Well-written, atmospheric, easy: a must play for everyone looking for good short-format IF." --Christina Nordlander...

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The Tale of the Kissing Bandit, by J. Robinson Wheeler
6 votes
"15 mins, very charming, not very interactive" [+]"15 mins, very charming, not very interactive" () --Carlo... "Very funny." [+]"Very funny." () --Emily Short... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Fabien Vidal... (No comment) [+](No comment) --Ghalev... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edo... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --RichCheng...

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The Space Under the Window, by Andrew Plotkin
5 votes
(No comment) [+](No comment) --J'onn Roger... (No comment) [+](No comment) --Danielle... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Felix Pleșoianu... "Unusual mechanic..." [+]"Unusual mechanic for a parser game. More like an interactive poem than a simulation of a world. Beautifully written and evocative." () --Christina Nordlander... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Malasana...

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Whom The Telling Changed, by Aaron A. Reed
5 votes
"Short but very..." [+]"Short but very good, and repays replaying." () --Victor Gijsbers... (No comment) [+](No comment) ( - Full review) --SarahTheEntwife... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Sobol... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Felix Pleșoianu... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --IFforL2...

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Hunter, in Darkness, by Andrew Plotkin
5 votes
(No comment) [+](No comment) () --aaronius... (No comment) [+](No comment) --Rob Maule... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Sobol... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --IFforL2... "Dark, tense..." [+]"Dark, tense adventure that puts the urgency and physicality back in "cave crawl." Some of the puzzles are challenging, but it's still a fairly manageable game size." --Christina Nordlander...

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Gun Mute, by C.E.J. Pacian
5 votes
"Fun puzzles and..." [+]"Fun puzzles and quick to play." ( - Full review) --Emily Short... "A fun string of..." [+]"A fun string of puzzles that manages to pack a surprising amount of story into a short time." ( - Full review) --Victor Gijsbers... (No comment) [+](No comment) ( - Full review) --Nusco... (No comment) [+](No comment) --Fabien Vidal... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Sobol...

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Hoist Sail for the Heliopause and Home, by Andrew Plotkin
5 votes
(No comment) [+](No comment) () --Jordan Magnuson... (No comment) [+](No comment) --strivenword... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Sobol... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Felix Pleșoianu... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edo...

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Snack Time!, by Hardy the Bulldog and Renee Choba
5 votes
"Light hearted, fairly easy puzzles, and soooo much fun! Learn to think like a dog!" [+]"Light hearted, fairly easy puzzles, and soooo much fun! Learn to think like a dog!" () --J'onn Roger... "Lighthearted, funny, and brief." [+]"Lighthearted, funny, and brief." () --DJ... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Ghalev... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Sobol... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edo...

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The Moonlit Tower, by Yoon Ha Lee
4 votes
"This one's a must-play for it's beautiful imagery. I finished it quite quickly, though I think there are multiple endings, and some may take longer to reach than others." [+]"This one's a must-play for it's beautiful imagery. I finished it quite quickly, though I think there are multiple endings, and some may take longer to reach than others." --J'onn Roger... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --blue/green... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Felix Pleșoianu... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Christina Nordlander...

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The Legend of the Missing Hat, by Adri
4 votes
"Short and sweet,..." [+]"Short and sweet, 10 minutes or less." () --blue/green... (No comment) [+](No comment) ( - Full review) --Felix Pleșoianu... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edo... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --RichCheng...

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When in Rome 1: Accounting for Taste, by Emily Short
4 votes
(No comment) [+](No comment) --Ghalev... (No comment) [+](No comment) --strivenword... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Sobol... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edo...

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Earth and Sky, by Paul O'Brian
4 votes
"A short, cheerful superhero adventure." [+]"A short, cheerful superhero adventure." () --DJ... "very well implemented" [+]"very well implemented" () --Denk... (No comment) [+](No comment) --J'onn Roger... (No comment) [+](No comment) ( - Full review) --Ghalev...

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Light My Way Home, by Caelyn Sandel (as Venus Hart)
3 votes
"10-20 minutes." [+]"10-20 minutes." () --blue/green... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edo... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Kinetic Mouse Car...

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Captain Verdeterre's Plunder, by Ryan Veeder
3 votes
(No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edo... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Denk... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Sobol...

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The Northnorth Passage., by Caleb Wilson (as Snowball Ice)
3 votes
(No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edo... (No comment) [+](No comment) ( - Full review) --CMG... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Sobol...

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Conan Kill Everything, by Ian Haberkorn
3 votes
(No comment) [+](No comment) () --smurfas666... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --amciek... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Sobol...

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When in Rome 2: Far from Home, by Emily Short
3 votes
(No comment) [+](No comment) --Ghalev... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Dave Chapeskie... (No comment) [+](No comment) --strivenword...

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Snowblind Aces, by C.E.J. Pacian
3 votes
"A short, fun,..." [+]"A short, fun, conversation based game." () --baywoof... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Sobol... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edo...

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An Act of Murder, by Christopher Huang
3 votes
"Short with great replay potential" [+]"Short with great replay potential: Probably about an hour to play through if you're good at whodunnits. If you're not, has good in-game hints. Due to the randomisation aspect it's like five games in one. " ( - Full review) --Rose... "60 minutes might be optimistic" [+]"60 minutes might be optimistic: It took me a few hours, but it was still fun. Not a lot of locations or complications so maybe more experienced users can finish in 60 minutes." ( - Full review) --ZUrlocker... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Dave Chapeskie...

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Take, by Katherine Morayati (as Amelia Pinnolla)
2 votes
(No comment) [+](No comment) ( - Full review) --CMG... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edo...

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The Queen's Menagerie, by Chandler Groover
2 votes
"A walk through a..." [+]"A walk through a baroque menagerie of monsters." () --Christina Nordlander... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --meadowmower...

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Shrapnel, by Adam Cadre
2 votes
(No comment) [+](No comment) ( - Full review) --Dominic Delabruere... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Sobol...

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Marco Polo, by Baltasar el arquero
2 votes
"If you're into Spanish." [+]"If you're into Spanish." () --IFforL2... "A good game based in a parser review" [+]"A good game based in a parser review" --Jade68...

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Byzantine Perspective, by Lea Albaugh
2 votes
"Bsically a single, interesting puzzle." [+]"Bsically a single, interesting puzzle." () --DJ... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Sobol...

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BYOD, by n-n
2 votes
"Good, especially online version" [+]"Good, especially online version" ( - Full review) --Denk... "Very interesting idea for a very good game" [+]"Very interesting idea for a very good game" () --Jade68...

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The One That Got Away, by Leon Lin
2 votes
"Humorous, enjoyable, and very short as per the criteria. I may be biased, however, as I have a particular fondness for any scenario that involves creatures lurking in the watery depths (even if its just a strangely large fish)." [+]"Humorous, enjoyable, and very short as per the criteria. I may be biased, however, as I have a particular fondness for any scenario that involves creatures lurking in the watery depths (even if its just a strangely large fish)." ( - Full review) --Xervosh... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --DJ...

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All Alone, by Ian Finley
2 votes
"quick, scary and not difficult." [+]"quick, scary and not difficult." () --Grey... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edo...

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Afflicted, by Doug Egan
2 votes
"Super fun and short (if you can stomach it, that is)" [+]"Super fun and short (if you can stomach it, that is)" ( - Full review) --Kinetic Mouse Car... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Stickz...

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You are a Chef!, by Dan Shiovitz
2 votes
"Hilarious game that doesn't hurt your brain to play." [+]"Hilarious game that doesn't hurt your brain to play." ( - Full review) --AmberShards... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edo...

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77 Verbs, by MathBrush (as Prismatik)
2 votes
(No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edo... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Denk...

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The Cove, by Kathleen M. Fischer
2 votes
(No comment) [+](No comment) --J'onn Roger... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edo...

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NEST, by Ryan Veeder
2 votes
(No comment) [+](No comment) ( - Full review) --Denk... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Sobol...

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Rameses, by Stephen Bond
1 vote
(No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edo...

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Asylum, by cpuguy89
1 vote
"Takes about 10 minutes at most to complete." [+]"Takes about 10 minutes at most to complete." --cpuguy...

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Dino Hunt, by Admiral Jota
1 vote
"A short and cute game played from the point of view of a child" [+]"A short and cute game played from the point of view of a child: The game is very short, but the puzzles are different and I think you'll really enjoy the pc." ( - Full review) --Bernie...

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Midnight. Swordfight., by Chandler Groover
1 vote
"Has a lot of..." [+]"Has a lot of replay scope, but a single playthrough is fairly short." () --Christina Nordlander...

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Main Hall & Beginners Cave, by Donald Brown
1 vote
"Serves as an INTRODUCTION to Eamon which it does well, despite not being a special game alone" [+]"Serves as an INTRODUCTION to Eamon which it does well, despite not being a special game alone: Best played in Eamon Deluxe as it will prepare you with weapons, armor and stats for the more complex adventures." () --Denk...

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A Fire Darkly: Chapter 1, by Louis Rakovich
1 vote
"Beautiful writing, dark, with some puzzles" [+]"Beautiful writing, dark, with some puzzles: Took me 20-30 minutes on my first playthrough, but can probably be finished a bit faster." ( - Full review) --SLane...

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When I Was Shot By Elephants III, by Ray
1 vote
"Short, silly and fun" [+]"Short, silly and fun" () --Denk...

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Very Old Dog, by Tony Delgado
1 vote
"Cute and quick" [+]"Cute and quick" ( - Full review) --Bernie...

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Castle of the Red Prince, by C.E.J. Pacian
1 vote
"Polished Gothic..." [+]"Polished Gothic quest, pleasantly thrilling without being very extreme in its horror elements. Unique mechanic with a "small" world where every area is instantly reachable, but solving puzzles requires exploring increasingly smaller-scale levels (similar to Lime Ergot). In the upper range of your time requirement, but should be solvable within an hour." ( - Full review) --Christina Nordlander...

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Eurydice, by Anonymous
1 vote
(No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edo...

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Friar Bacon's Secret, by Carl Muckenhoupt
1 vote
"Brief game with an amusing premise" [+]"Brief game with an amusing premise" ( - Full review) --Bernie...

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More, by Jason Dyer (as Erin Canterbury)
1 vote
"10 minutes or so." [+]"10 minutes or so." --blue/green...

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Moving (On), by quackoquack
1 vote
(No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edo...

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vale of singing metals, by foresthexes
1 vote
"Surreal, relaxed..." [+]"Surreal, relaxed maze in Twine. Navigate the area and find out what you need to do through dream-like hints. Sometimes challenging, but small-scale." ( - Full review) --Christina Nordlander...

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Lost Pig, by Admiral Jota
1 vote
(No comment) [+](No comment) () --Durafen...

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The Endling Archive, by Kazuki Mishima
1 vote
"5-10 minutes." [+]"5-10 minutes." () --blue/green...

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Being There, by Jordan Magnuson
1 vote
(No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edo...

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Danse Nocturne, by Joey Jones
1 vote
"Unusual speed-IF..." [+]"Unusual speed-IF where you interact through adverbs rather than verbs. Multiple endings." --Christina Nordlander...

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How To Be A Blackbird, by Holly Gramazio
1 vote
"10 minutes or so." [+]"10 minutes or so." () --blue/green...

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Sohoek Ekalmoe, by Caleb Wilson
1 vote
(No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edo...

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Arram's Tomb, by James Beck
1 vote
(No comment) [+](No comment) () --Denk...

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Into the Dragon's Den, by Xanmag
1 vote
"Dr. Seuss meets Bilbo Baggins." [+]"Dr. Seuss meets Bilbo Baggins.: 30-40 minutes. Clean. I hope it is as enjoyable to read as it was to write." --XanMag...

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Got Toast?, by Jim Fisher
1 vote
"Very logical puzzles" [+]"Very logical puzzles: The puzzles in this game are easier than Varicella but still challenging enough to be fun. I think it took me about 45 minutes to play the game through entirely." ( - Full review) --Bernie...

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Mind The Gap, by quackoquack
1 vote
(No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edo...

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The Magpie Takes the Train, by Mathbrush
1 vote
(No comment) [+](No comment) ( - Full review) --Denk...

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Terrota, by Sriram
1 vote
"Extremely short..." [+]"Extremely short playthroughs with high replay value. You have been elected president of a planet at the edge of the galaxy. Make decisions that lead your world to prosperity. Sci-fi, but keeps it light." ( - Full review) --Kinetic Mouse Car...

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So, You've Never Played a Text Adventure Before, Huh?, by Ryan Veeder
1 vote
(No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edo...

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