Search Tips

If you're getting too many irrelevant results, try searching for a complete phrase in quotes rather than individual words: "deep space drifter" rather than deep space drifter.

By default, IFDB searches each game's title, author, and description for the words you enter, and shows all of the games that match at least one of your search terms. You can customize the search with the special modifiers below. Note that modifiers with ":" parameters have to go last, after regular search words.

+word makes word mandatory - only items that contain this word will be listed.

-word makes word prohibited - only items that don't contain this word will be listed.

"phrase" searches for the exact phrase within the quotes: all of the words have to be matched in the exact order given.

author:name lists games by the named author or authors.

tag:tag name searches for games containing the given tag text. (What's a tag?)

series:name lists only games with the given series name.

genre:genre name only shows games with the given genre. If a game's listing has multiple genres, it will match as long as genre name is found within the listing. For example, genre:western will match a game listed with genre "Science Fiction/Western/Romance."

rating:low-high lists games with average ratings in the given range (inclusive). For example, rating:2.5-3.5 lists games rated from 2½ to 3½ stars. Leave out an endpoint for an open-ended search: rating:3- lists games with ratings 3 stars and above; rating:-2 lists games rated 2 stars and below.

#ratings:low-high lists games with a total number of ratings in the given range. For example, #ratings:3- lists games with three or more ratings.

ratingdev:low-high lists games with a ratings standard deviation in the given range. (If you use this option, the standard deviation for each rating will be shown in parentheses after the star rating, and you'll have the option to order the results by it.)

#reviews:low-high lists games with a total number of member reviews in the given range. (This doesn't count editorial reviews.)

forgiveness:rating only shows games with the given "forgiveness" rating (on the Zarfian scale: Merciful, Polite, Tough, Nasty, Cruel - more information).

published:year-year only shows games with publication dates in the given range. For example, published:1990-2000 shows games published from 1990 to 2000. published:1990 lists only games published in 1990. published:1990- lists games published in 1990 or later, and published:-2000 lists games published in 2000 or earlier.

added:year-year only shows games with listings added to the database on dates in the given range. For example, added:2007-2020 shows games added from 2007 to 2020. added:2007 shows games added in 2007. added:2007- shows games added in 2007 or later, and added:-2020 shows games added in 2020 or earlier.

language:code lists games written in the given spoken language. You can use the English name of the language, or a two- or three-letter ISO-639 code ("en" for English, "fr" for French, etc).

system:name lists only games written with the given authoring system (TADS, Inform, Hugo, etc).

format:name lists only games with downloadable files available for the given format. To search for multiple system versions, use * as a wildcard: format:tads * searches for all TADS versions. Use an operating system name to search for native executables for that system.

downloadable:yes|no lists games that are/are not downloadable. A downloadable game is one that has at least one story file or application download link.

bafs:id searches for the game with the given Baf's Guide ID. (What's a Baf's Guide ID?)

ifid:xxx searches for a game with the given IFID. (What's an IFID?)

authorid:id lists games by the author with the given id.

played:yes|no lists games that you have/haven't put on your played list (i.e. "I've played it"). Only works if you are logged in with a user account.

willplay:yes|no lists games that you have/haven't put on your "will play" list (i.e. "It's on my wish list"). Only works if you are logged in with a user account.

wontplay:yes|no lists games that you have/haven't put on your "won't play" list (i.e. "I'm not interested"). Only works if you are logged in with a user account.

You can negate any of the special modifiers by putting a hyphen '-' in front of the modifier name (e.g., -author:bob). This excludes items that match the modifier's criteria.

To search for listings that lack information on genre, publication date, language, development system, Baf's Guide entry, or IFID, enter the modifier with nothing after the colon. For example, to search for games that don't have publication date or language settings, enter published: language:.

You can combine these modifiers to create more specific searches. For example, "outer space genre:science fiction published:-1990" searches for games in the "science fiction" genre published in 1990 or earlier, with at least one of the words "outer" and "space" somewhere in their title, author, or description. Be sure to put all modifiers with ":" parameters after any regular search words.