Contains worlds.gam
For all systems. To play, you'll need a TADS 2 Interpreter - visit for interpreter downloads. (Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at
Windows Application
Includes HyperTADS 1.​1.3 for the Mac
For all systems. To play, you'll need a TADS 2 Interpreter - visit for interpreter downloads. (Encoded in Macintosh Bin/Hex format.)

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Worlds Apart

by Suzanne Britton


Web Site

About the Story

For over 20 years, I dreamed about an alternate universe I called the Higher World. For three of those years, I poured almost all of my creative energy into a novel-length story set in that universe. Worlds Apart is the result. But it is not a novel in the traditional sense of the word. It is an interactive tale in which you play the leading part, solving problems and learning about yourself along the way.

The only catch is, you'll need to use a computer to experience it.

Worlds Apart is a descendant of old-fashioned computer text adventures. It was designed using a very powerful interactive fiction language called TADS, which produces games quite similar in look and feel to the legendary Infocom adventures. As with those, you interact with Worlds Apart via a text parser, which accepts simple commands like "sit on the chair" and "ask the wizard about magic".

Yet Worlds Apart differs from traditional adventure games almost as much as it differs from a plain novel. It is first and foremost about self-discovery, not puzzle-solving, and is set in a richly detailed gameworld. This gameworld is filled with optional discoveries: while there is a central story which all players will experience, the majority of Worlds Apart is optional! The more you explore, the more you will find. This exploration includes both probing the world around you using your six senses, and speaking with the other characters.

-- blurb from the game's web site

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: 2.2
License: Freeware
Development System: TADS 2
Baf's Guide ID: 403
IFID: TADS2-A6433F0484ACC53329296C7E41358BFF
TUID: 1aliwzro4e48mdlt

Off-Site Reviews

Brass Lantern
The story is revealed through cleverly meshed flashbacks and the game is full of interlinked themes and symbols that add dimension to the experience. The most satisfying of the game's puzzles are meta-puzzles, requiring the player to think outside the game whilst moving through the game--not in the sense of relating acts to an external system (the meta puzzle of 'what does it mean?') but in the sense that there is often little way of providing feedback on some of these puzzles--you either get it or don't--so the 'working out' of the puzzles goes on externally. (Sam Barlow)

All of this aside, "Worlds Apart" is a tremendously ambitious work, in that it attempts to deal not only with a physical environment but also with social realities, family history, and even spiritual state. It is scrupulously implemented. I ran into nothing I would qualify as a game-play bug, and there is a very large set of examinable scenery objects and of conversation topics. Though I think the story has some flaws, I hope it receives a wide audience. Considerable craft went into its creation; it is markedly different from anything else currently available; and it provides useful data for the discussion of character background and world-building in interactive fiction. (Emily Short)
See the full review

Casting a Critical Eye
A lot of the difficulty with Worlds is that it never lets up. The same tone and mood persists virtually throughout, and it's such a big game that this gets tiring after a while. You start craving some comic interludes or some random, messy violence. Well, I did, at least. (Yes, there is some violence, but it doesn't feel distinct enough from the piece to provide a sufficient contrast). Although the ending manages to maintain much of its clout despite this, I get the impression that a little change of pace about midway would have breathed some vibrancy back into it. Early on in the game, Worlds seems very alive and engaging; the majority of the later scenes are intrinsically no less so, but by the time they're reached I, at least, had been exhausted by the style and found it difficult to get new things out of it. This objection doesn't make the style or verbosity any the less worthy, however; it just makes it more difficult. [...] In short, Worlds isn't my cup of tea, in terms of themes, mood, or content. However, there's plenty that I have to admire about it: scope, detail, the quality of both code and prose.
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Play This Thing!
It takes place in a science-fiction world Suzanne Britton spent years thinking about and developing. Its plot episodes are there in large part to illuminate the world she has imagined, rather than the other way around. Implementation is deep and meticulous. There is a great deal to learn, and a great deal to dig into.
See the full review

There is much to like about Worlds Apart, in the end--in quantity and quality, the detail that went into the worldbuilding is unmatched in any work of IF in recent memory, and it's unlikely that any player will catch all, or even most, of the story on the first try. If it's a little inaccessible at first, that comes with the territory--i.e., introducing the player into a highly complex and well-developed world--and it's hardly a fatal flaw. In its interactivity and in the quality of its storytelling, Worlds Apart is a remarkable accomplishment.
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Adventure Gamers
[...] requires a lot of patience, but is ultimately absorbing and extremely unique.
See the full review

Page Update History

  v.10: 21-Mar-2021 07:43 - Dan Fabulich (Current Version) - Edit Page - Normal View
Changed description
v.9: 29-Jun-2020 15:08 - Zape
Changed external review links
v.8: 28-Jun-2020 22:00 - Zape
Changed external review links
v.7: 23-Sep-2013 15:52 - Edward Lacey
Changed external review links
v.6: 03-Mar-2013 08:12 - Edward Lacey
Changed external review links
v.5: 21-Feb-2013 16:03 - Edward Lacey
Changed external review links
v.4: 10-Aug-2010 14:11 - Dave Chapeskie
Changed Web site URL
v.3: 10-Aug-2010 14:10 - Dave Chapeskie
Changed download links
v.2: 02-May-2008 15:08 - Emily Short
Changed cover art
v.1: 16-Oct-2007 01:47 - IFDB
Created page