Requires a TADS interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.

Have you played this game?

You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.

Playlists and Wishlists

RSS Feeds

New member reviews
Updates to downloadable files
All updates to this page

Threading the Labyrinth

by Kevin F. Doughty


(based on 6 ratings)
1 review

About the Story

"An experimental reflection on meaning and intent." [--blurb from Competition Aught-Zero]

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: competition release
License: Freeware
Development System: TADS 2
Baf's Guide ID: 1128
IFID: TADS2-91FF336FA79F112A8451B2605AA16F55
TUID: 2njziqpe1hfbcmqd


40th Place - 6th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2000)

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide

Somewhat in the style of Andrew Plotkin's Space Under the Window, TTL allows you to navigate by selecting words from the visible text; a new text is then presented. There's no world-model, narrative, or puzzle. The effect is more like hypertext than like traditional IF.

As for what it's about, it seems to be a sort of meditation on the nature of interactive writing in the broader sense (or ergodic literature, if you will).

-- Emily Short

An experimental work, in which you've got to address single words in a sentence to advance the story (story? Uhm, rather, the game author's thoughts and comments on various topics). Many reviewers pointed out it wasn't *that* groundbreaking, since Andrew Plotkin's Space Under The Window had used the same device a long time ago; however, I can't tell, for I haven't played the latter. Anyway, TTL is done sufficiently well to be enjoyable on its own, and is short enough to avoid making you feel bored. This piece represents what we call "puzzleless IF" alright, but you might have some troubles getting ahead nonetheless; to get around them, just remember that, in IF, some additional exploration never harms.

-- Valentine Kopteltsev

>INVENTORY - Paul O'Brian writes about interactive fiction

Too bad there just isn't that much here. I finished the whole thing and (I think) read all the text available in about 10 minutes. What's there is pretty cool, while it lasts. It doesn't take long to play, so why not check it out? I get the impression that if you leave the game thinking about the nature of interaction, it will have achieved its goal.
See the full review

The writing is more poetry than prose.
See the full review

There are some games I play where I think - is this game incredibly profound or is it total rubbish? It's a bit like modern art. Some people think piles of bricks, half a pickled sheep or an unmade bed are marvellous examples of creativity. Others, like me, think "What the heck is THAT about?"

Threading the Labyrinth, one of the games from the 6th Annual IF Comp, is one of those games which comes into that category.
See the full review


- View the most common tags (What's a tag?)

(Log in to add your own tags)

Member Reviews

5 star:
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:
1 star:
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 1
Write a review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A keyword-driven short philosophical game based on Minos' labyrinth, July 10, 2017
by MathBrush
Related reviews: less than 15 minutes

This game displays some bold text at the top, and then you pick out keywords from that to type in, which then changes the text.

This is essentially a short twine game years before twine was developed. It has short but intriguing thoughts on the nature of IF games.

If you enjoyed Threading the Labyrinth...

Related Games

People who like Threading the Labyrinth also gave high ratings to these games:

A Fly On The Wall, by Peregrine Wade
Average member rating: (4 ratings)
Across the city, strange events are taking place. But you are nothing more than a fly on the wall... or are you?

Dinner Bell, by Jenni Polodna
Average member rating: (48 ratings)
You are the involuntary and very hungry test subject of a semi-anthropomorphized dog in a labcoat who wants you to find all sixteen food items mentioned in They Might Be Giants' song Dinner Bell, which have been hidden in a near-perfect...

Machine of Death, by Hulk Handsome
Average member rating: (19 ratings)
In the near future, the world will be changed by a machine that predicts how a person will die with 100% accuracy... but not clarity. Would knowing your demise change the way you lived your life? A collection of three short interactive...

Suggest a game

Recommended Lists

Threading the Labyrinth appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Hypertext-like parser IF by Ray Leandro
1. Doesn't use typical parser commands. 2. Difficult to port to a hypertext system like Twine 3. The keywords you can type are usually not hinted, or the keywords are not necessarily in the text. 4. No strict world model (or none at all)...

This is version 6 of this page, edited by Paul O'Brian on 7 May 2022 at 12:53am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item