Contains Erden.z8
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original competition entry
Requires a Z-Code interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.

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Travels in the Land of Erden

by Laura Knauth

Cave crawl/Fantasy

Web Site

(based on 3 ratings)
1 review

About the Story

When you arrive in the Land of Erden, thriving for adventure, you learn that the most dangerous enemy of the land is already defeated. A challenge less, but there is still the tale of the beautiful ruby, rumored to be hidden somewhere in the mountains surrounding Shalandria...
[--blurb from The Z-Files Catalogue]

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: Release 2
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 6
Baf's Guide ID: 324
IFIDs:  ZCODE-1-980113-8B5A
TUID: 40bt4qpy7j9gc1f3


14th Place - 3rd Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (1997)

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide

Possibly the largest game ever entered in the competition. You're hunting a dragon, seeking a lost jewel, and generally exploring a rather varied map. Sprawling and diverse, with lots of puzzles, some guess-the-verb problems, and often not much guidance on what to do next, but it has its charm as well--certain actions have large-scale effects in a way that's not commonly done in IF, and there are some multiple solutions and plot twists that keep this one a cut above your average fantasy quest. There's also a helpful on-screen ASCII map. Not earth-shatteringly novel, but enjoyable if you like fantasy.

-- Duncan Stevens

>INVENTORY - Paul O'Brian writes about interactive fiction

Erden is a sprawling, ambitious game which probably does not belong in the competition. This isn't to imply that the game is without merit; on the contrary, it seems to have the potential to become an enjoyable fantasy excursion. However, the game is huge -- I played for two hours and I didn't even visit every location, let alone solve many puzzles. Moreover, Erden could use another few rounds of testing; I found several coding bugs and a plethora of grammar and spelling errors. In my opinion, the best thing that could happen to this game is thorough testing and proofing, then release in the spring of 1998, when we've all recovered from our competition hangover and hunger for substantial new adventures.
See the full review

The game design is somewhat wide: much of the territory is available at the outset, and figuring out exactly where to start is something of a challenge, since there's lots of area to explore and lots of objects to pick up. Even so, the exploration is well-done and feels convincing, particularly a series of caves in the endgame; disparage fantasy quests if you like, but this author put plenty of thought and effort into making the scenery come alive. (At some key moments, the author rewards solved puzzles with more territory to explore; I wanted that to happen more often, but when it does happen, it works.) With a clearer hook, something to push the player into the plot, this would be a very effective story.

-- Duncan Stevens
See the full review

The towns-people are affable, the countryside is scenic; there's nothing to kill and nothing tries to kill you. This danger free, warm-heartedness may make for a very player friendly game, but the lack of any sort of urgency doesn't really inspire me to motivation. The land of Erden is so pleasant that the charm of the place borders on twee and I for one would probably go stir crazy if I lived there. [...]

While Erden may not be everyone's cup of tea, (could have done with a little more action and a tad more comicality for my liking - I like a laugh me) it is well rounded and well written, with no noticeable flaws.

-- Nick Edmunds
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A huge, spare fantasy game with spotty inplementation, July 24, 2016

This game is very large, and it's not too bad content-wise. There's a number of temples, a town with several shops, a castle with more than 10 rooms, and extensive woodlands, mountains, and so on. This takes several hours to finish.

However, the game has a hard time hinting things. Most rooms are described well, but have few items. It's almost impossible to know how to communicate with individuals.

Laura Knauth went on to write Trapped in a One Room Dilly, which had much better puzzles but only one room. She then wrote Winter Wonderland, a cute, mid-sized game with plenty of rooms but also great puzzles, and it won IFComp. It's interesting to see the author's progress through the different games.

This is version 7 of this page, edited by Paul O'Brian on 5 May 2022 at 4:37am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item