External Links

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 external links
All updates to this page

Stone Cell

by Steve Kodat


(based on 4 ratings)
1 review

Game Details


14th Place - 5th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (1999)

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide

A mess, but an interesting and original mess. You're a peasant girl in a medieval village, tossed in jail for showing up at church improperly attired, and the plot goes in various strange and unpredictable directions from there. The writing varies between competent and ludicrously overdone--melodrama and cliches are prevalent--and there are several peculiar game design decisions, notably the decision to split your cell into a 3x3 grid and hide many of its salient features from you. On the other hand, the whole thing is thoroughly done--you can ask various NPCs about numerous topics, virtually every bit of scenery is implemented--and on the whole it seems like this would have been quite good with some cleanup work.

-- Duncan Stevens

The game fairly drips with information: virtually no scenery is left unimplemented, for one thing, and there are lots of doors that you simply cannot get through. The effect is that the game's world seems much larger than it is--you have the sense that you have seen only a small portion of it by the end of the game--which is certainly a nice touch. Unfortunately, the masses of detail available mean that it's easy to fail to discover something important, or to lose an important name in the shuffle--and even at the end of the game, I could not discern how I should have learned a few key bits of information.
-- Duncan Stevens
See the full review

Written using Tads, Stone Cell is well coded with good use of grammar and elaborate descriptions that err on the side of overwritten. While geographically quite small SC is comprehensively detailed, with much extraneous scenery implemented, which goes a long way toward successfully creating a feeling of a world in which the game takes place. Unfortunately it would appear that more work went into the game descriptions than into the storyline as I found much of the plot implausible and a few of the puzzles a little tenuous to say the least. Hindsight plays a large part in the puzzle solving process as many of the problems weren't only poorly clued but involve the sort of task which you have to get wrong before you even know that it's a puzzle.
-- Nick Edmunds
See the full review

>INVENTORY - Paul O'Brian writes about interactive fiction

Think about the things you might do if you were trapped in a dungeon. Perhaps you'd listen at the door? Smell your straw mat? Feel along the walls, hoping to find a secret passage? If you did find a crack, might you try to pry it with something? I think so. Yet "listen", "smell", "feel", and "pry" are all unimplemented, along with a host of other verbs that ought to be there. Authors, take note: if you plan to trap your players in an enclosed space, and make a puzzle out of how they are to get out, the puzzle won't be much fun unless that space is very well implemented. The more often a player tries logical things that aren't accounted for in the parser, the surer that player will feel that the solution is simply arbitrary... Unhappily, this sort of thing is exactly what Stone Cell lacks, and the lack degrades it from a great game to merely an interesting experiment in IF techniques. The experiment does teach us something, but the flaws that surround it teach us even more, and the learning process isn't as much fun.
See the full review


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

(Log in to add your own tags)
Tags you added are shown below with checkmarks. To remove one of your tags, simply un-check it.

Enter new tags here (use commas to separate tags):

Member Reviews

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

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A medieval jailbreak game, July 16, 2017
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour

This game starts with a long cinematic-type sequence where you are thrown in jail for dressing like a boy.

It's notable for changing location descriptions. However, everyone I've seen that beat it used the walkthrough. It contains several unintuitive puzzles, and is one of those games best experienced via walkthru, in my opinion.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

This is version 4 of this page, edited by Paul O'Brian on 6 May 2022 at 10:33pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page