This game requires an interpreter program - refer to the game's documentation for details. (Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at
For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.
Il Rovo
Italian version
For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.
by David Welbourn

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The Thorn

by Eric Mayer profile


(based on 3 ratings)
2 reviews

About the Story

The search for a mysterious, mystical thorn bush brings you to a ruined abbey in a desolate part of the Fens.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: 1
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 6
Baf's Guide ID: 2152
IFIDs:  ZCODE-1-030701-18A0
TUID: b87eumakxhjmhcif

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide

More of a short story than a game, you play someone in search of a mysterious thorn bush that has an obscure religious significance. Puzzles are almost non-existent; the main exception is the need to ask the NPCs about specific topics in order for the plot to continue. But after you've found the thorn bush and learned what it does, you may wish you hadn't. You'll have a choice to make, and only you can decide if you made the right decision.

Note: this game was originally written in Adrift for the Davidw's Minicomp 2003, and later ported to Inform. I've only played the Inform version.

-- David Welbourn


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Number of Reviews: 1
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
The fiction part of Interactive Fiction, October 1, 2008
by Fra Enrico (Torino, Italy)

This is a short story more than a game: Thorn was originally a short tale by the writer Eric Mayer, who adapted it himself in interactive form. This is the main reason for which I like this game. I love when Interactive Fiction is, most of all, Fiction: good tale with good prose, and an interesting plot. I'm not into puzzle-fest games: if a thing I have to read has not a good writing, I don't read it. Thorn is a good thing to read.
This particular story is one which needs the reader to push things onward every once in a while - like a rethorical isntrument: imagine a teacher reading a tale to his children, stopping sometimes asking "Are you kids with me? What would you do next? Let's see what the hero does" and so on. The multiple-choice ending completes the whole thing.

The story itself may not be very original, but it has a full sense of mistery and suspension: the character of professor Wilkens is melancholy yet simple, the setting in its whole is very good - a classic of mistery stories (the tale is inspired by M.R. James, and you can clearly see it).
The interactive part is very small: few actions to do, and the NPCs are very simple. The few puzzles are very easy. Reading is more needed than thinking in this game. This can be seen as its weak point, and it surely is. The game doesn't need much effort to be solved, and ends soon. But what it leaves behind is a good ghost-story, and that's enough for me.

Note: I am the author of the italian translation of this game.

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