External Links

scavenger.zip *
Contains scavenger.gam
Requires a TADS interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.
scavenger.zip *
Windows Application
Requires a TADS interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.
* Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.

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


by Quintin Stone profile

Science Fiction

Web Site

(based on 29 ratings)
7 reviews

About the Story

Search a war-shattered world for secrets of the past.

Game Details


Nominee, Best Game; Nominee, Best Puzzles; Nominee, Best Individual NPC - 2003 XYZZY Awards

3rd Place - 9th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2003)

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide

Set in a fairly cliche post-apocalyptic environment, but with very solid game-play and a decent story. You are a scavenger seeking to recover some valuable items from before the holocaust, and are allowed to take your choice of equipment. (Each choice, as far as I was able to tell, will make one puzzle easier to solve; none is wrong.) That option, combined with multiple puzzle solutions and branching endings, adds a fair amount of replay value. There are a couple of good scenes with NPCs, as well. Overall, a strong work, not exactly experimental but making good use of existing techniques and ideas, with some old-school puzzles.

-- Emily Short

Two Translations
But the true strength of the game, in my opinion, consists in the level of involvement "Scavenger" manages to provide. At the beginning of the game, I thought, "It's as though I'm playing Doom in TADS." Indeed, the setting, the descriptions, and, in a certain sense, even the actions which the player has to take in order to make progress are similar to the ones in a first-person shooter.
See the full review

Inside the main location, I was frustrated by clear solutions combined with inability to get the required response. That said, the tension built nicely and crept up on me unawares. (Virginia Gretton).

The primary task breaks down nicely into subgoals, how to enter the base for instance, but there are also puzzles which are more of less optional, depending on the supplies you have and whether or not you want a full score. The balance between player freedom and keeping the plot moving was well handled in my opinion. (Cirk Bejnar)
See the full review

>INVENTORY - Paul O'Brian writes about interactive fiction

I was smiling a lot during Scavenger, and my notes are full of little comments that read "VERY NICE" or something similar. It would have been improved by a few puzzle tweaks, a more original setting, and either being released outside the comp or streamlined to a more reasonable two-hour size, but I can still enthusiastically recommend it.
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: 7
Write a review

Most Helpful Member Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful:
Solid entertainment, March 30, 2011
by Lipa (Slovenia)

I often compare playing IF to watching a movie. Its an activity that will occupy me for a few hours in the evening and hopefully provide for some entertainment. Of course, if it also offers something deeper to let me think about, a sort of "opening the mind" experience, the more the better. However, Im not always in the mood for complex movies. Indeed, sometimes after a long and tiring day, instead of watching a "Schindlers List", Id just like to make myself comfortable, crack open a can of beer, plug in a good old "Die Hard" or something, and just let my mind have fun on its own And the same goes for interactive fiction. Although I highly appreciate complex IF masterpieces, sometimes all I want is a short, fun piece with a solid story and puzzles that wont get me bogged down too late in the night.

In this respect, "Scavenger" truly delivers! Set in the (rather typical) post-apocalyptic world, the goal is to explore an abandoned underground base, learn a thing or two about its history and secrets, and safely return to the surface with something to show and a story to tell Although the plot as such is obviously not something that weve never seen before, there are two aspects in which this piece truly shines: the first is the atmosphere, which lets you easily immerse in the experience, and the second is the perfectly smooth "flow" of the story. The plot unfolds at just the right pace, with very few obstructions. There are a number of "instant death" situations, but the prior warnings and the ability to undo afterwards makes them more of an interesting "detour" than a true dead end. The puzzles are brutally logical and straightforward, sometimes to the point of being almost too obvious, and most of the time the player has a very clear idea of what to do next (or even what to look for in order to solve a particular puzzle). This all makes for an exceptionally smooth, enjoyable ride through the story. The option at the beginning to choose from a few items which will make certain puzzles easier to solve (although none is necessary) is also a nice addition, which together with the multiple ending approach and the secondary quest of "how to get the full score" provides for some extra replay value.

I highly recommend "Scavenger" to all who are looking for good IF entertainment with a solid story, logical puzzles and great atmosphere. The rating is only shy of five starts due to the fact that its not particularly "deep". But hey, on a grey and rainy evening does it really matter?

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

 | Add a comment 

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
If it isn't fixed in place, take it., November 7, 2017
by turthalion (Winnipeg)
Related reviews: IF Comp 2003

This was another one that I really enjoyed, in spite of myself. By that I mean, I loaded it up and went "Oh no, post-apocalyptic world...", but it was worth suspending judgement for a few turns, as this is a really well-written, solid puzzle-fest with some good NPC work thrown in.

A lot of the interiors ended up being very reminiscent of Planetfall and Stationfall for me (that's a compliment, I enjoyed those games), and I liked the fact that there were multiple routes through the game. The only complaint I have is with the radiation suit: once I wore it outside, the guard immediately knew I wasn't a member of their faction, as I was no longer wearing the jacket. I had envisioned the radiation suit as one of those all enveloping white things... thus the guard outside would have assumed I was one of his pals from the complex. Obviously a case of an "if jacket not worn" test. Minor though.

The biggest problem with this game is that I was enjoying playing it so much, I didn't take any notes during gameplay, meaning my judging is going mainly from memory.

W: 4.5
Great writing, enjoyable story, if a trifle workmanlike.

A: 4
This game was fun, and really gave me that old-school IF feeling.

B: 4
I did not find any bugs that I can recall.

E: 4.5
Lots of fun, taking me back to the heady days of 80s IF.

WABE score: 8.5

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

 | Add a comment 

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Fun sci-if base infiltration gem. Shortish game with some under clued puzzles, February 3, 2016
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 2 hours

I enjoyed Scavenger, and will probably revisit it. You play a scavenger in a post-apocalyptic society who has a lead on a big find. You have to find and search a base. There are no big surprises here, but plenty of fun puzzles.

Some of the puzzles, though fun, were a bit under clued. At least four puzzles depend on you searching or moving objects that are not obviously searchable, or that are similar to earlier immobile/unsearchable objects, or which you are explicitly told have nothing in them. This draws back from the fun.

The games NPCs have a lot of character, especially in their descriptions and responses.

It may seem as if I didn't like this game, but it has that elusive 'it'-ness that makes a game enjoyable and with it. Perhaps this is the reason it was nominated for a Best Game XYZZY.

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

 | Add a comment 

See All 7 Member Reviews

Scavenger on IFDB

Recommended Lists

Scavenger appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Forgotten Treasures of IFDB by MathBrush
These are games that are great, either in my opinion or in many others, but which have been forgotten. By forgotten, I mean it satisfies the following: 1. Not an IfComp or XYZZY Best Game winner, 2. Not in Best 50 Interactive Fiction...

Annotated list of best sci-fi games by MathBrush
A few months ago, I thought, "There really aren't that many sci-fi IF games". Then I started going through old games I had played, and downlaoded TADS, and was shocked at how many great sci-fi games there are. This is a list of my...

Noteworthy T2 Games [Formerly: Which Can't Be Played on the Web] by Walter Sandsquish
This list was created because TADS 2 didn't have a Web-based 'terp for a long time. It's still here because these games, from long ago, are good enough to not be forgotten.

See all lists mentioning this game


The following polls include votes for Scavenger:

Trading and Buying Games by Emily Short
Games where a significant portion of the gameplay involves buying, selling, or trading items, especially if there are tactical advantages associated with different objects and the player has to decide which things to acquire for what...

Games Where the Title Is You by AKheon
Games with a title that is the same as the main character.

Multiple solutions to puzzles and/or situations. by Hulk Handsome
Games that offer more than one solution to most of the puzzles and/or situations encountered. Bonus points if this means that items have multiple applications (unless they do something even more clever).

See all polls with votes for this game

This is version 9 of this page, edited by Paul O'Brian on 8 May 2022 at 10:37pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page