Contains ONCE.Z5
Requires a Z-Code interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links. (Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at

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by Chris Klimas

Episode 11 of Textfire 12-pack

(based on 8 ratings)
3 reviews

About the Story

Out of the TextFire "12-pack", this is an April's Fool game "demo" in which your grandmother has you weed her garden - when you suddenly find something much better to do.
[--blurb from The Z-Files Catalogue]

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: Release 1
License: Demo
Development System: Inform 6
Baf's Guide ID: 999
IFID: ZCODE-1-980324-77E1
TUID: n3sy6kjl6l8ul9qg

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide

A brief and poetical fable of a child tempted away from the safe and familiar. Atypically serious, and complete, for a Textfire demo.

-- Carl Muckenhoupt


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Number of Reviews: 2
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Pretty, December 22, 2007
by Dominic Delabruere (U.S.A.)

This story is very pretty and well-developed within its scope. I would say it works very well as an interactive poem.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A charming/haunting short story about a boy and a girl, June 5, 2017

Chris Klimas is the inventor of Twine, and in many of his old games you can see leanings towards the future design of Twine.

This is a textfire game. The Textfire Demo 12-pack was released on April Fool's in 1998, claiming to be demos of an upcoming commercial studio called Textfire.

This is the most complete and, in my opinion, the best game in the pack. A grandma is making you clean, and you don't want to. You have a dreamlike encounter with a young girl. It almost has a fairy-tale type setting, but in real life.

It uses an interesting menu-based system. Very cool.

If you enjoyed Once...

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The following polls include votes for Once:

Artistic Games by WriterBob
I'm interested in games that take the fiction of IF to new levels. These are not straightforward, plot driven games. Think instead of games that play like poetry, or games that focus on a character's revelation.

This is version 4 of this page, edited by David Welbourn on 23 December 2008 at 12:51pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item