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ECTOCOMP 2010 entries
Contains headless.taf
.zip contains all entries from ECTOCOMP 2010. This game's file is headless.​taf.
Requires an ADRIFT version 4 interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links. (Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at

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I Was a Teenage Headless Experiment

by Duncan Bowsman profile


(based on 7 ratings)
3 reviews

About the Story

"... but he has the element of surprise and a bonesaw, and you do not."

You are your decapitated head standing on a metal tray in a mad doctor's laboratory. The doctor's four-armed assistant blocks your escape.

Please play with Adrift 4 Runner or Scare terp (e.g. Gargoyle) as playing with Adrift 5 interpreters will probably make the game appear bugged.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: October 31, 2010
Current Version: Unknown
License: Freeware
Development System: ADRIFT
Forgiveness Rating: Cruel
TUID: obw5m2lhlqbwc59m


4th Place - Ectocomp 2010

Editorial Reviews

(reviews from ECTOCOMP 2010 judges)
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Member Reviews

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Number of Reviews: 3
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Small scale grand guignol fun, February 16, 2012
by Wade Clarke (Sydney, Australia)
Related reviews: ADRIFT 4, ADRIFT, horror

This comic horror mini-adventure was written in three hours for Ectocomp 2010, and fits a clever central conceit and a great 'Aha!' moment into a handful of locations.

The game begins with your head being sawed off by an evil bad guy and placed on a table. To speak more explicitly on the content in this review would, unfortunately, amount to game-wrecking, given the petite size of Headless, but what I do particularly like about this game is that it doesn't fall down that speed IF hole of being overreaching and underimplemented. Headless's design is totally amenable to the format's logistical restrictions, and the game has a good trick that's fun to work out. This is one "they done sawed my head off" game I am not shy about recommending to the non-squeamish and sundry.

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
A nutcase to remember, July 7, 2013
by Jim Kaplan (Jim Kaplan has a room called the location. The location of Jim Kaplan is variable.)
Related reviews: duncan bowsman

Play it if: a tiny, smartly-written distraction sounds attractive.

Don't play it if: if, well, it doesn't.

I never know quite how to approach ratings for Speed IF games. I think it's generally agreed that the general "quality" standards for the Speed IF process are lower (at least in terms of depth and scope). So a game like this, while very good for the format, is rather light when considered as a game in and of itself. Do I rate it high, putting emphasis on the circumstances under which it was written? Or do I rate the game and not the writer?

In this case, at least, I figure I'll split the difference and give it a 4.

Though it has enough puzzles for Django Reinhardt to count on his left hand, I Was A Teenage Headless Experiment makes its short length count and gives the player that nice "aha" moment the ideal puzzle should produce. Outside of that, there's a nice level of light macabre humor (the number of terrible head-based puns is thankfully kept to a minimum). A comfortable and memorable distraction.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Quick and fun. Play it!, February 1, 2012
by DCBSupafly (USA)

This piece is one of my favorite IF works ever. It's quick but carefully full-featured considering it's speed IF. Puzzles are original and easier than many IF puzzles. It's humorous while also a little grotesque. Its initial gimmick inspires a "Eureka!" moment for even the n00biest of players. It implements and extends the tried and true IF tropes of the out-of-body experience, cardinal direction navigation, and the mystery of darkness. Multiple endings is the icing on the cake.

I recommend this to everyone, especially those very familiar with old-school adventures and those totally unfamiliar with IF. Play this.

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Recommended Lists

I Was a Teenage Headless Experiment appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Medical games by MathBrush
These are games that have a medical theme of some sort, including medical simulators, medical horror, and games featuring doctors. Feel free to suggest others! (Items 8-15 suggested by David Welbourn)

Ectocomp Games (All English Winners/Entries) by thecanvasrose
A list I created for myself so I can play all of these games. Sorted by rank and year. English entries. I'll add descriptions and my own ratings (out of 5 stars) to the entries in this list as I go through them.


The following polls include votes for I Was a Teenage Headless Experiment:

Speed IFs that are awesome by trojo
Expectations for Speed-IFs are generally low, but sometimes games written as Speed-IFs are in fact awesome-- not just "awesome for a Speed IF" but truly worthwhile. List some favorites here.

This is version 7 of this page, edited by Denk on 23 February 2023 at 8:33pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item