The Only Possible Prom *
Contains The Only Possible Prom Dress/Prom_Dress.t3
Requires a TADS interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.
Walkthrough and maps *
ZIP file containing walkthough (in PDF and RTF formats), and (partial) maps.
* Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at

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The Only Possible Prom Dress

by Jim Aikin


Web Site

(based on 4 ratings)
1 review

About the Story

Ten years ago you had to burgle every store in Stufftown to get your hands on the sought-after doll called Sugar Toes Ballerina so your 7-year-old daughter Samantha wouldn't be heartbroken on Christmas morning. ("Not Just an Ordinary Ballerina," 1999.) Sam is 17 now, and tonight is her senior prom -- but her little brother spilled black ink (accidentally? maybe...) on her prom dress! The clerk at the fashion boutique in Stufftown said on the phone they have the identical dress in the right size, but most of the stores have closed up early because there's a parade downtown. So now it's back to Stufftown to try to get your hands on the Only Possible Prom Dress.

It's not going to be easy. "The Only Possible Prom Dress" is a parser-based puzzle-fest in the classic mode, packed with chatty characters and unlikely perplexities. For best results, the cross-platform QTads interpreter is strongly recommended.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: October 1, 2022
Current Version: 1.0.1
License: Freeware
Development System: TADS 3
IFID: 429DD9B2-DB26-6F76-4E7A-C0E0288F6080
TUID: u4u57v2ggfcqvll7


8th Place - 28th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2022)


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Number of Reviews: 1
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
A complex and rich puzzle game in a mall with very large map, October 8, 2022
by MathBrush
Related reviews: more than 10 hours

This game is a sequel to Not Just an Ordinary Ballerina, a game a couple decades old. When I first played IF in 2010, I downloaded the Frotz app and played all the main games that come with it. After I found how fun big puzzle games like Curses! are, I searched for other games that were like it and found Not Just an Ordinary Ballerina. I ended up really enjoying the game a lot.

This sequel so far lives up to the original. Per IFComp rules, I've only played 2 hours, getting 20 out of 250 points and unlocking much of the map.

You play as a parent (I think a mother?) that is trying to get a prom dress for your daughter. There is a large mall that is mostly abandoned due to a parade. It's a 3-story mall, with many stores per floor and other areas outside.

It's a puzzle-based game, with a variety of puzzles, including conversation, codes, machines, animals, etc.

Like the original game, it has a huge map and is (eventually) very nonlinear. Unlike the original, it contains extensive in-game help systems and suggestions that smooth out the player experience. In particular, the (very mild early spoiler) (Spoiler - click to show)texts from your daughter help point you to the next available puzzle. I turned to the hints once, when I felt like I had a reasonable solution to something but it just wasn't working; it turned out I had just thought of it differently than the author, and the progressive hints gave me just the hint I needed.

The first two hours have been fun, and I look forward to the rest. I was just going to power through with the walkthru, but I think this is fun enough I'd like to take it slow later.

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This is version 3 of this page, edited by JTN on 24 October 2022 at 12:17am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item