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Includes game in .z8, .zblorb and the source text.
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The Algophilists' Penury

by Jon Stall profile


(based on 3 ratings)
2 member reviews

About the Story

We were the Algophilists, obdurate in our longueur and waiting for our quietus in the tenebrous of our morbific abode; join us.

Game Details

Language: English (En)
First Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Current Version: 1
License: Public Domain
Development System: Inform
IFID: 120528
TUID: vkwkux39rfr13ary

Adapted by IFDB Spelunking, by Joey Jones


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Number of Reviews: 2
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Florid, Baroque, Masochistic, June 2, 2012
by Joey Jones (UK)
The Algophilists' Penury must take the award as the most arcane and prolix of interactive fictions, and I've played a bit of Gamlet. Jon Stall has a vocabulary almost equal to the greatest of verbose authors (Mary Shelley and her perquisitions and purlieues comes to mind) and he employs it in the most prevaricatory of stories. The protagonist of his tale is a strange collective who are looking back (possibly from beyond the grave) on their time when they were woefully poor and engaged in depravities.

For a game ostensibly about masochism, it does a very job of punishing the player. Foremost, there is the viciously opaque language that forces all but the most erudite of players to struggle to put together meaning. And then what little of the scant gameplay there is pushes the player to fully embrace the role of the algophilists. In the end, they are a collective formed by all those that play the game.

Unfortunately, the game as it is is very short with low implementation. It leans heavily on the novel default past tense first person plural responses offered by Ron Newcomb's custom library messages extension. Also, where it says 'soubriquets' in the text (a just about acceptable variant), the game actually only understands 'sobriquets'. Jon has released the game into the public domain along with its source, so perhaps we'll see some Algophilist remixes in the future.

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
bizarre & intimidating..., May 28, 2012
Just reading the opening sentence of the teaser made me scramble for a dictionary. Translating it was another surprise. I'd like to see the whole game if just to prove some people need to get out in the sunshine more often. Sadonecroequineflagellation probably doesn't apply here but it sounds like it should.

The Algophilists' Penury on IFDB


The following polls include votes for The Algophilists' Penury:

First and Third Person Second Person Narratives by dacharya64
Not as complicated as it sounds! Interactive fiction is dominated by the iconic second person narrative (*You* find yourself in a room). But this is not the only way that these stories could be told. I'm looking for those games out there...


This is version 5 of this page, edited by Jon Stall on 26 May 2016 at 12:46pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item