Vivís top 10 favourite IF games

Recommendations by Vivienne Dunstan (Dundee, Scotland)

This is a list of my top 10 favourite IF games, in chronological order of release. There are many other games that I think are fantastic, but this is trimming the list down to just my all time top 10, as of 2022. Note all the entries in this list are parser games of a kind. I have greatly enjoyed many other forms of IF, especially in more recent years. But I've been playing parser games for a very long time, since 1980, and have a soft spot for them especially, including many older titles.

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1. The Hobbit
by Philip Mitchell and Veronika Megler
(1983)
Average member rating: (26 ratings)

Vivienne Dunstan says:

The Tolkien game that delighted a generation of 8-bit computer users. It's astonishing what they achieved, and even waiting for the graphics to draw slowly back in the day playing it was a compelling experience.

2. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams and Steve Meretzky
(1984)
Average member rating: (174 ratings)

Vivienne Dunstan says:

One of my all time favourite books, adapted for IF with the author collaborating. It is a brutally hard game. But for a Hitchhiker's fan it remains an absolute delight to play.

3. The Guild of Thieves
by Rob Steggles
(1987)
Average member rating: (22 ratings)

Vivienne Dunstan says:

Magnetic Scrolls was a fantastic British games company, and this was one of their very best games. An old school treasure hunt, but with compelling graphics and game world.

4. Curses
by Graham Nelson
(1993)
Average member rating: (122 ratings)

Vivienne Dunstan says:

I remember playing this soon after it was first released, and it's as impressive now as it was back then. The game that launched the new wave of amateur IF games in the 1990s.

5. All Roads
by Jon Ingold
(2001)
Average member rating: (148 ratings)

Vivienne Dunstan says:

An IFComp winning supernatural game set in Renaissance Venice. What's not to love about that.

6. The King of Shreds and Patches
by Jimmy Maher
(2009)
Average member rating: (70 ratings)

Vivienne Dunstan says:

A marvellous parser text adventure version of a Call of Cthulhu RPG adventure set in Elizabethan England. So good.

7. Guilded Youth
by Jim Munroe
(2012)
Average member rating: (45 ratings)

Vivienne Dunstan says:

A unique game, using vivid retro style bulletin board graphics and text combined to recreate a 1980s style context. There has never been anything else like it. Third in IFComp of its year.

8. Brain Guzzlers from Beyond!
by Steph Cherrywell
(2015)
Average member rating: (65 ratings)

Vivienne Dunstan says:

Another IFComp winning game, this time a 1950s style B-movie scifi romp. Very creative, very funny.

9. The Wizard Sniffer
by Buster Hudson
(2017)
Average member rating: (98 ratings)

Vivienne Dunstan says:

And yet another IFComp winning game (check out the competition games folks - and not just the winners!). This is probably one of my top 3 favourite IF games ever, a very funny take on a fantasy world setting, where you play a pig. The NPCs and puzzles are so very good.

10. Eat Me
by Chandler Groover
(2017)
Average member rating: (75 ratings)

Vivienne Dunstan says:

This was second in the IFComp after The Wizard Sniffer the same year. Another fantasy romp, this time seeing you eat your way out of a castle. Grotesque and delightful in equal measure.


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