Honorable MentionsRecommendations by mjhayes (Niagara Falls, NY)
These are pieces of IF that were written with a specific writing concept in mind. They deserve mention for their respective authors' efforts.
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1. In the End, by Joe Mason (1996)
Average member rating: (15 ratings)
This is an attempt at a "puzzle-less" IF piece, which allows players to not feel any need to solve puzzles in order to progress with the story. Unfortunately, most puzzle-less IF pieces are morbid, and this one takes the cake for morbidity. It addresses the subject of suicide. But it deserves mention because the author was careful to enforce navigation through the world without the use of nautical commands, so if you try to "go north," you will be told you don't have a compass. The world isn't very large, but it has a lot of replay value in that there are several places to explore, and you can experiment with different ways to approach the same situation.
Average member rating: (149 ratings)
This game had received honorable mentions for having the best implementation of a player's various body parts. It's far from being the best-written IF piece, but it's neither long nor difficult. It has a fair amount of replay value because there is more than one path to take to reach the end of the game. Most of the objects you can pick up either have no use at all, or are only one of multiple items that can be used to solve a puzzle, so you don't have to collect everything you can get your hands on.
3. Chicks Dig Jerks, by Robb Sherwin (1999)
Average member rating: (26 ratings)
This is a poorly-written IF piece, but it is interesting in that the author attempts to create a large variety of NPCs which you can interact with. You play as a guy who is out with his buddy at a meat-market tavern, trying to hook up with young women. There are quite a few types of girls to interact with, and their names are randomized from a fairly large list of names. Although talking to people involves choosing from a "multiple-choice" list, there are enough things to try out, which gives this rather short piece a fair amount of replay value.
4. Undo, by Neil deMause (1995)
Average member rating: (16 ratings)
For an extremely short IF piece, I found this one interesting because I have always been fascinated by the concept of decaying worlds. The first description I had read was that you're a character in a game which has started going glitchy just as you're about to win. In reality, a lot could have been done with this premise, but the two minutes you will probably spend on this title might inspire you to create something based on a similar idea.
5. Pick Up The Phone Booth And Die, by Rob Noyes (1996)
Average member rating: (95 ratings)
The "Hello World" of IF games. No rooms, no NPCs, nothing to interact with except a single object. Try out a few different verbs, and find the one that causes you to win.
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