Newby looking for recommendations - Good non-dead-ending games?

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Stephen Ware

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Apr 13, 2007, 3:24:13 AM4/13/07
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Greetings from a newby :)

I'm looking for recommendations of good text-based adventure games.
I've been reading around on Wikipedia, XYZZY News, and a few other
sites, but I'm having a hard time sifting through the large number of
games available based on what I'm looking for... so I thought I should
ask for some advice.

I started out with "Curses" earlier this week, but got very frustrated
very quickly due to the ease with which one can reach a dead-end.
Compounding my frustration is the fact that it's impossible to know if
I have dead-ended... and I just don't feel good about reading a
walkthrough to play the game. So firstly and foremostly, I am looking
for a game which will not allow you to dead-end yourself, or will at
least alert me when I do. Perhaps once I have gotten more familiar
with IF, I can graduate to the classic style of play.

Also, I thought I should list some of the adventure games I have
played and liked in case anyone can recommend games based on that.
"The Secret of Monkey Island" is probably my favorite game of all
time, and "Loom" is right up there with it along with "Day of the
Tentacle." I hope it's not taboo to mention it, but I also enjoyed
"Peasant's Quest" rather a lot. I know those are all graphic
adventure games rather than text-based games, but I thought I should
mention them.

As I said, I'm very inexperienced with text-based games right now,
having only tried "Curses" and "Galatea". I enjoyed the novelty of
"Galatea".

So does anyone have suggestions for non-dead-endable, text-based games
that I might like based on my past taste?

Thanks very much!
-Stephen

Nikos Chantziaras

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Apr 13, 2007, 3:42:46 AM4/13/07
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Stephen Ware wrote:
> [...]

> Also, I thought I should list some of the adventure games I have
> played and liked in case anyone can recommend games based on that.
> "The Secret of Monkey Island" is probably my favorite game of all
> time, and "Loom" is right up there with it along with "Day of the
> Tentacle." I hope it's not taboo to mention it, but I also enjoyed
> "Peasant's Quest" rather a lot. I know those are all graphic
> adventure games rather than text-based games, but I thought I should
> mention them.

I'm sure people will jump-in with suggestions, so what I'll mention here
are some commercial games.

After playing both Monkey Island and Loom (in the old Amiga 500 days),
the first games I played after I got a PC were commercial text+graphics
adventures. The most notable ones for me are "Eric the Unready"
(Fantasy/Humor) and "Frederik Pohl's Gateway" 1 and 2 (Science Fiction).
They don't allow the player to get stuck (IIRC), and provide graphics
and sound (and in the case of Gateway even video). You'll need an old
DOS PC (including an "old-school" soundcard) or DOSBox to play them
though. Those were the commercial text-adventures I enjoyed most. They
were produced at the end of the "text adventure era" and seemed the most
technically advanced ones for that time (parser and graphics).

Victor Gijsbers

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Apr 13, 2007, 7:15:28 AM4/13/07
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If you like puzzles, one of the best games to try would be Anchorhead.
It is quite large, and as far as I can recall it is impossible or at
least very hard to get into a dead ending. Other good puzzle-based games
without dead endings are The Dreamhold and Savoir Faire. Or look at the
ifwiki site, and search for games with a Cruelty rating of "Merciful".

If, on the other hand, you are seeking for more "novelty" like you
enjoyed in Galatea, you might wish to try a different set of games:
Spider and Web, Photopia, Slouching towards Bedlam, Floatpoint, Shade.

Regards,
Victor

Ryusui

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Apr 13, 2007, 12:03:03 PM4/13/07
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***POTENTIAL SPOILERS***

Note that in the ones mentioned above, you *can* die in The Dreamhold,
Spider and Web and Slouching Towards Bedlam, but it's signposted in
the first, a consequence of "not catching on" before the endgame in
the second, and...well, you have to go out of your way to get killed
in the third.

Adam Thornton

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Apr 13, 2007, 12:43:14 PM4/13/07
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In article <1176480183.1...@n76g2000hsh.googlegroups.com>,

And there are some shockingly gruesome ways to die in _Anchorhead_ but
it may be hard to get very far down a dead-end path without meeting a
grisly doom.

Then again, it may not. I simply don't remember.

Adam

u...@mail.ru

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Apr 13, 2007, 2:25:16 PM4/13/07
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The Elysium Enigma, All Hope Abandon by Eric Eve; Tales of the
Traveling Swordsman, Distress by Mike Snyder.

In Elysium Enigma and Tales... you can't die at all,nor lock yourself
out of victory AFAIK (although in Elysium, you can end up with a
suboptimal outcome).

In All Hope Abandon you can die, but there are pretty few occasions to
do so, and it doesn't happen without a warning.

Distress has several timed sequences, some of them are rather cruel.
It also implies that the player will have to start the game over a few
times in order to beat it.This, however, isn't so much of an issue
because of the game's rather small size. And its frustration potential
is nothing compared to that of Curses!

Valentine

Emily Short

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Apr 13, 2007, 4:57:22 PM4/13/07
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True, though my impression was that the original poster wants a game
in which he can't get stuck in an unwinnable state, rather than one in
which it's impossible to die at all. (Or maybe both?)

It *is* possible to get Savoir-Faire into an unwinnable state, though
mostly this requires deliberately destroying objects for no good
reason.

Daphne Brinkerhoff

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Apr 13, 2007, 10:36:42 PM4/13/07
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On Apr 13, 2:24 am, "Stephen Ware" <sgw...@gmail.com> wrote:
> So firstly and foremostly, I am looking
> for a game which will not allow you to dead-end yourself, or will at
> least alert me when I do. Perhaps once I have gotten more familiar
> with IF, I can graduate to the classic style of play.

The games you mentioned were mostly humorous, even silly. Between
that, and your "no dead ends" rule, I think you might like Perdition's
Flames, by Mike Roberts, quite a bit. I believe The Plant (another
Mike Roberts game) is also non-dead-end-able, and has some funny bits
although slightly more on the serious side than Perdition's Flames. I
can't remember the non-dead-endability of his other games, but you
might check them out as well.

--
Daphne Brinkerhoff

Stephen Ware

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Apr 13, 2007, 11:32:46 PM4/13/07
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Thanks for the great suggestions guys! I will try a couple of them
out this weekend. Emily... you wrote Savoir-Faire, correct? I
browsed your site when I downloaded Galatea, so I'll probably start
with S-F.

<off topic>
Just out of curiosity, the first Galatea ending I got was the one
where she sits down on the platform, I notice her nail polish, and we
talk all night. That was after my "recap" page was about a screen and
a half long. Any insights as to what that means about me?
</off topic>

Jacek Pudlo

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Apr 14, 2007, 4:37:19 AM4/14/07
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"Emily Short"

If your Usenet behaviour is any indication of what you are like in real
life, I pity the people who must live with you.

http://groups.google.se/group/rec.games.int-fiction/browse_thread/thread/fc1cc22ec5ef0a1e/98b5e2e2fa621121?lnk=st&q=&rnum=1&hl=sv#98b5e2e2fa621121


You have overstayed your welcome. Kindly remove yourself.


Stephen Gilbert

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Apr 14, 2007, 8:28:51 AM4/14/07
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Given your criteria and the adventure games you mentioned, I'd recommend
Augmented Fourth, by Brian Uri. It's a puzzle-based game that I found
quite funny. If I remember correctly, I had to use the built-in hint
system for a couple of the puzzles, and there is one way to make the game
unwinnable; however you are warned about it ahead of time, and it is
immediately obvious if you do this. (SPOILER HINT: vg vaibyirf na
rkcybqvat svfu. Vs lbh oybj vg hc va gur jebat cynpr, gur tnzr vf
hajvaanoyr.)

Cheers,
Stephen

u...@mail.ru

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Apr 14, 2007, 8:30:03 AM4/14/07
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On 13 апр, 11:24, "Stephen Ware" <sgw...@gmail.com> wrote:

Oh, and one more recommendation (it's almost a crime on my part I
didn't mention it earlier): Return To Ditch Day by Mike Roberts. It's
novice-oriented, yet fairly chalenging, and challengingly fair;).

Valentine

Bert Byfield

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Apr 14, 2007, 8:49:13 AM4/14/07
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> "Emily Short"
> If your Usenet behaviour is any indication of what you are like in
> real life, I pity the people who must live with you.

Actually, you sound like you are in love with her. You can't stop
thinking about her, you are obsessed with her, she fills your day with
longing.

> You have overstayed your welcome. Kindly remove yourself.

You know you live for her. Why not confess your love? What are you
afraid of?


lumi...@hotmail.com

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Apr 14, 2007, 10:08:44 AM4/14/07
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On Apr 13, 2:24 am, "Stephen Ware" <sgw...@gmail.com> wrote:

Given that you seem to enjoy humorous games I'd recommend "The
Warlord, the Princess & the Bulldog" by David Whyld. It's supposed to
be impossible to get it in an unfinishable state, there's a lot of
flexibility in solving the puzzles, and as a bonus it was an entry for
last year's Spring Thing, meaning it's a bit larger than the average
IF game so you won't burn through it half an hour.

dwh...@gmail.com

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Apr 14, 2007, 10:52:18 AM4/14/07
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/unbiased viewpoint/

I recommend that one as well.

/unbiased viewpoint/

Emily Short

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Apr 14, 2007, 11:24:51 AM4/14/07
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On Apr 13, 10:32 pm, "Stephen Ware" <sgw...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Thanks for the great suggestions guys! I will try a couple of them
> out this weekend. Emily... you wrote Savoir-Faire, correct?

Right.

> I
> browsed your site when I downloaded Galatea, so I'll probably start
> with S-F.
>
> <off topic>
> Just out of curiosity, the first Galatea ending I got was the one
> where she sits down on the platform, I notice her nail polish, and we
> talk all night. That was after my "recap" page was about a screen and
> a half long. Any insights as to what that means about me?
> </off topic>

No idea. :)

Stephen Ware

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Apr 14, 2007, 4:06:33 PM4/14/07
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On Apr 14, 3:37 am, "Jacek Pudlo" <j...@jacek.jacek> wrote:
> "Emily Short"
>
> If your Usenet behaviour is any indication of what you are like in real
> life, I pity the people who must live with you.
>
> http://groups.google.se/group/rec.games.int-fiction/browse_thread/thr...

>
> You have overstayed your welcome. Kindly remove yourself.

Jack, I've already read your rant in the arts.int-fiction group.
Kindly get your own thread.

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