The Inventory Adventure Games

An elegant synthesis of adventure game websites.

Interactive Fiction on i-Devices

 

 

 Frotz, the freeware app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch allows interactive fiction gameplay (z5 or Inform games).

 

Android

Interactive Fiction & Text adventures are well-represented on Google's Android smartphones, with the excellent Hunky Punk and Twisty, and also ZMPP and JFrotz, which all play Z-Machine or Inform games, including the popular Infocom classics.

Alternatively there is Marvin which emulates the old 8-bit computer the ZX Spectrum, for which 1000s of commercial text adventures were written. Marvin has an in-app link to the World of Spectrum database, so you can download games directly from the app. An excellent alternative is Xpectroid, and there is also ZXdroid, and Speccy, and also Unreal Speccy, which would allow you to play the Russian spectrum clones.

 

The app Beebdroid emulates the old BBC computer, which was the one used in schools in the United Kingdom during the 1980s. There were also quite a few text adventures written for it. ViceC64 and MobileC64 emulate the Commodore 64, which like the Spectrum has a huge back catalogue of games. Where they have the same titles, many times the Spectrum games play a little better; though on the other hand sometimes they make use of the Commodore's slightly better memory.

 

The machine with the largest memory in the old days (of the affordable computers) was the Amstrad CPC, For some unknown reason the emulator isn't available as an app on the market, however you can download an emulator manually. There is Android-CAP32, CPCDroid (click the second link) and AndCPC. The CPC's disk-based system made it a cut above the rest, though that is matterless today. Still, the extra memory sometimes gives for a better game.

     

As far as point-and-click adventures go, the first port of call is undoubtedly SCUMMVM. SCUMMVM is the system which LucasArts used to create such gems as Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion, and with all the plugins it has now (also downloadable as apps), it runs everything from the kitchen sink to Future Wars.

UAE4Droid emulates similar titles on the Amiga, though UAE is renowned for being a little tricky to get running. The drawback to SCUMMVM and UAE4Droid is that you have to get hold of the games, which is either easy or difficult depending on your point of view. Now that Amiga Forever Essentials is available, you can now for an absolutely miniscule price own the Amiga Roms. No more backwater piracy via News Servers and Torrents required (you know who you are... erm, yes, I did it too...) From there, apps like Omega 500 will work.

 

The illegitimate grandchild of those games is the modern Escape-the-Room game. There are many now available for the Android as stand-alone apps.

 

Escape Room Games

Here is a list of free Room Escape and mini-adventure games for the Android platform. Adobe AIR is required for some games but it can be easily downloaded and installed:

100 Gates 

100 Toilets

Amber Escape#

Amnesia Chapter 0

Animal Office #

Auto Workshop Escape

Baby Room Escape

Carrot Escape

Circus Escape

City of Secrets

Cowboy Chronicles

Curse Breakers

Den of Thieves #

Dense Forest Escape

Deluxe Apartment Escape

Doors and Rooms

Dr.Stanley's House #

Dr. Stanley's House 2 #

Elansar (Demo) #

Ellie

Escape 3D: Bathroom #

 

Escape 3D: Jail Escape #

Escape 3D: Library #

Escape From Cat Cafe #

Escape From Ghost House

Escape From Home Office

Escape from the Attic

Escape From the Black Box #

Escape From the Dinosaur

Escape From Three o Four

(Escape:) Hetherdale #

(Escape) HomEvilMulti  #

Escape the Bedroom

Escape the Dense Forest

Escape Panda #

Escape Room of Flower

Escape White House #

Escape: The Room #

Escape the Room: Limited Time #

Escape 3D: Vault #

Factory 96 #

Farm Escape #

Female Murder Detective

Find Tealy 1 #

Find Tealy 2 #

Floors Escape #

Forest Camp Escape

Formal Living Room

Fort Escape #

Frog Prince Escape

Funny Detective Pig

Garou #

Halloween House Escape

Hamster Cage Escape

Hospital Escape #

Imprisoned

Jumbo EscapeKitchen Room Escape

Kveendolnitza Legend

Lavender Room

Let's Go! Pitt_lite #

Light Asylum 1 #

Light Asylum 2 #

Lucky

Lume (buy) #

Mayan Escape #

Modern Flat Escape

Murder Room #

Mysterious Mansion #

Mysterious Prison #

Mystical Apartment

Nano Escape #

Noir Escape #

Office Escape

Old Offender

Old Room

Purple Planet

Puzzle and Escape

Pyramid Escape

Quick Escape - Bar

Quick Escape - Bathroom

Quick Escape - Cellar 

Quick Escape - Jail

Quick Escape - Library

Quick Escape - Office

Tomb Escape (shows as Room Escape in shortcuts) #

RE Floors 

Roombreak: Escape Now

Room Escape 100 

Room Escape Doors

Room Escape Prison

Sanctuary

Save Kim Dotcom

Sitting Room Escape

Stalker 1

Stalker 2

Tesla's Mist 1

The Abandoned School

(The Haunting of) Gloom Manor #

The Temple Escape #

Wooden House Escape

X-mas Eve Escape

Yesterday #

Zee to find out the Alien

 

( # indicates games that have to be held on internal storage, all others can be transferred to SD card)

 

 

Yesterday by Bulky Pix 

 

Interactive Fiction/ Text Adventure Android apps

 

Bump (The Things That Go Bump in the Night) #

First Times (by Hero Robb) #

Mystery Mansion 

The Forgotten Nightmare (Chris Radford)

The Forgotten Nightmare II 

The Cat (The Fisherman's Cat) *

The Miller's Bridge #

The Race

The Time Traveller (Buy)

 

Interactive Fiction on older Mobiles

ZeeMe, Z2ME and ZaxMidlet can run text adventures, for instance on s40v3 Nokia 2690. Many low-end mobile phones can, although they need a QWERTY-keyboard. JFrotzMidlet is an option with better phones.

Textfyre - Android, iPhone, Kindle, Blackberry, Palm Pre, Windows Phone 7

"Textfyre will be publishing interactive stories to all mobile devices. Stories will be developed internally at Textfyre, but also licensed from any author or company that wishes to publish their content on our platform.

The platform will allow free and paid content while offering a central repository. The reader can interact on a Kindle, then open up the same story on their iPhone and start where they left off. They can move to their Mac or PC and do the same. Stories will come in all genre's and lengths, leaving those details to the story designers. Textfyre's stories generally offer 10 to 20 hours of interactive time and include hints and introductory assistance.

We plan to have our engine and user interfaces implemented by the end of 2010 with your help. This will include native Mac OS X, iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone 7, Kindle, Blackberry, and Palm Pre devices (barring unforeseen technical or other factors)."

Donate to the project here.

The Shadow in the Cathedral demo here (requires Microsoft Silverlight download).

The 10 Commandments of Adventure Writing for Small-Screened Devices    (8 Feb 2010)

  1. Favour inverse-video (light ink upon dark background) rather than true-video when writing text games for small-screened devices (SSDs). Sights worldwide will be thankful and more eager to invite their hosting eyeballs to play it.
  2. A full-sized screen design squeezed in a small screen (100%>50%) is more uncomfortable than a small-sized screen design designed to fit in a small-sized screen (100%>100%). Design the interface of your game with the end-user screen size in mind. The fact that emulators can emulate all those nice features does not mean that you must, ought, need to use all of them.
  3. Colour is nice but makes reading confusing in SSDs. Stick to black background and white font ink. A touch of colour here and there is fine, but that’s it for now.
  4. Fonts are also nice but most of them are a pest to read. Stick to standard, square, bold types that print clearly on screen.
  5. In the end: never combine exotic fonts with colours.
  6. Make sure and test that all of your interface’s elements can be read effortlessly in the end-user device. Believe me: most times, it turns out that the appearance of your text adventure in the e.g. Nokia N95 looks as garbled as a nice porridge of scrambled eggs. Who feels like playing a game like that?
  7. Most emulators accept regular text input either via an emulated, transparent keyboard or an “input string” native menu option. But things like function keys (F1), extra modes, etc., are usually poorly implemented and can make of your game a headache to play. Avoid intricate inputs and stick your player’s input to numbers 0-9 and letters a-z.
  8. Keep your input as simple as possible: one- or two-touch commands is rule of thumb here. Map your vocabulary in advance and make sure that most, if not all, of the necessary commands feature a one- or two-letter synonym: EX for examine, TK for take, TAL for take all, DR for drop, etc.
  9. Learn from the masters and keep your vocabulary (verbs) as synthetic as possible.
    Put them in an online screen and let the player have a refresh reading with a HELP command. Shortlist  your verbs (as LucasArts games do) and create a core group of commands that can apply to most of the situations. Remember that the pleasure and beauty of playing IF and text adventures is the reading effect of events happening rather than finding the right word or emulating Shakespeare and prove that you can produce the most complicate phrasing.
  10. Put as much passion and work on a text adventure for SSDs as you may on a large, PC desktop text adventure. A small screen does not mean small descriptions, small puzzles (if that’s your adventure writing style), small attention to details, small mistakes here and there… small meaning bad, ugly, stupid, incomplete or simply unprofessional. When writing text adventures for SDDS, think bigger than big.

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