Key & Compass Blog

July 25, 2022

New walkthroughs for July 2022

Filed under: Interactive Fiction — Tags: — davidwelbourn @ 12:35 pm

On Monday, July 25, 2022, I published new walkthroughs for the games and stories listed below! Some of these were paid for by my wonderful patrons at Patreon. Please consider supporting me to make even more new walkthroughs for works of interactive fiction at Patreon and Ko-fi.


Impossible Stairs (2022) by Mathbrush

In this puzzling game, you play as CJ, a young woman at her family home who gets a list of chores in an odd way. Did you forget that you have spatio-temporal disjunction? That is, whenever you go upstairs, you go 20 years into the future, and whenever you go downstairs, you go back 20 years into the past, aging or de-aging as appropriate.

This work was written in Dialog and was an entry in ParserComp 2022 where it took NTH place. It’s also an authorized sequel to Impossible Bottle by Linus Åkesson.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


The Bony King of Nowhere (2017) by Luke A. Jones

In this game, you play as a Northerner living a quiet life in your hovel with your faithful dog, Dylan. When you step outside, a foul-mouthed pigeon drops a letter at your feet, but when you look at it, you learn to your dismay that it’s addressed to the Bony King of Nowhere who lives far to the south, and that you must now deliver the letter personally to the King or be executed. Well that’s just perfect.

This game was written in Quest 5 and was an entry in the Main Festival of Spring Thing 2017. A sequel to this game, Citizen of Nowhere, was published in 2019.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


FORK: The Great Underground Dining Room (2007) by Chris Federico

In this large puzzle game, you play as someone on vacation who enjoys old video games, especially Atari and Commodore ones. Therefore, you’re at a games convention in this odd hotel, looking for adventure. Explore far enough and who knows what you’ll find? Maybe you’ll even have dinner with some old friends.

CAUTION: Many read-author’s-mind moments.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


Text Adventure Collector (2020) by Rex Mundane

In this minimalist-style adventure, you play as someone who wants to collect text adventures. Find ten text adventures and drop them in your basement library to win.

This game was written in Adventuron and was a participant in the Adventuron Treasure Hunt Jam where it took 6th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Grue (2017) by Charles Mangin

In this tiny adventure, you play as a grue, lurking in your lair. It is pitch black. Your goal is simple: eat a tasty adventurer.

This game was an entry in IF Comp 2017 where it took 54th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


In The Spotlight (1998) by John Byrd

In this tiny one-room puzzler, you are someone whose vision fades while at the computer. The remaining light condenses into a spotlight high above you. All you can see are two dangling strings, a pair of heavy scissors, a wad of cotton, and a matchbook.

This game was an entry in IF Comp 1998 where it took 21st place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


A Masochist’s Heaven (2002) by Tne Mad Monk

In this tiny game, you play as a masochist in Heaven, and you don’t like it. You want pain! You want suffering! Find a way to get kicked out of Heaven and into Hell where you belong.

This game was written in ADRIFT 4 and was an entry in the ADRIFT 1st 1-Hour Comp 2002.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Mystery! (2016) by Gene Welborn

In this game based on the board game Clue, you play as an investigator summoned to Tudor Mansion to do one last job for Rick Mortis. Unfortunately, you’ll be solving his murder. Who did it where with which weapon? A random solution each time you play.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Perilous Magic (1999) by David Fillmore

In this very short fantasy game based on a comment in the Enchanter manual, you play as a civil servant. You need to triplicate a report in the next half hour, but you’re all out of paper.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Weird City Interloper (2014) by C.E.J. Pacian

In this game driven exclusively by topics of conversation, you play as a hooded stranger visiting the city of Zendon. Orz, the city gate barnacle, wants to know if you’re here for [trade] or [worship].

At the 2014 XYZZY Awards, this game was a finalist in the Best NPCs category.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map

June 28, 2022

New walkthroughs for June 2022

Filed under: Interactive Fiction — Tags: — davidwelbourn @ 10:40 pm

On Tuesday, June 28, 2022, I published new walkthroughs for the games and stories listed below! Some of these were paid for by my wonderful patrons at Patreon. Please consider supporting me to make even more new walkthroughs for works of interactive fiction at Patreon and Ko-fi.


Dessert Island Adventure (2022) by Nils Fagerburg

In this fantasy game, you play as Orange Mehringer, an apprentice to Mary Hollywood, the famous pastry wizard. As part of your midterm exam, you must find as many magic ingredients as you can from this dessert island. (And no, that’s not a typo.)

This game was written in Javascript and was a participant in the Text Adventure Literacy Jam 2022 (TALP 2022) event where it took 4th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


A Very Hairy Fish-Mess (2009) by Byron Alexander Campbell

In this absurd horror-comedy, you were making a cheese sammich when Cthulhu summons you to her throne room deep below your home. She tells you that Fishmas, the Time of Giving, is nigh. She orders you to give Cthulhu the largest, stinkiest fish in Cthulhu’s Great Realm. Now begone! Fetch it, Human! There shall be much Fishmas Cheer!

This game was written in ALAN 3.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


The Witch’s Apprentice (2019) by Garry Francis

In this game, you play as Susan, a 14 year-old apprentice witch, assigned to Broomhilda, a much older witch. When you first meet in her basement, she orders you to find eight ingredients for her cauldron. She’s brewing a spell that will keep children safe from restless spirits this Halloween.

This game was written in Adventuron and was an entry in Adventuron Halloween Jam 2019 where it took 1st place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Magic (2008) by Geoff Fortytwo

In this odd game, you play as a magician-for-hire the day after a bad gig and a night in the rain. You find your top hat and flip its catch to release Rupert, your rabbit, who immediately attacks you like a demon and starts a reign of terror. You also find a Meta trick that lets you COMPARE things to other things to transform them.

This game was an entry in IF Comp 2008 where it took 14th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


The Blue Lettuce (2021) by Caleb Wilson

In this short fantasy, you play as a groundhog in a wizard’s garden. There’s lots of tasty magical plants you want to eat today, but the blue lettuce is the tastiest!

This game was a participant in the Text Adventure Literacy Jam 2021 event where it took 5th place. It was also a top-five finalist for the Scott’s Choice Award.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Dash Slapney and the Calamitous Candy Corn Cornucopia (2011) by Andrew Schultz

In this silly small buggy game, you play as Dash Slapney. You foil the bad guys with a bare minimum effort and dumb luck. Your new mission: save Halloween here in Vanillaville. It’s being taken over by candy corn.

This game was an entry in Ectocomp 2011 where it took 5th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Heated (2010) by Timothy Peers

In this frustrating slice of life, you wake up to the blaring of your alarm clock. But don’t get heated! Your future is at stake! Can you get to work on time, looking good, smelling good, and with a cool head? If you fail, you could lose your job. But success could mean a raise or even a promotion!

This game was an entry in IF Comp 2010 where it took 20th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


The Queen of Swords (2003) by Jessica Knoch

In this one-room art piece, you play as a woman in a reserved room at the local library where you and your husband, David, will practise using electric fencing equipment. There’s quite a lot of it, and you’re not sure what order to put everything on or what connects to what. David, of course, will try to help.

This work was an exhibit at the 2003 IF Art Show where it was awarded a Best of Show ribbon.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Threediopolis (2013) by Andrew Schultz (writing as “Ned Yompus”)

In this wordplay game, you play as a citizen of the multi-level city of Threediopolis in the year 2100. Today, you got lost and found Ed Dunn in a penthouse. He immediately hires you to visit several people and places, but his list is rather cryptic. Still, it includes all the addresses, so how hard can it be?

This work was an entry in IF Comp 2013 where it took 7th place. At the 2013 XYZZY Awards, Threediopolis was a finalist in both the Best Puzzles and Best Individual Puzzle categories.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


Wedding Day (2014) by E. Joyce

In this short story, it’s your wedding day. You are not young for a bride. Once dressed, you try to enjoy the celebration in the village square. But as the crowd dances and the Village Elder stands apart, watching, you wonder if you can truly go through with it. Are you ready?

This story was an entry in Ectocomp 2014 where it took 5th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map

May 31, 2022

New walkthroughs for May 2022

Filed under: Interactive Fiction — Tags: — davidwelbourn @ 10:42 am

On Monday, May 30, 2022, I published new walkthroughs for the games and stories listed below! Some of these were paid for by my wonderful patrons at Patreon. Please consider supporting me to make even more new walkthroughs for works of interactive fiction at Patreon and Ko-fi.


Sage Sanctum Scramble (2020) by Arthur DiBianca

In this wordplay fantasy game, you play as someone visiting the Sage Sanctum. Quorbus tells you that by solving puzzles, you’ll collect keywords that will aid you in defeating a monstrous zarblot that threatens the Sanctum. The more keywords the better, so start solving!

This game was an entry in IF Comp 2020 where it took 15th place. At the 2020 XYZZY Awards, it was a finalist in the Best Puzzles category.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


So, You’ve Never Played a Text Adventure Before, Huh? (2014) by Ryan Veeder

In this tutorial game, you are playing as Robin Monaghan, a high school senior exploring an abandoned house. The game begins with you in the attic, trying to get a better look at something shiny, but instead you fall through an unexpected hole into the bedroom below.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Igor’s Quest (2020) by Garry Francis

In this minimalist wordplay game where all commands and responses are only two words or less, you play as Doctor Frankenstein’s assistant, Igor. He orders you find a head, hair, eyes, ears, a body, arms, hands, legs, and feet and bring them to his laboratory.

This game was written in Adventuron and was a participant in the Adventuron Treasure Hunt Jam (2020) event.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Santa’s Trainee Elf (2020-2021) by Garry Francis

In this pleasant Christmas game, you play as Eldrid, a 16-year-old elf in Santa’s Workshop. It’s the day before Christmas Eve, and Santa wants you to complete some last minute chores, mostly making toys for the children on his list. He also wants you to ask Mrs Claus in the kitchen and Volodar in the stable if they something done as well.

This game was written in Adventuron and was a participant in the Adventuron Christmas Jam 2020.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


Carpathian Vampire (2022) by Garry Francis

In this horror game, you play as Franz, a vampire hunter, hired by Romanian villagers who believe a recently deceased count is now a strigoi who has been killing their children. You begin outside the former Count’s castle.

This game was a participant in the Text Adventure Literacy Jam 2022.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


A Christmas Quest (2020) by Richard Pettigrew

In this small game set at the North Pole, you play as Yitshak the Elf on Christmas Eve. Santa is already flying around the world, delivering presents, but he’s missing one. Find the missing present and bring it to Santa.

This game was written in Adventuron and was an entry in the Adventuron Christmas Jam (2020) where it took 7th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


The Lonely Troll (2022) by Amanda Walker

In this small pleasant fantasy game, you play as a lonely troll who lives in a snug house in a valley of apple trees. You want to talk to someone. You want an adventure. You want a friend.

This game was an entry in the Text Adventure Literacy Jam 2022 event.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Lowell’s Paradise (2008) by Jesse McGrew

In this very short game, you play as someone who accidentally falls away from their experiment and into a park. Professor Lowell explains you’re in Lowell’s Paradise, a bubble in space, but a giant broke the conduit back, so everyone’s trapped. Just stay away from that rip in the sky, okay?

This game was a participant in the bouchercomp event.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Seeker of Magic (2019) by Garry Francis

In this short adventure, you play as Rowan of Bunglewood Downs, a would-be thief and a seeker of magic. You intend to find and enter the Cave of Magic and take its magic for yourself.

This game was written in Adventuron and was a participant in the Adventuron Cave Jam 2019.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map

April 29, 2022

New walkthroughs for April 2022

Filed under: Interactive Fiction — Tags: — davidwelbourn @ 1:01 am

On Thursday, April 28, 2022, I published new walkthroughs for the games and stories listed below! Some of these were paid for by my wonderful patrons at Patreon. Please consider supporting me to make even more new walkthroughs for works of interactive fiction at Patreon and Ko-fi.


Ditch Day Drifter (1990) by Michael J. Roberts

In this game, you play as an underclassman at the California Institute of Technology. Today is Ditch Day, where seniors lock their doors with devices and puzzles called “stacks”, and underclassmen attempt to solve the stacks.

This was a sample game included with its source code in the TADS 2 distribution. The sequel Deep Space Drifter was also released in 1990, followed by Return to Ditch Day in 2004.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


Ferryman’s Gate (2020) by Daniel Maycock

In this game, you play as a kid who recently moved from New York to west Georgia to live in the manor house that your family inherited from your eccentric great uncle, Osmond Ferryman. You soon learn that your uncle was obsessed with commas and how to use them correctly. You also learn that he may have hidden a secret inheritance just for you!

This game was a participant in IF Comp 2020 where it took 23rd place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


The Legend of Horse Girl (2022) by Bitter Karella

In this comedy western, you play as Horse Girl. Normally, you’d be riding the open plains, but that sidewinder, Judge Lazarus Dives, stole your horse! He also wants to own every snake oil well in Texas, so he must be here in Santa Diablo. You’re certain of it. You’re gonna find that buzzard and settle the score.

This game is an entry in the Main Festival of Spring Thing 2022, ranking to be determined.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Gnu in the Zoo (2016) by Alex Ball

In this game, you play as a gnu in a zoo. You wake up in the middle of the night and discover that the gate to the gnu enclosure was left unlocked. The thought of exploring the zoo is thrilling. Is tonight the night you escape from the zoo?

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Corrupter of Dreams (2017) by Robert Patten

In this short story, you are Nightmare, the Corrupter of Dreams. You have entered a boy’s pleasant dream about a garden, peaceful and beautiful, and dominated by a huge blossoming tree. How you ache to touch it. When the tree dies, the dream will die too.

This story was an entry in the La Petite Mort, English division of Ectocomp 2017 where it took 4th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Dr Ego and the egg of Man-Toomba (2020) by Wesley Werner (as “Special Agent”)

In this small adventure game, you play as Dr Ego, an archeologist in search of treasure. Today, you’re in an uncharted area of Papua New Guinea looking for the legendary Golden Egg of Man-Toomba.

This game was an entry in IF Comp 2020 where it took 44th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Islands Far Away (2010) by Shanon Fernald

In this small juvenile game, you play as someone struggling to write a computer game with an islands theme. If only you could get rid of your distractions and focus, maybe, just maybe you can write a game so awesome, it’ll be your ticket to fame, fortune, and your own island far far away.

Content warning: masturbation and dog excrement.

This game was an entry in the Ludum Dare Game Competition #17.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Looking for Godot (1996) by Patrick Shaughnessy

In this small whimsical game, you’re searching your home for a copy of Waiting for Godot to return to your English teacher. It’s not on the porch; you only found a rotting fish there. Now where could that book be?

IFDB | My walkthrough and map

March 29, 2022

New walkthroughs for March 2022

Filed under: Interactive Fiction — Tags: — davidwelbourn @ 8:19 am

On Tuesday, March 29, 2022, I published new walkthroughs for the games and stories listed below! Some of these were paid for by my wonderful patrons at Patreon. Please consider supporting me to make even more new walkthroughs for works of interactive fiction at Patreon and Ko-fi.


Dr Horror’s House of Terror (2021) by Ade McT

This large horror game begins with you as the Professor facing the Count and his vampire thralls in a final showdown. But wait. Actually, you’re an actor in a low-budget horror film, and the studio head and a crowd of cultists are about to sacrifice you in order to summon Astaroth and all the minions of hell! You’ve got to save yourself and stop him, but how?

This game was an entry in IF Comp 2021 where it took 2nd place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


Arthur Yahtzee: The Curse of Hell’s Cheesecake (2000) by Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw

In this comedic espionage game, you play as Agent Arthur Yahtzee of the Special Secret Service. Your mission is to stop the most evil and sadistic human in the multiverse, Doctor Diablo, from ever using Hell’s Cheesecake to return to his home dimension.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


Wearing the Claw (1996, 1997) by Paul O’Brian

In this fantasy game, you play as a peasant youth with a wolf’s paw for a left hand. The wizard Marnian cursed everyone in your province with animal limbs, but Lord Midel believes you can break the curse by fetching the Pendant of Elinor from the mysterious isle of the Goergs and returning the pendant to him.

This game was an entry at IF Comp 1996 where it took 8th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


Excelsior (2014) by Arthur DiBianca

In this generic puzzlefest that uses a minimalist command set, you play as someone who finds and explores a very tall tower in a forest. There’s no story here. Just solve the puzzles and reach the roof to win.

This game was an entry in IF Comp 2014 where it took 35th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


The Song of the Mockingbird (2021) by Mike Carletta

In this western adventure, you play as “Boots” Taylor, the singing cowboy known as the Texas Mockingbird. Last night, the Black Blade and his men robbed the dance hall, took your gun, and took Rosa. You pursued them, but now they’ve ambushed you in this arroyo!

This game was an entry in IF Comp 2021 where it took 3rd place overall and tied for 2nd place for Miss Congeniality.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Capture Santa! (2007) by James Higgins

In this strange little game, it’s the night before Christmas Eve, and you hate that Santa keeps breaking into your home every year to leave a present. You’re gonna set some traps and capture that fat man once and for all. But first, you need to get out of helping your friend Matt decorate the clubhouse for a Christmas party.

This work was an entry in TIGSource’s Text the Halls event where it tied for 8th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Djinn on the Rocks (2021) by Joshua Wilson

In this small game, you play as a Djinn with a problem named James Merl III. James found your bottle and he wants you to MAKE HIM RICH. But your only powers are to APPRAISE, CURSE, and SWAP. Can you find all six ways to either grant his wish or entrap someone else in your bottle instead?

This game was a participant in the PunyJam #1 event where it took 2nd place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Edge of the Cliff (2011) by Poster

In this very short one-room trollish story, you play as a young woman whose heart is broken because of HIM. You are at the edge of the cliff with a bottle of whiskey in your hand. Your diary, sandals, and bandana lie beside you.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Enlightenment (1998) by Taro Ogawa

In this one-room game, you play as a Zorkian adventurer at the end of his quest. One last monster, a regenerating cave troll, is blocking your way across the chasm bridge that leads to the exit. Retreat is impossible. Killing the troll is impossible too, unless you can get a g*** to kill it for you. But g***s only appear when it’s pitch black and you have so many sources of light…

This game was an entry in IF Comp 1998 where it took 5th place. At the 1998 XYZZY Awards, it was a finalist in two categories (Best Puzzles and Best Individual NPC (the troll)).

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


LiveJoseph (2011) by Joseph Miller

In this short interactive non-fiction, you’re visiting the game’s author in his apartment. Make yourself at home and ask Joseph questions about his job, his family, and a few other topics.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map

February 25, 2022

New walkthroughs for February 2022

Filed under: Interactive Fiction — Tags: — davidwelbourn @ 9:30 pm

On Friday, February 25, 2022, I published new walkthroughs for the games and stories listed below! Some of these were paid for by my wonderful patrons at Patreon. Please consider supporting me to make even more new walkthroughs for works of interactive fiction at Patreon and Ko-fi.


Lydia’s Heart (2007) by Jim Aikin

In this large horror game, you play as 14-year-old Diane Lindsay, dragged by your Aunt Caroline to this dreadful set of cabins on the edge of a Mississippi swamp, supposedly for a “sunset picnic” where she insists you wear a white dress. The other guests are acting weird. The owner reeks of evil. And there’s a ghost girl flying around a stained altar, and how creepy is that? You need to get out of there before sunset, but how?

This is a reworked version of Last Resort, published by Jim Aikin in 2006, with new locations and puzzles. The author would prefer it if you play Lydia’s Heart instead of Last Resort.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


Several Other Tales from Castle Balderstone (2020) by Ryan Veeder

Yet again, you are Ryan Veeder’s invited guest to an evening of spooky storytelling at Castle Balderstone. From the world of Marshal Trevino, Antonio F. Karnack will narrate the story of a health inspector. Miss Shiroiwa’s third grade class from Silas Elementary will present “The Banshee’s Curse”. Elmir Divkovic will read another of his intricate vampire-tales. And you there, YOU will tell a story as well.

This game was an entry in the Le Grand Guignal, English division of Ectocomp 2020 where it took 2nd place. It is also the third game in the Castle Balderstone series.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


The Holy Grail (1989-1996) by Jim MacBrayne

In this large adventure game, you play as an young noviciate given a difficult and dangerous task: to find and return the Holy Grail to the arch mage. You begin in a long-abandoned castle with nothing but a brass lamp and your wits.

Originally written for the Amiga in 1989, this game was ported to TADS in 1995 and amended in 1996.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


BSE (1996) by Chris Smith

In this British absurdist game, you play as Agent 667, an environmental health inspector sent to investigate a possible epidemic risk of BSE in the isolated village of Skebdale. Agent 398 also reports widespread devil worship in the area, which may be linked and should also be investigated.

This game won the 1996 Acorn User Interactive Fiction Competition.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


Grandma Bethlinda’s Remarkable Egg (2021) by Arthur DiBianca

In this delightful puzzlebox game, you play as someone who’s managed to cuff their hands behind their back. You were trying a magician’s trick and it didn’t work. There is no key, but you do have your cousin’s “Remarkable Egg” thst he brags does all sorts of things. Maybe it can pick locks too and save you?

This game was an entry in IF Comp 2021 where it tied for 23rd place. It’s also a sequel to Grandma Bethlinda’s Variety Box.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


Don’t Push The Mailbox 2 and Aisle (2020) by Ralfe Rich

This is a one-room, one-turn, joke game. It’s also a tribute to Pick Up the Phone Booth and Aisle, but instead of a phone booth, there’s a mailbox. Interact with the game as much as you can until you run out of ideas to try, then quit.

This game was a entry in the The Emily Short Anniversary Contest where it took 2nd place. It is also a tribute to Pick Up the Phone Booth and Aisle and a sequel to Don’t Push The Mailbox.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Dream Pieces (2013) by Iam Curio

In this one-room playful wordplay game, you wake in your bedroom but it’s just not the same! You’re dreaming. It’s a seeming. So take everything. Break, burn, and cut ’em: the pieces they bring! Mix pieces together and make something new. Now escape from this dream; that’s what you must do.

This game was written in Quest and was an entry in IF Comp 2013 where it took 20th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


fin de sickleburg (2018–2020) by Caleb Wilson

In this extremely short gothic story, you have returned to your chamber from the Sickleburg Opera and it’s nearly dawn. Do you wish to LOOK around, EXAMINE what’s here, take INVENTORY, TAKE OFF what you’re wearing, or SLEEP?

This story was a participant in the Gothic Novel Jam of 2018.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


First Person (2014) by Buster Hudson

I don’t like trespassers in my woods, not one bit. I locked you in a room in the basement. Hope you don’t mind the corpse. You’re not the first person to trespass here. (One room. Very short.)

This game was an entry in Ectocomp 2014 where it took 7th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Flotsam and Driftwood (2014) by Peter Orme (as “Conrad Elton”)

In this small song-inspired game, deadly things have trapped you into a dead end. If you pray for help, darkness engulfs you and takes you to the “home by the sea”: a dark beach with shadow figures sitting around a fire. The figures are friendly, but you’ve forgotten who you are.

This game was a participant in the Shufflecomp 2014 event.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


An Informal Time (2010) by Anonymous

In this small, surreal, buggy experiment, you play as a self-aware protagonist in a barely-begun adventure game. You soon fall out of the game into Inform’s compass, make your way through the world model, and confront the parser itself.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


The Legend of the Missing Hat (2012) by Adri

In this tiny ninja tale, you play as the tiny black ninja that lives under the bed. Visit the other tiny ninjas who live elsewhere in the bedroom. Before you can emcee tonight’s talent show, you must find your hat.

This game was a participant in the Cover Stories 2012 event. It’s also the first game in the “Tiny Ninja Tales” series.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Lobster Bucket (2014) by Lady Tallhat

In this game, you play as an adventurer, hired by the aquabats to get their McGuffin back from the Evil Overlord’s dungeons. You begin at the dungeon entrance with a map, a smoke grenade, and a teleportation grenade. Avoid the wandering mooks! Don’t let them see you!

This game was a participant in the Shufflecomp 2014 event.

IFDB | My “walkthrough” and example map

January 26, 2022

New walkthroughs for January 2022

Filed under: Interactive Fiction — Tags: — davidwelbourn @ 7:42 pm

On Wednesday, January 26, 2022, I published new walkthroughs for the games and stories listed below! Some of these were paid for by my wonderful patrons at Patreon. Please consider supporting me to make even more new walkthroughs for works of interactive fiction at Patreon and Ko-fi.


Hercules! (2021) by Leo Weinreb

In this adventure game, you play as the demigod Hercules. You want to be a hero, but the Gods won’t take you seriously because of your scrawniness, allergies, and numerous phobias. Fortunately, your cousin Eurystheus has given you a list of ten chores to prove yourself with. How hard could this list be?

This game was an entry in IF Comp 2021 where it took 36th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


The Chinese Room (2007) by Harry Giles and Joey Jones

In this playful surreal puzzler about philosophy, you play as a university student who, after a night of drinking, wakes up in a literal representation of The Chinese Room thought experiment. Outside the room, more philosophical concepts are manifest. Solve all the problems to learn where you are and why you’re there.

This game was entered in IF Comp 2007 where it took 5th place. At the 2007 XYZZY Awards, this game was a finalist in three categories (Best Writing, Best Puzzles, and Best NPCs).

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Rings for Bony Fingers (1992) by John Olsen

You are being buried alive! Can you escape your coffin of death? If so, your nightmare has only begun. Descend the Steps of Doom. Enter the crypt in search of the ten rings of Zoltan. Elude the walking skeleton. And if you heed the words of the whispering skull, you may awake from this chilling nightmare.

This game was written in The Quill and was sold as shareware and as Volume 1 of the “Nightmares From The Crypt” collection. The other games in this collection are Ghost Rider of El Diablo and Dr. Death’s House of Horrors.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


The Cruise (2001) by Norman Perlmutter

You play as a male tourist on a 3-day Carribean cruise on The Rhinoceros. It seems like a normal vacation until a self-proclaimed good and powerful wizard asks you to find and use three power crystals to destroy an evil wizard who is also on board.

This game was entered in IF Comp 2001 where it took 27th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


Another Goddamn Escape the Locked Room Game (2006) by Riff Conner

In this escape game intended to be a parody of the genre, you play as someone with amnesia who wakes up in a unfamiliar basement or bomb shelter. Your head is pounding from a massive headache. The steel door in the north wall is locked and has heavy wooden boards nailed across it to emphasize the point. How will you escape and regain your memories?

This game was an entry in IF Comp 2006 where it took 22nd place. At the 2006 XYZZY Awards, it was a finalist in the Best Use of Medium category.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Code Name Silver Steel (2017) by Special Agent

This is a short espionage game. Your freelance spy mission is to “Infiltrate MegaCorp, gain access to the data centre, download the database.” You begin in MegaCorp’s foyer, disguised as a repairman.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Deep Breathing (2006) by Admiral Jota

In this very abbreviated version of The Three Little Pigs, you play as someone tall and furry, with immense lungs and an empty stomach. You have tracked your quarry to a shack in the woods. There is, of course, a mailbox.

This game was a participant in the Speed-IF Gruff event.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Hippo on Elm Street (2015) by Adri (as “Erin Gigglecreek”)

In this Hallowe’en game, you play as a house hippo that lives underneath the sofa. You want to investigate some scary sounds and get yourself a snack before returning back to your comfortable nest of stolen socks.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Little Green Robbing Hood (2006) by Jake Wildstrom

In this short game that blends Little Red Riding Hood with the legend of Robin Hood, you of course are playing as Little Green Robbing Hood. Your grandmother’s fields were torched by Sir Guy of Gisbourne, so you’re taking a loaf of bread to her so she doesn’t starve.

This game was a participant in the Speed-IF Gruff event.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


The Prize (2012) by Simon Vigonski

This game is told in the third-person. The adventurer has finally arrived in the hidden and forgotten valley where the tomb of the Alchemist lies. What secrets are locked inside the tomb? Such knowledge is a prize much worth having for the man who would be the Second Alchemist.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Trapped in a Small Room (2010) by Anthony

In this small, simple, semi-surreal escape game, you play as someone in darkness. You’re carrying a lemon and a flashlight with a wire sticking out of it. Once you get some light, escape from the small room.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map

January 9, 2022

Migrating from Trello to Checklister

Filed under: Interactive Fiction — Tags: , — davidwelbourn @ 12:03 pm

One of the consequences of moving into a slum with unreliable internet is that I’ve stopped using Trello for tracking my interactive fiction walkthrough work. Instead, as a local solution, I’ve written a Perl program called Checklister that skims through all my markup files and summarize the results.

For that to work, I must now add a checklist section in each of my many many markup files to record the various and numerous statuses I’m interested in tracking. This will take time. The Checklister program itself isn’t quite done yet, and some things it’s not doing correctly, but it’s in a good-enough-for-now stage.

Since it’s entirely designed to work without needing internet access, uploading a copy of the Checklister report to the web isn’t going to be a high priority. Hopefully, I’ll be able to upload it every Sunday, but most likely I’ll only upload it twice a month.

You are welcome to visit http://plover.net/~davidw/check/Checklist.html to see which games, stories, and other works I’m working on. Walkthroughs that I’ve already published are also on the list so I can double-check that they’re all up to my current standards. Needless to say, that will also take time.

December 28, 2021

New walkthroughs for December 2021

Filed under: Interactive Fiction — Tags: — davidwelbourn @ 5:40 am

On Saturday, December 25, 2021, I published new walkthroughs for the games and stories listed below! Some of these were paid for by my wonderful patrons at Patreon. Please consider supporting me to make even more new walkthroughs for works of interactive fiction at Patreon and Ko-fi.


The Bible Retold: The Bread and the Fishes (2006) by Ben Pennington (writing as “Celestianpower”) and Justin Morgan

In this Biblical tale, you play as Jesus. A crowd of five thousand people have gathered in a field outside the town of Bethsaida to hear you preach, but they’re all very hungry. It would take a miracle to feed this many people, but since you’re the son of God, you might find a way to do that. But how, exactly?

This game was an entry at IF Comp 2006 where it took 21st place. At the 2006 XYZZY Awards, it was a finalist in the Best Individual NPC category for the character of God.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


The Man in the Rain (2010) by Karl Adamson

In this adventure game which is also a tribute to the music of Mike Oldfield, you play as a young warrior on a quest. Your tribe’s queen is dying. Go to peak of Mount U’huru, far to the north, and ask the Wise Man who lives there for his aid.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


Plane Walker (2021) by Jack Comfort

In this rather odd game, you play as someone who wakes up disorientated inside a deserted aeroplane in mid-flight. Where is everyone? Is the pilot gone too? Where is the plane headed? Why are you even there? All you know for sure is that you must get off this plane.

This game was an entry in IF Comp 2021 where it took 68th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


Aesthetic Deletions (2003) by Johanna Hunt

In this shipboard game, you play as an amnesiac employee of Aesthetic Deletions. You mission is to eliminate someone on this boat. If you succeed, you’ll get your name and memories back. But watch out for Jesus.

This game was an entry in the Second 24 Hours of Inform event.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


The Princess In The Tower (2002) by David Whyld

In this fantasy game written in an hour, you play as a prince who must prove his love for a princess by bringing her an orc’s head, a goblin’s rib bone, and a diamond the exact same size as a golf ball. Only then can you be together with the princess in her tower.

This work was written in ADRIFT 4 and was an entry in the ADRIFT 1st 1-Hour Comp 2002.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


All Quiet on the Library Front (1995) by Michael S. Phillips

In this game, you’re a generic college student who’s been slacking all semester. For your final paper on the “The History of IF Games”, you need to check out a book about Graham Nelson which is somewhere in this library, but where?

This game was an entry in IF Comp 1995 where it took 5th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Baggage (2021) by Katherine Farmar

In this short game about introspection, you play as someone walking along a long gravel road bordered by hedges. You don’t seem to be getting anywhere. Your satchel contains a hope, a belief, a regret, a memory, a fear, and a resentment.

This game was an entry in the Main Festival division of Spring Thing 2021 where it was awarded three Audience Choice ribbons: Best Abstract Game, Best Verb Use, and Most Allegorical.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Blue (2011) by Taleslinger

In this dystopian game, humanity is being destroyed by parasites that infest people’s brains before transforming their hosts into horrifying creatures. But you have a plan to save yourself… or her.

This game was an entry in Ectocomp 2011 where it tied for 13th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Catventure (2019) by sleepy macaw

In this small silly game, you are a housecat bored with life in the village of Nafurville. You plan to seek your fortune in Chipawgo, which is far more exciting. But how to get there?

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


The man-eating, halitosic gorilla of Brazil (2011) by Marius Müller (writing as Leaner Gilts, “Strangle” Lei, Gain Tellers and Slat Leering)

You play as AFGNCAAP, a secret agent sent into the Brazilian jungle to find a new mastermind and his secret temple. Too bad he finds you first.

This game was written in Adventure Book for Inform 7 and was an entry in the Speed-IF Jacket 4 event.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Only After Dark (1999, 2000) by Gunther Schmidl

In this short horror story, you play as Ranil Kuami, a young black sailor enjoying some shore leave on a small island. The villagers are friendly, and you plan on getting some action tonight. Instead, you’ll find something evil that must be destroyed.

This story was an entry in IF Comp 1999 where it took 17th place. Ranil Kuami’s story continues in And the Waves Choke the Wind, an incomplete sequel which was entered in IF Comp 2000.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


On Your Back (2013) by Dan Doyle III

In this small one-room game, you play as a turtle who had the misfortune of being turned onto its back by a lumbering boy. If you try to listen, you sense the boy, a dog, and a snake are nearby. How can you get right side up again?

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Stupid Creek. Stupid Christmas. (2011) by Troy Jones III

In this short two-room game, you play as a teenager who needs to get her stupid little brother Tim and two Christmas presents across this stupid river, but this stupid rowboat can only carry one of them at a time.

This game was a participant in the penultimate not numbered New Year’s Speed IF event.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Tea and Toast (2014) by Matt Weiner (as “Maria del Pangolin”)

In this pleasant one-room slice of life, you play as Maria. You’ve just woken up and entered the kitchen. You want to make some tea and toast before the alarm clock goes off and fully wakes Lily.

This story was a participant in Shufflecomp 2014.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Through the Looking Glass (1995) by Gareth Rees

In this short one-room tutorial, you play as Alice at the beginning of Through the Looking-Glass. To quote the game: It’s a cold winter day outside, but in the looking-glass house it’s summer. All you need to do is pretend there’s a way of getting through into it somehow…

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Yesternight (2021) by Robert Szacki

In this very small and very primitive game, you play as someone with a gold coin and no obvious goals entering a small town. To win the game, get past the bear guarding the forest entrance north of the town.

This game was written in AdvSys and was an entry in ParserComp 2021 where it took 18th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


You Have to Put the Baby New Year in the Champagne Bottle (2014) by Molly G.

In this ultra-short one-room joke game that claims to be latest in SoftSoft’s “You Have to Put the Noun in the Other Noun” series, you find yourself in a party room with the Baby New Year and a champagne bottle nearby. Based on the title, can you solve this puzzle? There’s also a New Years Fun Fact every turn!

This game was a participant in the 7th annual New Year’s Minicomp.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map

November 26, 2021

New walkthroughs for November 2021

Filed under: Interactive Fiction — Tags: — davidwelbourn @ 7:05 pm

On Friday, November 26, 2021, I published new walkthroughs for the games and stories listed below! Some of these were paid for by my wonderful patrons at Patreon. Please consider supporting me to make even more new walkthroughs for works of interactive fiction at Patreon and Ko-fi.

(See also this list at IFDB.)


Citizen of Nowhere (2019) by Luke A Jones

In this odd, whimsical, and bittersweet game, you play as a young man who rejected the crown after your father, the Bony King of Nowhere, died. You moved to the far north and live a quiet life. Your pet dog, Dylan, is always by your side. But today, the Prime Minister has invited you to a garden party at the old castle. You wonder what mischief you’ll get up to this time.

This game was an entry in IF Comp 2019 where it took 55th place. It is also a sequel to The Bony King of Nowhere.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


The Mysterious Case of the Acrobat and His Peers (2009) by Amanda Tien

In this interactive adventure, a greenhorn detective must find a missing acrobat and solve the mystery by exploring the circus and questioning everything from tiger trainers to monotone ringmasters to sad clowns.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


The Mage Wars: Statue (2003) by Jim Fisher

In this lengthy unfinished game divided into chapters, you’ll be playing as various characters, but mostly as Dr. Marcus Philbrook, a man who petrifies himself into a statue in 1997 and wakes up in a museum in 9236. Unbeknowst to Marcus, the world now uses magic, and an evil mage named Noric the dark will soon threaten everyone with his power.

This game was an entry in IntroComp 2003 where it took 1st place. Although the full game was planned for release in 2004, the game remains incomplete. The game is notable for using the ORLibrary.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


The Cube in the Cavern (2017) by Andrew Schultz

In this puzzle game, you play as someone with a Ph.D. in both Psychokinetics and Psychohistory. You have found an ancient-looking cave containing a large floating cube where each face has its own gravity pulling you towards the cube’s center! What could be in there? You have a mood ring, a map, and some rope to help you find out.

This game was an entry in IF Comp 2017 where it took 39th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


Aunt Nancy’s House (1997) by Nate Schwartzman

In this rather unrewarding exploratory work, you are playing as the author visiting his aunt’s house which contains a large assortment of ordinary items, minimally described. Highlights of the tour include waiting for Windows to boot, watching a baseball game on TV, and disambiguating bathroom faucets and taps.

This work was an entry at IF Comp 1997 where it took 33rd place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Goodbye Doggy World (1997) by Meri and Mark

In this incomplete game, you are visiting a spooky pet graveyard featuring wandering fog, a crypt, three tombstones, sn old oak tree, and a gate. Unfortunately, you can’t really accomplish anything but explore as best you can.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Gourmet Gaffe (2011) by Hulk Handsome

In this one-room joke game, you play as the inventor of the back scratcher. The Queen of France is pleased with you until you ask for ketchup at her dining table. Sacré bleu! Now you must escape her dungeon before you’re thrown to the mimes!

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Mirror and Queen (2016) by Chandler Groover

In this puzzleless one-room story based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, you play as the queen consulting the magic mirror. The gameplay consists entirely of asking your oracular mirror about as many topics (relating to herself, the princess, and the court) as you can before its puissance is expended.

This was an entry in IF Comp 2016 where it took 22nd place. At the 2016 XYZZY Awards, it was a finalist in the Best Individual NPC category for the mirror.

IFDB | My walkthrough


Missing Grandpa: Lost in Time (2012) by Becky Kinkead

In this severely under-implemented game, you play as someone looking for your Grandpa. Grandpa’s been missing for three days. You have a suspicion where he’s gone and you decided to check his notes in his attic which mention time travel and a hidden door.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Will The Real Marjorie Hopkirk Please Stand Up? (1998) by Neil James Brown (as “Steve Parsons for TextFire, Inc.”)

In this demo game, you play as an assassin hired to kill Mrs. Marjorie Hopkirk. Unfortunately, she’s cloned herself ninety-nine times which means you’re going to have to kill her one hundred times to get the job done. (Note: This demo game ends after five assassinations.)

This game was written in Hugo and is one of the participants in the Textfire 12-pack.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Xmaton (2007) by Simeon Maxein (a.k.a. “MedO”)

In this short one-room game inspired by Eyezmaze’s GROW games, you play as a homeowner with a new X-Maton machine. It has six buttons to help you prepare your house for Christmas, but what order should you press them in before your family returns home?

This game is also known as X-Maton 2010. It took 10th place in TIGSource’s Text the Halls competition.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map

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