Tex Bonaventure and the Temple of the Water of Life is a parser-based adventure with an Indiana Jones theme you can presumably already see coming just from the title. Expect ludicrous archaeology. (One day, ONE DAY, someone will write an archaeology game with commands like LABEL POTSHERD and CLEAN BONES WITH SOFT TOOTHBRUSH and METICULOUSLY DESCRIBE SOIL TEXTURE IN NOTEBOOK. Jacqueline Lott, I’m looking at you.)
Coloratura is parser-based science-fiction/horror, with a fair number of puzzles, as well as feelies, cover art, and design notes. It took me somewhat over an hour to play even though I sometimes resorted to hints.
The Paper Bag Princess is a brief, parser-based, children’s fairy-tale puzzle game. It runs to less than 20 minutes (possibly less than 10, if you either hit the walkthrough or are more clever about the endgame than I was).
Mazredugin is a parser-based fantasy story about a person able to affect their dreams (I think, more or less). Review follows.
For some years, Chris Crawford has run a mostly-yearly convention on interactive storytelling called Phrontisterion. This year, he changed this a physical gathering to a virtual one, in which participants can get together online to discuss projects they’re working on or have just recently become aware of in the interactive story world. Last session I did a presentation on Versu. Future sessions will cover other areas of interactive story, which might include conventional IF, video games with a story focus, academic narrative experiments, etc. Sessions are designed to take one hour and meet the third Wednesday of the month at 9 AM Pacific (a time picked to accommodate the maximum number of current participants, given how people are spread over many time zones and many jobs). If you’re interested, there’s a blog and sign-up form.
Also: if you’re in Toronto on November 16, you might want to check out the WordPlay festival, put together by Jim Munroe and the Hand Eye Society. There will be an IF workshop with Christine Love. There will be a talk by the creators of Kentucky Route Zero. There will be many games on display, including my pieces First Draft of the Revolution and Counterfeit Monkey.
Machine of Death is a choice-based short story about a world in which people can get cryptic predictions of how they will die, but not when, and where the predictions are so vague as to be functionally worthless.