The Interactive Fiction Competition 2016

I’ve been an avid follower of the IF comp for about five years now, have judged in the last few (you can too!) but have never blogged about it before. As the competition’s HUUUGE this year, I thought it only fair I pitch in by reporting back on at least enough to match’s judging criteria (five entries).

First of all, a few extra notes on my judging methods:

  1. I replayed as long as said replaying fitted within the allotted 2 hrs judging time, but only if I felt said replay would have an impact on my opinion on the game.
  2. I judged quite harshly on typos and even harsher on bugs, just because there are so many entries and so many are really great, it seems the only fair way to separate between some of them.
  3. I’ve used the scoring system as outlined by
  4. I used the games page’s shuffle feature to randomly pick my five games, but may come back for more if I get time before judging closes.
  5. I’m trying to avoid major spoilers, but there may be mention of some story details, so if you want to go in completely cold, don’t read any further.

Anyway. ONWARD!

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Memories of Elvaston: Mazes and Minotaurs


This IS Elvaston, but it isn’t the maze. Only picture I could find that properly conveys the fear.

I’ve always thought that my irrational fear of mazes stemmed from childhood visits to Elvaston Castle. I had distinct memories of chilly early Aprils many years ago when there were few visitors and the wind whistled through the twigs of the leafless maze. My parents were sitting on a bench outside the maze, leaving me to play, and my heart thudded as I wandered the twisting pathways, convinced I’d never find my way out. Finding a clearing with a statue and a bench was a relief, but also oddly terrifying, as I’d expected there to be other people there, and yet I was still alone. And worse, I felt that I wasn’t, that there was someone just around the corner, lurking unseen. I was left with an odd competing terror of being alone in the maze and not being.

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