The world of Interactive Fiction (IF) has been thriving for the last twenty years, despite losing much of its commercial viability. Its ancestry is firmly rooted in the text adventures of the 1980s, such as those produced by Infocom and their contemporaries; in recent years, however, its definition has expanded to include all sorts of text-based games, from parser-based adventures to hypertext fiction. The Interactive Fiction Competition has long been a platform for these games, and has become a centrepiece of the IF community.
Since its creation in 1995, the competition has played host to some of the most well-received works of IF. Past winners include:
Slouching Towards Bedlam (2003) – A disturbing steampunk adventure that allows you to react to the story however you see fit.
Lost Pig (2007) – A jovial romp in which you play as a sweet but simple orc who needs to retrieve a pig escapee.
Andromeda Apocalypse (2012) – A science fiction piece where you play as someone mysteriously stranded on a deserted planet and must escape before an impending supernova destroys it.
This year there are thirty-five entries – seven more than last year. To play them, either online or as a direct download, go to the IFComp site and follow the instructions. If you wish, you can just play the new games without voting; if you do decide to vote, however, there is a requirement for you to play at least five of the entries beforehand.
The competition ends in six weeks' time, on the 15th November, after which the winners will be formally announced and the various prizes awarded.