Brandon's Notepad

June 18, 2015

Interactive Fiction

Home > My Lists > Entertainment > Interactive Fiction

Interactive fiction (IF) is the formal name for what many of us used to simply refer to as text adventure games. Infocom’s Zork (and its sequels) is probably the most iconic computer game of this type. Likewise, Bantam Books’ Choose Your Own Adventure series and the Which Way Books written by R.G. Austin et al were popular analog “game book” versions of the IF concept. I’ve always loved this format and may try to write my own some day.

Online Stories
TADS IF Database
Emily Short’s Interactive Storytelling
Baf’s Guide to Interactive Fiction
People’s Republic of IF

Choose Your Own Adventure
    (still published!)
Which Way Books


Authoring Tools
Fashion Quest (YAML)

Zoom (OS X, Unix)

The Origin of the Choose Your Own Adventure Books
Writing IF by Emily Short
A Writer’s Guide to Interactive Fiction
On Writing Interactive Fiction
A Beginner’s Guide to Playing Interactive Fiction

The Interactive Fiction Page (Carnegie Mellon)

Links I cannot access from my current location:

August 22, 2014

Android Games

Filed under: Android,Games — Brandon @ 3:50 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Home > My Lists > Android Applications > Games

A tablet is a computer, and what would a computer be these days without games? Even an avid reader like me needs a mindless escape on occasion. Like portable games consoles, the tablet grants immediate access to great games any time and any where.

Evaluation Criteria

People like different kinds of games for various reasons. Since I don’t have the time to kill playing RPGs or first-person shooters like I used to, I prefer simple strategy games, like puzzles, board games, cards, dice, etc. I usually have five minutes here and ten minutes there, and I don’t want to get so involved in a game that I feel like I can’t put it down at a moment’s notice. And when I do, the ability to pick up right where I left off is a big plus.

Selected App Reviews

Triple Town. I had to put this one at the top of my list. It is by far my favorite game! You are given a 6×6 grid terrain that contains (mostly) bare ground and some randomly placed objects, such as grass, shrubs, trees, and rocks. The top left cell is a plate where you can temporarily hold an object. Each turn, you are given a new object to place onto the grid. When three like objects are placed adjacent to one another, they combine to form an object of a higher order in the cell where that last one was placed. Three patches of grass form a shrub, three shrubs form a tree, three trees for a hut, etc. The object is to earn points before completely running out of room. And then there are the bears that move a space each turn and get in the way of your progress. Besides building bigger and fancier objects (like floating castles), there are point-based goals to be met as well.

Angry Birds. For the longest time, tablet (and smartphone) ads showed devices bearing screenshots of this game, its popularity tapped by marketers in much the same way as Pac-Man was used to sell the Atari 2600 and Super Mario Brothers the NES. It put to rest the question on every buyer’s mind: rest assured, this device will let you play Angry Birds. Basically, the birds are upset with the pigs that bully them, and they need the player’s help to fight back. They are launched at the enemy using a large slingshot, and different kinds of birds wreak different kinds of ballistic havoc upon impact. Angry Birds has earned the right to be the most popular game on the Android platform in my opinion, even if it isn’t my favorite. It has a simple strategy, yet the levels get progressively harder and eventually require more planning than brute force. What’s more, the game proved to be quite extensible through a series of themed releases, eventually crossing into other fictional universes, such as Star Wars and Transformers.

Cut the Rope. Another one of my addictions. Review to come…

Drisk. Screenshots remind me of World Master. Review to come…

Frozen Bubble. One of my Linux favorites. Review to come…

Refraction. My buddy’s addiction. Review to come…

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