Interactive fiction/text adventure games by Robin Johnson (
How to play (read this first if you haven't played a text adventure before!)

versificator blog
The Year of Adventure - game jam to mark 40th anniversary of the original Adventure game



New Losago, 1929 – a town full of creeps, clowns, mobsters, and, if you know where to look, the occasional honest citizen. Guide private investigator Lanson Rose through a series of puzzling cases: solve the city's liquor supply problem in "Speakeasy Street", track down a missing food scientist in "The Big Pickle", and investigate strange goings-on under a dilapidated mansion in "A Study in Squid".

(If you like my games, you can rate them at the Interactive Fiction Database)
IFDB page for Detectiveland

Using one of the best interfaces I've come across in IF, you'll take on cases, explore the city, and maybe stop to assemble a tasty pizza.
– PC Gamer

Overall: silly, noir-themed goodness that never takes itself terribly seriously. The presentation captures some of the appeal of a parser, but with the accessibility of a choice-based game
– Rock Paper Shotgun

What I love about Detectiveland is its commitment to videogameness. It revels in being a little hokey, throwing in gags about 1920s gender roles, mafia stereotypes, speakeasies, and even a reclusive horror writer who is clearly a massive racist.
– Giant Bomb

Awards Winner of the 2016 Interactive Fiction Competition


Download as:
  • zipped site (unzip and open index.html. May have issues with saved games on some systems.)
The Xylophoniad

The Xylophoniad

The King of Anachronopolis has ordered you to complete three labours: end the Trojan War, slay the dreaded Bicyclops, and rescue a couple of inmates from Hades. A comic adventure based in Greek mythology.

IFDB page for The Xylophoniad

A good-natured accessible puzzle game with a charming sense of humor
– Emily Short

Awards Alumni's Choice winner at the 2016 Spring Thing IF Festival


Download as:


A loose adaptation of Dracula, faithfully reimagining several characters and ignoring most of the original plot. Guide Jonathan Harker on a trip through Transylvania, interacting with vampires, mad scientists, zombies, annoying magpies, and moustachioed werewolves.

Draculaland is the first game written using a new keyboardless "parser/choice hybrid" engine – available actions appear as context-sensitive clickable links next to your items, so there's no typing.

IFDB page for Draculaland

Campy, wonderfully silly, and packed to the gills with supernatural mayhem – Jay Is Games

Silly in the best possible way – PC Gamer

Friendly and playable – Rock Paper Shotgun

Very enjoyable – Adventure Gamers

Goofy, tropey... short, tight descriptions and puzzles that can be solved in a single flash of inventiveness – Emily Short

There's a lot to be said about this game, but we don't have time – Ryan Veeder

Awards 4th place (of 14), First Quadrennial Ryan Veeder Exposition for Good Interactive Fiction
Featured in PC Gamer's Free Games of the Week


Download as:



The city of Portcullis has been taken over by an evil sorcerer, because... well, that's what evil sorcerers do.

Join a party of arrogant adventurers in their attempt to overthrow Zapdorf and liberate the town. Or is there something else going on?

Written to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Zork, Portcullis is a tribute to the drily humorous swords-and-sorcery style games that dominated the early days of interactive fiction.

IFDB page for Portcullis

Awards A Winner of the 2016 New Year Minicomp


Download as:
Aunts and Butlers

Aunts and Butlers

It's 1920, you're a minor aristocrat fallen on hard times, and your wretched Aunt Cedilla is on the warpath. A comic adventure in the style of P. G. Wodehouse.

IFDB page for Aunts and Butlers

Thoroughly enjoyable - Jay is Games

I can establish my credentials to review this game merely by mentioning that I own a pair of spats. So when I say this is pretty funny, you can take my word for it. Assuming you think spats are funny, anyway.
Dan Shiovitz

This is the same problem I had with Hitchhiker's and Bureaucracy
Emily Short

Awards Best text-based game -
Finalist for two Xyzzy awards: Best NPCs, Best Individual NPC (the butler)
16th place (of 42), 12th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition


Download as:



You're the prince of Denmark, and boy, are you in a sucky mood! You've been grounded again, your friends don't understand you, and your evil uncle has murdered your father to usurp the throne. A collaboration with William Shakespeare.

IFDB page for Hamlet

Superb – Guardian

While the idea is good, the execution lacks some of Shakespeare's poetry – Scotsman

In just five minutes' playing I was hooked. – Neil Gaiman

Oh my goodness – Ryan North

Well-executed, extremely funny – Cory Doctorow

Mildly amusing – Channel 4

The humor was engaging, and the easy puzzles you start out with make you feel triumphant, hooking you in and making you want to finish. – SPAG

This may very well be the way the Elizabethans themselves experienced the Immortal Bard, on their primitive 386-based PCs. – b3ta

Awards ISE Swan from the Internet Shakespeare Editions


How to play

These games are interactive fiction, or text adventures. Unlike graphical games, which are limited by hardware and software capabilities, these games use a technology of unsurpassed advancement - natural language - to project the images directly into your imagination.

You get a description of what is going on, and you give the game commands by typing them in simple English at the prompt at the bottom and pressing Enter. Including an exhaustive list of words the game understands would spoil your enjoyment of playing, but some simple commands are:

north, east, south, west, in, out, up, down
Walk in the specified direction. (You can abbreviate the compass directions to the letters n/e/s/w.)

Repeat the description of the room (or other location) you are in. Normally these will not be printed automatically after the first time you are in a room. If you want to see the descriptions every time, type verbose. To turn this off, type terse.

You can also look at (or x for examine) particular objects, characters, or parts of the scenery.

talk to (character)
Find out what one of the other characters in the game has to say. If you want to get more specific, you can ask them about specific topics, e.g. ask the ghost about Claudius.

take (object), drop (object)
Pick up or put down an object. To pick up everything you can see, or drop everything you are carrying, use take all or drop all.

inventory (or i)
Show a list of what you are carrying.

show (object) to (character)
Find out how a character reacts to a particular object, e.g. show skull to Horatio.

save (cookiename), load (cookiename)
This saves your game to a cookie so that you can restore from this point later with load. It's recommended that you do this before trying anything risky or irreversible! dir shows you a list of cookies.

Undoes your previous action. You can do this several times in a row.

The games understand many more commands and finding out what they are is part of the fun. Experiment!