Inform 7, the new version of Graham Nelson's interactive fiction language, is nearing its public beta. As a lead-in to that, Graham Nelson and Emily Short have released three short games written with I7.
Graham Nelson's game is The Reliques of Tolti-Aph. Its description:
It used to be said that there are two kinds of magic-user: those who have been to Tolti-Aph, and charlatans. It used to be generally understood that the attempt to prove oneself in the unforgiving society of Tolti-Aph was a bid for rapid level advancement or else romantic, thin-young-mage-in-midnight-black-robes death. The closer you get to the wilderness island vaguely marked 'Tholtaff' on the agate globe in your great-great-grandfather's study, the better the alternative sounds: settling down in some coastal village, perhaps, a little weathermongering, some polymancy, and helping out with the nets after a bad storm. Retire at maybe level 3, with most of your experience points gained from observing rare fish-based poisons carry off those villagers careless about gutting. Publish an awesomely tedious monograph on the correct usage of the 'untangle rigging' spell. You know, the good life.
14 AD. Agrippa Postumus, grandson of the recently-deceased Augustus, tries to avoid death at the hands of the next emperor, Tiberius. At his disposal: a couple of old manuscripts, a lamp, and a recalcitrant slave. And a powerful knowledge of the Art of Venus Genetrix, of course -- the magic eventually known as the Lavori d'Aracne.
Her second game is Bronze.
When the seventh day comes and it is time for you to return to the castle in the forest, your sisters cling to your sleeves.
'Don't go back,' they say, and 'When will we ever see you again?' But since they've filled the time by telling you every word spoken to them by every male in the village, you imagine they will find consolation somewhere.
Your father hangs back, silent and moody. He has spent the week as far from you as possible, working until late at night. Now he speaks only to ask whether the Beast treated you 'properly.' From his tone of voice, he is obviously inquiring after your virtue, not anything so irrelevant as your health, comfort, or peace of mind.
You might not have thought it possible, but you are looking forward to getting back...
Hopefully these three games will give people a taste of what I7 will be able to do.
The new issue of Terra d'If, the Italian interactive fiction e-zine, is now available.