Úrquel: The Black Dragon (David T. Marchand)

“I have to congratulate you, squire,” you say. “Very well thought out.” – [In game text]

(via auntie pixelante)

[Play online (HTML)]


  1. I really really like this one. Messes with the format in cool ways without screwing it all up. Rad as hell.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Terry!

    Have any of you guys thought about having more tags on this posts? Like, “text game” or something like that for this kind of games? Or is FIG anti-genre?

  3. Oh, wow, this is really sharp. The perspectival shift is interesting enough — especially the bit of cognitive dissonance it provokes before you’ve figured out what’s going on — but it becomes extra interesting once some of the key actions are placed off-screen. It’s like the parser knows more than you do (“pick up seal?” what seal?), but since it’s all following genre conventions you can intuit exactly what information is missing. (The optional insubordination subplot is also a treat, along with the Quixote-style obliviousness of our ostensible hero.)

    I wonder what it might take to pull off something similar in a different game genre, whether that could possibly be satisfying.

    • Thanks! Glad to hear some comment on the multiple-endingness of this (it has 4 endings, everyone). The perspectival shift (ooh I like the sound of that) generally takes all the attention.

      The hero-kills-dragon-saves-princess plot is there exactly to make things simple and predictable when the POV-switch gets confusing, so I’m happy that was transparent enough.

      I found Help the Hero to have a similar plot, though the game’s kinda silly. Virtually any genre, I think, could have a heroic NPC that follows you and automatically does the slaying/rescuing while you solve seemingly minor challenges.

      The interface giving you information you otherwise wouldn’t see is definitely out of IF’s reach, but other types of games could pull it off. I’m thinking in a playable version of the idol-stealing sequence in The Secret of Monkey Island.