Foreword

After eleven years of collecting IF-games, I realised that it would be helpful to have a collectorīs guide. Why ?

1. It would be helpful for beginners to check out which packages could be collected. Most of them had never heard about "folios", "limited editions" and so on. So they could use the guide as a source for information about their hobby.
2. I think that itīs time to clean up with "pirate-prices". After following the "IF-market" in the Internet and the shops, I see that some dealers take too much from their customers. I know that I may ruin some good deals, but I decided to include the prices in the guide depending on the reason above.
3. When you pick up (or trade) a new item you have never seen before, you can check its completeness with the guide. So you wonīt pay too much for an incomplete package. You can also check out the edition.

What you read here is a beginning. I tried to include the most important information for collectors, although I know that it is very incomplete. There are many games/items missing here, but, as I said, it is a beginning. If you have any suggestions for new games or companies, corrections or something else, please let me know. The more feedback I get the better the next edition. I am updating the guide every year.

Now I wish you as much fun browsing through the games as I had compiling them.

Enjoy,

Manuel Schulz,
August, 15th 1998,
Updated for the web on June, 7th 2001

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Some definitions

It is necesarry to list some definitions, because I want to explain why some games are included in this guide while other arenīt. For many times, people tried to find a definiton for Interactive Fiction, so I donīt want to define IF itself, but I want to list Miron Schmidtīs definitons for adventure games - the genre in wich Interactive Fiction lies.

Adventure Game
An Adventure Game is a game in which the player communicates directly with the protagonist/s, giving him/her/it/them commands in order to manipulate the surroundings.

Text Adventure Game
A Text Adventure Game is an Adventure Game which accepts textured input and outputs text.

Graphic Adventure Game
A Graphic Adventure Game is an Adventure Game that contains graphics.

Pure Text Adventure Game
A Pure Text Adventure Game is a Textadventure Game that featured no "painted" graphics whatsoever. Any Text Adventure Game that can be won i.e. played through from beginning to end without seeing any kind of graphics qualifies as a pure Text Adventure Game.

Hybrid Text Adventure Game
A Hybrid Text Adventure Game is an Adventure Game that qualifies as a Text Adventure Game, but features graphics in the course of the game, however a Hybrid Text Adventure Game does not rely on the Graphics: the game can be won i.e. played through from beginning to end without ever having to look at any kind of graphics.

Graphical Text Adventure Game
A Graphical Text Adventure Game is a Text Adventure Game that features and relies on static graphics. That means at one or more points in the game it is necesary to study and possibly manipulate the graphics.

Animated Graphical Text Adventure Game
An Animated Graphical Text Adventure Game is a Graphical Text Adventure Game in which the major part of the display is composed of animated graphics.

Interactive Fiction
Interactive Fiction lies between Pure Text and Hybrid Text Adventure Games.

In this guide I included all kinds of Text Adventure Games up to Hybrid Text Adventures. Some of the Graphical Text Adventures are also included, but only for the sake of completeness. There arenīt any Animated Graphical Text Adventures listed in this guide.

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The Guide

First of all I want to explain the categories in the guide. Each page features two games on it.

Characterisation A characterisation is necessary to distinguish different packaging versions of the game. E.g. Infocomīs Zork came in more than three different versions (barbarian, folio, grey-box, etc.). I tried to choose the most known name. Another reason of the characterisation is to shorten a long name.
Release Date It is impossible to find the original day of the release. Mostly I wrote the year, sometimes the month.
Publisher Many manufacturers were not able to publish their titles themselves. If there are two manufacturers listed, means that the game was published by two publishers in different time periods.
Systems I used a numeric code for the platforms. See "Key for the Systems" - section.
Media There were many different media in the past. I listed the disk-dimension (5.25", 3.5") or the medium itself (tape, Microdrive, cartridge, etc.).
Production until Describes the year until the game was available.
Packaging The games came in many different packages of different material. I tried to explain it, e.g. Plastic box, Cardboard folder, etc.
Dimensions Shows the dimensions of the mentioned box/folder etc.
Contents Thatīs the list of all packaging elements. Beside instructions and medium are often several props. I had to be short, so I only listed the name and/or the type of the prop.
Value Read more about value and the "sno-rating" on page 8
Relations Often games appear in a sampler or remake. I listed the page with an "u" or "l" behind it, which means that the game is on the upper or the lower part of the page. E.g. 103u means the sampler/package on page 103, the upper game.

If there are InvisiClues or Books listed, I added or exchanged some categories. New are:

Author Lists the author of the related book
ISBN Every book has an International Serial Book Number, making it easier for stores to find them.
Pages Self-explaining.

Infocomīs InvisiClues have two different dimesions: the first one with package, the second one only the book.

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Key for the Systems

To shorten the list of implemented Systems, I decided to use a numeric code for them. The numbers relate to the following systems:

0 = Amstrad CPC
1 = Apricot
2 = Apple II
3 = Apple Macintosh
4 = Apple Iigs
5 = Atari XL/XE
6 = Atari ST
7 = BBC
8 = Commodore 16
9 = Commodore Plus 4
10 = Commodore 64
11 = Commodore 128
12 = Commodore Amiga
13 = CP/M
14 = PDP 9/10/11
15 = DEC Rainbow
16 = Epson QX-10
17 = IBM + Compatible with MS-DOS 2.0 or higher
18 = Kaypro II
19 = NEC PC-8000
20 = NEC APC
21 = Osborne
22 = TRS-80 Model I
23 = TRS-80 Model III
24 = TI Professional
25 = TI 99/4 A
26 = Tandy 2000
27 = DEC Mate
28 = Acron Archimedes
29 = Sinclair QL
30 = Sinclair Spectrum
31 = Memotech MSX
32 = Nascom
33 = Oric - 1
34 = Lynx
35 = Atari 400/800
36 = Commodore PET
37 = Commodore VC-20
38 = Electron
39 = Dragon 32
40 = TRS-80 Color Computer

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Value and Conditions

It is very difficult to rate the value of each game today, but after following the "IF-market" very exactly and talking/emailing with the most important dealers, I hope I am able to write down the prices. To avoid paying the same price for different packaging conditions, I introduced the "sno-rating". The sno-rating is a code including price and condition as follows:

s shrinkwrapped (mint condition)
n near mint condition (already opend, but no tears, nicks or damages - "perfect".)
o other (here i rated the top price for other conditions like damages or missing props. The more damage the lower.)

Each character follows a numer. This number stands for the price in U.S. Dollar. E.g. s80 means that the value for this game is $80 (U.S.) in shrinkwrapped mint condition.

The price depends on manufactured copies and demand.

On Infocom Invisiclues, you will see different price ranges. They came in a blister pack with a map and a pen. Unopened InvisiClues are hard to find, so the price is higher than for opened ones. Undeveloped means that the invisible ink of the clue book has not been developed with the marker. Undeveloped ones are harder to find than developed books, so the price is higher. All the prices are only for complete books (InvisiClue, map and pen).

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