Top Fifty IF Stories for Kids

The Top Fifty-One Works of Interactive Fiction
(In One Person’s Opinion)
For People Aged 10-16, and Older

If you’re having trouble finding a story on the Interactive Fiction Archive, search for it in The Interactive Fiction Database (http://ifdb.tads.org). In fact, you may be happier if you simply start at the IF Database. At the IF Database, many stories, on their main pages, have a link that allows you to try the story online.  To save your progress when playing online, type “Save,” follow the prompts. If you don’t get any prompts, bookmark the page after you’ve typed “Save.” and then bookmark the page. For information on obtaining commercial stories from the publisher called Infocom, see the section on Obtaining Interactive Fiction.

  1. Arthur: the Quest for Excalibur by Bob Bates, a well-plotted version of the story of King Arthur as a boy, excellent for middle school (Available in Masterpieces of Infocom and other collections of Infocom stories, often Offered at ebay and Amazon)
  2. Lost Pig by Admiral Jota, an award-winning, comic story in which the reader plays the role of an orc. (Available at the IF Archive and IF Database)
  3. Wishbringer by Brian Moriatry, a rather gentle fantasy adventure, excellent for middle school (Available in Masterpieces of Infocom)
  4. The Firebird by Bonnie Montgomery, a comic retelling of the Russian folk tale, excellent for middle school (Available at the Interactive Fiction Archive, and at the IF Database)
  5. Winter Wonderland by Laura Knauth, a finely-crafted winter solstice story, excellent for middle school (Available at the Interactive Fiction Archive, http://www.ifarchive.org and at the Interactive Fiction Database.)
  6. A Bear’s Night Out by David Dyte, a funny story of a teddy bear who comes to life (Available at the Interactive Fiction Archive, and at the Interactive Fiction Database)
  7. The Earth and Sky Trilogy–Earth and Sky by Paul O’Brian, three comic superhero stories (Available at the Interactive Fiction Archive, http://www.ifarchive.org)
  8. The Earth and Sky Trilogy–Another Earth, Another Sky by Paul O’Brian, three comic superhero stories (Available at the Interactive Fiction Archive, http://www.ifarchive.org)
  9. The Earth and Sky Trilogy–Luminous Horizon by Paul O’Brian, three comic superhero stories (Available at the Interactive Fiction Archive, http://www.ifarchive.org)
  10. Mother Loose by Irene Callaci, an amusing retelling of some classic fairy tales, excellent for middle school (Available at the Interactive Fiction Archive, http://www.ifarchive.org)
  11. Mrs. Pepper’s Nasty Secret by Eric Eve and Jim Aiken, a clever and lighthearted puzzle-fest, good for beginners. (Available at http://ifdb.tads.org/viewgame?id=dcvk7bgbqeb0a71s)
  12. Untold Riches by Jason Ermer, a funny sendup of adventure stories, written for a middle-school classroom. (Available at the IF Database, http://ifdb.tads.org)
  13. The Matter of the Monster by Andrew Plotkin, an inventive variation on the “Choose Your Own Adventure” type of story. Quite brief and very enjoyable.

Toresal

  1. Jack Toresal and the Secret Letter by Michael Gentry, an exciting interactive novel with a suspenseful plot and wonderfully interactive characers (Available for purchase at http://textfyre.itch.io/jack-toresal-and-the-secret-letter)
  2. Bonehead by Sean M. Shore, the mostly-true story of Fred Merkle, who made one of major league baseball’s most famous mistakes. (Available in the IF Archive and in the IF Database)
  3. Aoteoroa by Matt Wingall, a lively tale of the modern world–with dinosaurs. (Available in the IF Archive and in the IF Database)
  4. History Repeating by Mark and Renee Choba, a time travel story about a man who neglected an important assignment in his high school history class (Available at the Interactive Fiction Archive, http://www.ifarchive.org)
  5. Moonmist by Jim Lawrence and Stu Gally, a mystery for kids, set in a Cornish castle, good for middle school (Available in Masterpieces of Infocom)
  6. Zork I by Marc Blank and Dave Lebling, a fantasy treasure hunt (Available at the IF Database)
  7. The One That Got Away by Leon Lin, a brief, funny story about fishing (Available at the Interactive Fiction Database)
  8. Small World by Andrew Pontius, a fantasy about a boy who sets a mixed up world right (Available at the Interactive Fiction Archive, http://www.ifarchive.org)
  9. The Magic Toyshop by Gareth Rees, an imaginative puzzle fest (Available at the Interactive Fiction Database)
  10. Mingsheng by Deane Saunders, a sometimes mystical story, always gentle story involving martial arts (Available at the Interactive Fiction Archive, http://www.ifarchive.org)
  11. Dragon Adventure by William Stott, an adventure story for children aged nine and up (Available at the Interactive Fiction Archive, http://www.ifarchive.org)
  12. The Great Xavio by Reese Warner, a comic detective story (Available at the Interactive Fiction Archive, http://www.ifarchive.org)

Bronze

  1. Bronze by Emily Short, a Gothic retelling of Beauty and the Beast, with some relatively mild references to sexuality and, in its original version, other material that is inappropriate for younger children. (A specially-edited version for mature young people is available at http://inform7.com/teach/downloads/Bronze.z8.zip)
  2. Dreamhold by Andrew Plotkin, a difficult fantasy story with help for beginners (Available at the Interactive Fiction Archive, http://www.ifarchive.org)
  3. The Lost Islands of Alabaz by Michael Gentry, an action-packed fantasy tale (Available at the IF Archive and at the IF Database)

Promise

  1. The Promise by Sean Huxter, a fantasy story that may remind you of a movie called The Secret of Kells (Available at the IF Archive and at the IF Database)
  2. The Shadow in the Cathedral by Ian Finley and John Ingold, a fantasy puzzle fest with a compelling plot (Available for purchase at http://textfyre.itch.io/the-shadow-in-the-cathedral)

seastalker

  1. Seastalker by Stu Galley and Jim Lawrence, adventure in a futuristic submarine, good for middle school (Available in Masterpieces of Infocom)
  2. The Orion Agenda by Ryan Weisenberger, a Star-Trek-like story of a distant planet (Available at the Interactive Fiction Archive, http://www.ifarchive.org)
  3. Taco Fiction by Ryan Veeder (2011), a young man plans on making a big mistake, but thinks better of it. Recommended for older kids, sixteen and up. (Available at the Interactive Fiction Archive, http://www.ifarchive.org)
  4. At the Bottom of the Garden by Adam Biltcliff, a comic tale of an invasion by miniature dragons (Available at the Interactive Fiction Archive, http://www.ifarchive.org)
  5. Arrival by Stephen Granade, funny sendup of low-budget science fiction movies (Available at the Interactive Fiction Archive, http://www.ifarchive.org)

planetfall

  1. Plantefall by Steve Meretzsky, a comic science fiction story with some tough puzzles, good for high school (Available in Masterpieces of Infocom)
  2. Zork III by Marc Blank and Dave Lebling, a fantasy story with interesting character interaction. (Available at http://www.csd.uwo.ca/Infocom/games.html)
  3. Sherlock: the Riddle of the Crown Jewels by Bob Bates, a complex mystery with a realistic map of Victorian London (Available in Masterpieces of Infocom)
  4. MythTale by Temari Seikaiha, a clever blending of several Greek myths (Available at the Interactive Fiction Archive, http://www.ifarchive.org)

worlds_apart

  1. Worlds Apart by Suzanne Britton, an extraordinarily rich fantasy story for skilled readers (Available at the Interactive Fiction Archive, http://www.ifarchive.org)
  2. The Meteor, the Stone, and a Long Glass of Sherbet by Graham Nelson, a funny and cohesive fantasy tale (Available at the Interactive Fiction Archive, http://www.ifarchive.org)
  3. You’ve Got a Stew Going by Ryan Veeder (2011), funny tale with a rat progagonist. (Available at the IF Archive and at the IF Database.)
  4. Spider and Web by Andrew Plotkin, a spy story with an unusual plot structure and theme, ideal for skilled readers (Available at the Interactive Fiction Archive, http://www.ifarchive.org)
  5. Wetlands by Clara Raubertas, a rather difficult fantasy story with lots of atmosphere (Available at the IF Database, http://ifdb.tads.org)
  6. Moon-Shaped by Jason Ermer, a compelling, somewhat Gothic fairy tale. Though sad and intense, this story is accessible to a good many teenagers.   (Available at the Interactive Fiction Archive, http://www.ifarchive.org)
  7. Zork II by Marc Blank and Dave Lebling, a challenging fantasy treasure hunt with an amusing wizard character (Available in Masterpieces of Infocom)
  8. Hoist Sail for the Heliopause and Home by Andrew Plotkin (2010), a graceful space-exploration fantasy. Best for older students who have some literary-analysis skills. (Available at the Interactive Fiction Archive and the Interactive Fiction Database.)
  9. Beyond Zork by Brian Moriaty, a detailed and difficult fantasy tale, with some options for shaping the player-character, good for high school (Available in Masterpieces of Infocom)
  10. It by Emily Boegheim (2011) Read an appealing story and learn to play “sardines.” (Available at the IF Archive and at the IF Database.)
  11. The Beetmonger’s Journal by Scott Sharkey, well-written, enjoyable tale of archeology (Available at the Interactive Fiction Archive, http://www.ifarchive.org)
    tales
  12. Tales of the Traveling Swordsman by Mike Snyder, a swashbuckling adventure with a twist at the end (Available at the Interactive Fiction Archive, http://www.ifarchive.org)
  13. Six by Wade Clarke (2011), playful story with a six-year-old protagonist. Second Place in the 2011 Fall IF Competition. (Available at the IF Database, http://ifdb.tads.org)