By Craig Smith
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[*Warning* Playing Frotz involves reading, thinking, and typing. If you just want to blow stuff up, this is not the app for you!]
Burned out on all the new-fangled graphics and dazzling eye candy on your shiny new iPhone or iPad? Nostalgic for a simpler time? Then take advantage of those crisp high-resolution fonts to relive the glory days of the Great Underground Empire, or play any of hundreds of great works from the Interactive Fiction archive.
Frotz lets you play free works of Interactive Fiction (a.k.a. text adventure games) on your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.
Frotz plays titles written in the Z-Machine format. This format was invented by Infocom and was used to produce classic text adventures from the 80s such as the Zork Trilogy, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and Trinity.
In the past decade, text adventures have experienced a renaissance due to the efforts of a diverse Internet community of talented interactive fiction writers and fans. Many of these games are written using the same engine that powered Infocom's titles, thanks to the Inform compiler and authoring system created by Graham Nelson.
NOTE! If you have suggestions for improving Frotz or encounter bugs, please go to the support link and report them. I have no way to respond if you only report bugs in reviews!
Frotz for iOS - Interactive Fiction at Your Fingertips
What's New in Version 1.8
- Now plays TADS games (v2/v3)
- Improved support for iOS 9 and 10
- Performance improvements / 64-bit support
- Various bug fixes
Fun to play, functional, some improvements can be made.
I have enjoyed Frotz for the most part. My only complaint is that many games are intended to be played with specific features that are not included here. For instance: The Dreamhold is intended to have a built in map that develops as you explore, which is not included. This made the game more difficult, however, I was able to finish (with some help from the interweb). Another example: Photopia is intended to be played with multicolor text which is not included here. I have not played much Photopia yet, so I'm not sure how this will affect gameplay. My experience has been that these problems make the games convenient, but never impossible. As for praise: I have had nothing but fun playing the games here, and the app moves smoothly. The catalog of games is very impressive and I can't wait to play them all!
Yay for TADS support
Haven't played interactive fiction in a few years, but it's always something I return to. I love how it engages both my creative imagination and my logical pragmatism. Writing a review mostly because I want to thank the developer for making TADS games available on iOS. As far as I know, there's no real way to play these games accessibly on a Mac, and many games I loved were in TADS format. Now that I have them available on iOS, I've been called back to these stories once more. Supporting Glulx is nice, too. Off to replay some favorites.
This app will open a whole new world to you. It's like having a Kindle app, but everything is free, and you can influence the books. There are thousands of interactive stories written over several decades. With the new update letting you play TADS games, I recommend Babel, Worlds Apart, Glowgrass, Sunset Over Savannah, She's Got a Thing for a Spring, Walker and Silhoutte, All Hope Abandon, Losing Your Grip, Once and Future, and The Legend Lives