Title           Photopia
Game Type       Adventure
Author          Adam Cadre
Players         1
Compatibility   All (with interpreter)
Submission      Joachim Froholt Profiled Reviewer

This will be my only Interactive Fiction review in the AGDB, mainly because
these reviews can be found elsewhere. Not because Interactive Fiction games
don't deserve being placed amongst Amiga classics, because they do.
At least some of them....well, one in particular: Photopia, by Adam Cadre.

Interactive fiction games (or IF for short) have usually one thing in
common: For people not used to scanning through every word for clues, they
are difficult to play. I have played countless of IF games, only to get
stuck at some point without the slightest idea of what to do next. This is
probably my fault, as I may not be able to "see" the situation well
enough, but it's annoying nonetheless. My pet hate is games where
important objects are hidden, say, under a (seemingly unimportant) object.
Like a key under a dresser. If there's something important about the
dresser, I expect the game to tell me this when I examine it instead of
forcing me to look under or behind the object. At the very least, it
should give me a hint about what might be under it. When a game hides
stuff like this, I get stuck and that's it. No more fun. People often
compare playing a text adventure to reading a good book. Well, if I'm
reading a book, I won't suddenly get stuck because I've missed a minor

OK. Photopia, then. It is probably obvious by now that this game does not
suffer from the aforementioned problems. You'll have played through this
game in an hour and a half. Perhaps I should stop calling Photopia a game.
Photopia is proper interactive fiction. A good book in which you can take
part. By this I mean that the emphasis is on the story, rather than the

If you load up Photopia expecting a traditional adventure, chances are
you'll be quite confused. Perhaps you even think the author is making
fun of you....I did. But when you get used to it, you'll love it and
quitting will be out of the question. The story will become more clear,
too, but don't expect to understand it all before the very last part.
In fact this is one of those games which will leave you thinking about it
even after you've finished playing it.

You're probably wondering why I have told you so little about the story.
The thing is that, well, you're not supposed to know much about it.
You start the game as one of two boys in a car. Your pal is driving fast,
too fast. Besides, he is drunk. As you pass a red light, everything
changes. You're Wendy Macaye, first girl on the red planet.
And so the story continues, shifting viewpoints along the way.
At first it seems as if the different stories you learn are totally
separate, but you'll eventually find that they are all connected.
They are all parts of the same story, a beautiful story about.....I've
said too much already. Download Photopia now.

You will need a program to play the story file. I reccomend Frotz,
which can be downloaded from the address below. Just copy the story file
(Photopia.z5) into the directory you've unarchived Frotz into and type (in
a cli window): Frotz Photopia.z5 ....but don't start playing Photopia
until you can do it undisturbed.

Please note that I think most IF games are fun and entertaining,
especially the easier ones. If I sounded a bit negative, it was just to
make a point and not to discourage anyone from trying IF games. If you
do decide to give IF a chance, it won't take you long to find some good
games to play. I think that few are as good as Photopia, but as this game
is so different, it isn't really fair of me to compare them to it. So, if
you're interested in interactive fiction (and if you can read, you should
be....), there is a "game" called z-files, which is essentially a
catalogue of games which will run with Frotz. Be sure to get the latest
update, though.

Game code (and more) available from:

This game requires an Inform Interpreter available from:

Workbench 1.3:

Category list.

Alphabetical list.