Infocom, founded in 1979, is the shining light in the history of commercially-released InteractiveFiction games. Beginning with ''VideoGame/{{Zork}}'' in 1980, the company released over thirty games, many of which are still played.

The company's strengths included technical innovation (their TextParser was the best in the business, and the z-code data format Infocom created is a popular choice for distributing new IF games to this day), rich storytelling, and creative packaging (most Infocom games shipped with "{{feelies}}", thematically-related props which might form part of the CopyProtection system, constitute clues, give extra background information, or just be included for the lulz).

In 1986, struggling with competition from video games with fancy graphics and badly damaged by an ill-fated foray into the business software market, Infocom was bought by Activision. Shortly after the acquisition, Infocom's champion on the Activision board left the company, and his successor [[ExecutiveMeddling spent three years "improving" Infocom]] before pulling the plug in 1989.

These days many of their games are available on {{Abandonware}} sites - indeed the games (being entirely text) are ''incredibly'' small files by today's standards. ''VideoGame/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'', which was a very verbose game, is only 128k - smaller than most modern digital pictures.

!! Infocom was the {{Trope Namer|s}} for:
* {{Feelies}}
* InteractiveFiction
!! Recurring tropes in Infocom games:

* ArcNumber: 69,105
* DevelopersForesight: Infocom's parsers were incredibly smart, probably due to having more memory to work with as the games didn't have any graphics.
* EasterEgg
* FeaturelessProtagonist
* {{Feelies}}
* FictionalDocument
* GuideDangIt: Many of the games were DEVILISHLY hard, but particularly: [[VideoGame/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy Babel Fish]]
* InteractiveFiction
* InventoryManagementPuzzle
* KleptomaniacHero
* LockedDoor
* SecondPersonNarration
* UnwinnableByDesign: Infocom actually [[Infocom/UnwinnableByDesign have their own page]] and their games rarely rated ''above'' "Nasty", and were more often than not "Cruel".
!!Infocom games with their own trope pages include:

* ''VideoGame/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy''
* ''VideoGame/HollywoodHijinx''
* ''VideoGame/{{Infidel}}''
* ''VideoGame/LeatherGoddessesOfPhobos''
* ''VideoGame/TheLurkingHorror''
* ''VideoGame/AMindForeverVoyaging''
* ''VideoGame/{{Planetfall}}'' (and ''Stationfall'')
* ''VideoGame/PlunderedHearts''
* ''VideoGame/QuarterstaffTheTombOfSetmoth''
* ''VideoGame/{{Suspended}}''
* ''[[VideoGame/AstekaIITemploDelSol Tombs & Treasure]]''
* ''VideoGame/{{Trinity}}''
* The ''VideoGame/{{Zork}}'' series
** The ''VideoGame/{{Enchanter}}'' trilogy
** ''VideoGame/{{Wishbringer}}''
** ''VideoGame/ZorkZero''
** ''VideoGame/ZorkQuestAssaultOnEgrethCastle''
** ''VideoGame/ZorkQuestTheCrystalOfDoom''
** ''VideoGame/ReturnToZork''
** ''VideoGame/ZorkNemesis''
** ''VideoGame/ZorkGrandInquisitor''

!!Tropes relating to individual games that don't have their own pages:

* AllHallowsEve: ''Suspect'' takes place in a Halloween costume ball... at the time that a murder has already occurred... a murder you're falsely accused of committing.
* BigDumbObject: Forms most of the plot of ''Starcross''.
* CluelessDetective: In ''Ballyhoo''.
* CriminalMindGames: In ''Sherlock: The Riddle of the Crown Jewels''.
* DeadPersonImpersonation: At the beginning of ''Suspect'', [[spoiler:you notice that Veronica Ashcroft-Wellman has been acting strangely... until you eventually discover that your old schoolfriend, Alicia Barron, was posing as Veronica, which means that the real Veronica had already been murdered right before the start of the game.]]
* DifficultyLevels: Early in ''Moonmist'', the player is asked their favorite color, and the answer determines which of four different mysteries (differing in complexity, and each with a different guilty party and a different reward) the game subsequently presents to the player. The options in order of ascending difficulty are green, blue, red, or yellow.
* EverybodyLives: Including [[spoiler:the villain]] in ''Seastalker''. This can also occur at the end of ''Ballyhoo'' if you play the cards right.
* FakingTheDead: In the red variation of ''Moonmist'', we discover that [[spoiler:Lord Jack Tresyllian attempted to kill his former fiancée, Deirdre Hallam, after murdering his uncle Lionel for his inheritance and fortune. However, she escaped Jack's clutches by jumping into the well in the castle basement and swimming her way to safety, thus faking her own murder and setting the one reason for "NeverFoundTheBody"; she then masqueraded as the legendary "White Lady" in her effort to haunt Jack and her successor Tamara Lynd.]]
* FissionMailed: In ''Ballyhoo'', if you fall "awkwardly" down from the wagon cage, you get a "*** You have died.***" message that appears like any normal Game Over screen... except that there is no "Would you like to restore, restart or quit?" message at all. If you move your body and get all items you may have left near the cage, you get this message:
-->([[ReportsOfMyDeathWereGreatlyExaggerated The reports of your demise have been grossly exaggerated.]] You suffer little more than injured pride.)
* ForeignRemake: In 1992, six years after the original ''Moonmist'', Japanese software development company [=SystemSoft=] developed and published its [[http://pc98library.tistory.com/1571 remake for]] [[UsefulNotes/PC98 the PC-9801]] entitled ''Moonmist: Shiroki Kifujin no Nazo'' (ムーンミスト ~白き貴夫人の謎~; ''[[TheForeignSubtitle Moonmist: The Mystery of the Noble White Lady]]''). Unlike the original, this game has some of the most common verb commands ("look", "take", etc.) that can be accessed by pressing a corresponding button (the player still has to type the name of an object, though), and enchanced graphics for the unique background pictures on which the text is super-imposed.
* GoingByTheMatchbook: One of the {{Feelies}} in ''The Witness''.
* HelloInsertNameHere:
** ''Moonmist'' asks you for your name and title at the beginning.
** Some computer versions of ''Seastalker'' allow you to type in your first and last name at the very beginning.
** ''Bureaucracy'' allows you to fill out your full name along with the name and number of your street, city and state and your PurelyAestheticGender and so forth at the very beginning.
* InCaseYouForgotWhoWroteIt: ''James Clavell's Shogun'', which James Clavell didn't have an active hand in adapting.
* KnockKnockJoke: One of the levels ("Act the Part") has some of these in ''Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head or Tail of It''.
* LiteralMinded: In ''Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head or Tail of It'', you have to get past all the idioms by being literal-minded in three of the stages (Buy the Farm, Eat Your Words, and [[TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon Meet the Mayor]]).
* MasqueradeBall: The setting of ''Suspect''.
* NeverFoundTheBody: We are told in ''Moonmist'' that Deirdre Hallam apparently died when she allegedly jumped or fell into a deep well at the basement of Tresyllian Castle, and her body was never found, [[spoiler:although it is later revealed in the red variation that she was actually FakingTheDead.]]
* ThePasswordIsAlwaysSwordfish: It is in ''Sherlock: The Riddle of the Crown Jewels'', anyway.
* PostModernism: In ''Deadline'', the player finds a novelization of the game within the game.
* PublicDomainCharacter: Each of the "Immortal Legends" games. ''Sherlock: The Riddle of the Crown Jewels'' features Franchise/SherlockHolmes and related characters; ''Arthur: The Quest for Excalibur'' does likewise for Myth/KingArthur.
* PurelyAestheticGender:
** A bit of a difference depending on which version of ''Moonmist'' you've played: while the original game only has you customize your character in the forms of HelloInsertNameHere and SchrodingersGun, the [[UsefulNotes/PC98 PC-9801 version]] not only ditched the prefix in place of this "Purely Aesthetic Gender" (with an option of either male, female or "okama", i.e., DragQueen), but it also allowed you to type in the number of your age!
** ''Bureaucracy'' also starts out a bit like ''Moonmist'', except that it also customizes your protagonist in the form of HelloInsertNameHere and others such as your street, city, state and zip code and so forth.
** Combined with SchrodingersGun: In ''Ballyhoo'', your player's gender is indeterminate as you explore, but eventually you'll come across a punch-dotted ticket, with a blue dot for male and a pink one for female. Whichever dot you punch out as you put the ticket into the slot retroactively becomes the correct answer.
* RedHerring: Lampshaded in ''Deadline''. The dead man's son George acts very suspicious. However, if you enter the dining room when he's there, you will witness him eating a plate of red herrings. [[spoiler:Needless to say, he's innocent of the murder.]]
* {{Ruritania}}: Frobnia in ''Border Zone''.
* ShoutOut: In the yellow variation of ''Moonmist'', three of the four clues you are sent to find are references to the works of Creator/EdgarAllanPoe, namely, "The Bells", "Annabel Lee", and "Literature/TheCaskOfAmontillado".
* {{Spoonerism}}: One of the stages has quite a lot of it in ''Nord and Bert''.
* WorldOfPun[=/=][[WorldOfSymbolism Symbolism]]: Dear Lord, there's quite a lot in ''Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head or Tail of It''.