Video Game / Shade

Shade is a one-room Interactive Fiction game by Andrew Plotkin that takes place in the player character's apartment the night before a planned trip to an arts festival. Your ostensible goals are to complete your household chores and make sure that you have everything ready for your trip. Of course, things become more complicated later on...

To say anything more would spoil this game's unique playing experience; in fact, most of the tropes listed below are major spoilers in name alone, so it's strongly recommended to play through the game at least once before reading them (and the YMMV page).

You can download the game here or play it online here.

This game contains the following tropes:

  • But Thou Must!: Either you do the actions required to advance the plot, or you stay stuck until you do.
  • Creepy Changing Painting: Over the course of the game, your hyacinth plant turns into a spider plant, then a fern, and finally a cactus.
  • Dream Apocalypse: Made even creepier by how you seem to actually be exulting in smashing the remnants of your doomed dream midway through the game.
  • Foreshadowing: Your thirst at the beginning of the game, the radio broadcast about people missing in the desert, the helicopter you hear passing over your apartment...
  • Hope Spot: You find yourself back in an intact apartment after seemingly turning almost everything in it to sand, and you hear the sound of your taxi ride to the airport pulling up outside. Except that when you try to do anything, your entire apartment vanishes, leaving you stranded in the desert.
  • Last Place You Look: Your airplane tickets will always be in the last of three possible locations you search.
  • Mind Screw: Okay, you're most likely suffering from a near-death hallucination in the desert, but what's up with the shadow that tries to hide from you, is harmed if you so much as speak to it, and says "it's my turn now" when it's supposedly "dead"?
  • One-Word Title