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Website / Adventure Games Live

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Adventure Games Live is an online suite of text-based Interactive Fiction games, hosted as part of Rinkworks. It was originally created by Samuel Stoddard, but over time the site has also accepted several user submissions. The following games are currently part of the site, several of which have their own entries on TV Tropes:

The site itself features examples of:

  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: All fatal moves can be undone.
  • Difficulty Levels: Each game is given a difficulty ranking out of 10, ranging from the Easier Than Easy (The Mystery of Brackly Hall, The Early Years) to the Nintendo Hard (The Perils of Akumos has a well-earned reputation as the hardest game on the site, if not one of the toughest text adventures ever written).
  • Escort Mission: Several of the games feature a version of this where you need to escort an NPC to another location, but for some reason you will not be able to take the most direct route (for example, in Escape from St. Mary's you need to take a sleeping child, but you can't go anywhere where you might be seen carrying him). Solving the puzzle will usually require finding a nonstandard route, but the aforementioned example is a further variant: you have to remove all the people who might see you carrying the child from the route. More Early Years features a fairly straight version of the trope with a unicorn in its final, newly-written game, although it will leave you if you deviate from the route so the only challenge is to remember the way back.
  • Featureless Protagonist: Averted by The Perils of Akumos, Trail of Anguish, Starlight Sacrifice, Escape from St. Mary's, Break Away and African Adventure, all of which feature named characters with backstories (quite extensive ones, in the case of the first three) as the player character; the player character of Outlaws of the Sierra Nevadas is male, but that is all we find out about them. Generally played straight by the other games.
  • Have a Nice Death: A staple of just about every single game.
  • Lock and Key Puzzle: Just about every single game, naturally, and often lampshaded by the narration.
  • Multiple Endings: Break Away has four different endings, Escape From St. Mary's has an alternate ending that requires you to find a secret area, and Assault on Vampire Island has several different endings for varying levels of success. Trail of Anguish does not have multiple endings, but has Story Branches based on which classes you choose to sign up for, meaning you have to play the game at least three times to see everything.
  • Player Nudge: There are four "general" hints: make sure you've been everywhere; make sure you've tried every available option; try drawing a map; try selecting some options more than once (or multiple options in a specific order). Each game also has a hints page that gives clues for specific puzzles.
  • Recurring Element: The option to "Be weird" appears in many of Samuel Stoddard's adventures, to the point that More Early Years included a list of all of them (and the resultant actions) as a bonus feature.
  • Serial Escalation: Starlight Sacrifice, the conclusion to the trilogy started in The Perils of Akumos and Trail of Anguish, has been in development since 2001, and is described by its creator as the biggest text adventure game ever created. The programming language for Adventure Games Live had to be updated especially for it. The currently playable demo covers a tiny part of the full game, and yet is even bigger than several of the completed games on the website. The code for the full game, should it ever be released, is several times larger than all of the other games on the site put together, although a lot of that is due to unique game features such as the glossary and chapter summaries.
  • Signature Style: Andrew Walters' games feature richly developed plots and backstories, puzzles that can be done in an interchangeable order and minor instances of Story Branching to increase Replay Value.
  • Unwinnable by Design: Averted. A stipulation of all the games is that you cannot be in a situation where it is impossible to win.