The Waiting Room is an entrant in the 2021 Interactive Fiction Competition. All of the entries can be browsed and experienced here.
In The Waiting Room, you have just been hired work at a nursing home. From the minute you show up for your first day, it seems like something is off. The lights keep flickering. A patient named Ethel says she needs help but your co-worker, Austin, orders you to ignore her. The night nurse, Maria, refuses to go in the back hallway. The patients all say that the nursing home is haunted by shadow people, waiting to abduct the dying.
Can you solve the mystery? That’s up to you. One of the things that I like about The Waiting Room is that it actually is a work of interactive fiction. The choicse that you make actually do effect the direction of the story. How the game ends will depend on how brave or cowardly you decide to be. Will you be a compassionate caregiver or will you be cruel and self-centered? The choice is yours but there are consequences for each choice.
The Waiting Room is a well written twine game. (If you’ve never played a twine game, they’re like the old Choose Your Own Adventure books, just with more options and details.) There have been a lot of good IF gams about haunted house and the atmospheric The Waiting Room brings to mind some of the best of them while also establishing its own identity. There are a few puzzles to be solved but they’re not extremely difficult. Instead, the emphasis is just on making the right decisions when it comes to dealing with both the living and the dead.