And Then You Come To A House Not Unlike The Previous One is an entrant in the 2021 Interactive Fiction Competition. All of the entries can be browsed and experienced here.
And Then You Come To A House Not Unlike The Previous One is one of the best text adventure games that I’ve ever played and since the joy of discovery is one of the best things about this game, I don’t want to spoil too much of it in this review. In this game, the time is the distant past. You are Emerson and you’re fourteen years old. Your best friend is a girl named Riley. Riley will soon be moving all the way to Wisconsin. As the game begins, you bicylce over to her house. As it rains outside, you two play the games on her computer.
Will you try to beat Infinite Adventure, a series of seemingly simple games where you have to solve puzzles to advance to the next adventure? Will you once again play the Wizardry knock-off, the one where you kills monsters and find junk? Will you try out the educational game that Riley’s mother is testing? Or will you get really brave and risk the sordid world of strip poker? It sounds simple but there’s a catch. All of the games are connected and your future and Riley’s future will be determined by the decisions you make.
This is an ingeniously clever game and it will spark nostalgia for the days when everyone owned a bulky personal computer and crude graphics were the only thing that was needed to spark a player’s imagination. But it’s also a game about friendship, love, and growing up. It’s also not an unnecessarily difficult game and your patience will be rewarded. I got one of the good endings and I’ve never felt happier about how an IF game ended. The film is full of great characters, from Riley to the people who you meet while playing the games on Riley’s computer. I can’t wait to play this one again and see what I may have missed the first time around.