Shade by Andrew Plotkin

"A one-room game set in your apartment." [--blurb from Competition Aught-Zero]
Information in this game listing is copyright Emily Short, David Welbourn, Paul O'Brian, Zarf, Edward Lacey, is taken from IFDB, and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.
Review by roni_sabisch
09 Apr 2019
Boring game with a boring ending.

Review by thecanvasrose
22 Dec 2018
I'm not sure I'd call 'Shade' a fun or entertaining game, but it is complex and provocative, with much to appreciate about it. I'd recommend it to just about anyone, and the ending is very clever. It's creepy, but not horror, and a little tricky to solve, but not crammed with puzzles. (Sometimes IF can be a little too puzzle-dense? Or is that just me?) It's definitely going to give me some weird, freaky sand related dreams tonight; I played this game a little past 1 am, not being able to sleep.

Review by Stripes
23 Nov 2017
Wow! Surprisingly good, though I did get confused enough to look up a walkthrough. The ending may seem random to some, but if you really think about it, it all makes sense. Wonderful job!

Review by GameofChocolate
16 Jul 2017
It was clever and well-written but I ended up getting lost, having had a look at everything and taken what I could and there were no options left. I can't continue without a nudge.

Review by kendrafortune
18 May 2017
It's written very well, and everything works, it's creepy and atmospheric and clever and more than a bit odd.... but it wasn't all that fun to play because every interaction leads to exactly the same result.

Review by Gabe p.
18 Oct 2016
Wow. Best game I've played in a long time. You're planning a trip to California, but before you can leave, you get sand without exiting your home! Again, wow.

Review by Rogue-Shinigami
22 Jun 2016
Good lord. I don't think I can really say anything about this one... Other than it's really, really good, and I would totally recommend it.

Review by ToastmasterLex
03 Jan 2016
The to-do list was an awesome touch to keep you on track. I enjoyed the subtle hints and the music descriptions were pretty funny. The overall message of the game is great if you catch it!

Review by DaNiX88
13 Jul 2015
A very unique game, and a chilling (or rather, sweltering) story. For every action that progresses the story, the player is lead to assumption after assumption. For some reason I could imagine the reality of the dream, or the dream of the reality. It was all so surreal and the conclusion left me in deep thought. As the previous review states, all the player needs to do is find a way to continue to plot using the hints the author gives.

I highly recommend this game based on its uniqueness and ease of gameplay. Great job!

Review by mstahl
02 Jun 2015
This is "Interactive Fiction" in the truest sense of the words. This isn't about solving puzzles so much as it is about continuing to explore and keeping the narrative moving forward. For this reason, the game can easily be completely in just 1-2 hours, depending on how leisurely and thorough your rate of exploration.
This game is also utterly gripping and completely terrifying. This is the kind of game that will keep me looking out the sliding glass doors onto the balcony in the middle of the night expecting to see Pennywise the Clown standing there; not because this game has anything to do with Pennywise the Clown what-so-ever, but simply because it's that intensely frightening and that's what I do when I'm scared right [email protected]#$less.
The ending is truly bizarre as well as thought provoking. What exactly does "Shade" mean here? There are several different meanings to the word and it seems like more than one could apply. Trying to work out the mystery of the narrative is a major component of the experience and warrants repeated playthroughs.
Sometimes I'll play a really good IF or text game and think, "I could do this!". It's games like this that really leave me in awe and make me feel like I'm standing in the shadow of a giant. This is true literary art from one of the most celebrated authors of Interactive Fiction. I would encourage anyone with sufficient bravery to play through this one at all costs. This is indeed quite the impressive work!

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Written by
Andrew Plotkin
External Link
Published 2000
Listing added 12 Jan 2014

IFDB listing