The Shack by System Masters

Part 2, "The Foundation", is in development.
"Cold, naked and confused, you open your eyes to a place you don't recognise..."

The Shack v1.8 (c) System Masters 2020-2021
[email protected]


Web and mobile play are not recommended.

Latest release:
v1.8 (06/10/2021) - Minor update to fix a spelling error, a grammatical error and to fix a specific description which now updates correctly when certain conditions are met. As always, thanks for the feedback!

Previous patches:
v1.7 (27/05/2021) - updated title image and cover art. Fixed a typo in the ending. Slightly altered help text screen and help command. Changed the default message which appears when trying to use a verb without a noun, to make it clearer that you need to be more specific. Added an extra hint about unlocking, using keys, and added more interactions in a certain location to better signpost the player's required actions in that location.
v1.61 (13/05/2021) - Small adjustment; made the parser more acquiescent when using keys.
v1.6 (05/05/2021) - a few typos and grammatical errors fixed. Fix for two situations not updating their descriptions after solving. Updated a few descriptions to read better.
v1.5 (02/05/2021) - small bug fix to stop the player taking an item they're not supposed to be able to.
v1.4 (22/11/2020) - community tested stable release
v1.0 to 1.3 (2020) - closed testing on finished game for polishing

A classic text adventure. This means typing and drawing your own map! System Masters games never insta-kill you or put you in unwinnable situations. You are encouraged to explore and experiment. No adult themes, no bad language. Lots of intrigue, lots to do.

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Review by CYOAgal
01 Dec 2021
Disappointed the next one is delayed, but if its as good as this it will be worth it! Loved it.

Review by sitehomes
26 Nov 2021
Really liked the atmosphere and the mystery of it. The world seems very logical and everything has a reason why it is there. The riddles were very nice but at times too hard for me.

For example, as a non-native speaker I don't know what you are referring to with "cultivator". Also, it is not clear to me why some actions can be done with brutal force - pushing a trailer - and some require equipment - unprying the horizontal bar with a jack. I think I spent 15 min to get on the hay bale and cut the rope, because I was struggling with the commands. I also don't see why you would need to get the crumpled note before crawling into the hollow.

There are a lot of rooms which means you will have to do a lot of backtracking if you find something that fits somewhere else. Also if you miss something you need, you have to revisit 30 rooms to find out if there is anything else.

Review by Johnpjczc
10 Nov 2021
This one took me a long while but I'm glad I finished it (with a tinge of help of course). The graphics were a great extra bit but it doesn't take away from the wonderful descriptive prose of the narrative. It was challenging and I had to experiment a bit with the verbs but the game does give helpful hints if you look for them.

I also recommend not holding back on examining whatever you can. There are a few easter eggs or amusing responses you can certainly stumble upon!

Review by jimbrock
07 Oct 2021
Top notch text adventure with the addition of some graphics and sounds which help enormously with the atmosphere.

Tricky but logical puzzles, good writing and an intriguing ending.

All in all, extremely enjoyable. I can't wait for the next instalment!

Review by Lazygamedesigner82
05 Oct 2021
For three straight days this game has consumed every moment of my free time, from the first puzzle to the final sentence. Beautiful artwork, highly effective sound work, and an overall fresh spin on the traditional puzzler make this an absolute must-play game in my opinion. It was challenging (I will admit to browsing the comments section here for one specific hint!) but always fair. I can't wait to play The Foundation and see where the story leads!

Review by Charlie Scott
29 Sep 2021
Brilliant game -- well-written descriptions that really draw you in to the mysterious world, and tricky but entirely logical puzzles (I had to ask for help once, but that was down to my own stupidity). The attention to detail is fantastic: almost everything has a description, whether its relevant to the story or not. I can't wait for Part Two.

Review by DaDude
27 Sep 2021
Excellent adventure. Loved it from start to finish, really mysterious and requires attention to detail. Atmosphere is top notch!
Best game on the platform.

Review by BambisMom
20 Jun 2021
Gripping! Cannot wait for Shack 2! Atmosphere like no other IF I've played. Felt the wind!

Review by Cinco de Mayo
01 Jun 2021
Only play for an hour so far but I'm HOOKED! like the atmospheric ambionce with wind and squeaky doors. This game feels hard but not TOO hard I feel clever when I figure things out. Strange things keep happening like fuzzy static (not graphics or bug in story I mean) when deciding what to do which freaks me out. So much to see and LOOK AT too my favorite game of new generation of IF

Review by bonk
21 May 2021
This is a wonderful experience. Puzzles are difficult but fairly intuitive. As others have said, every description is key, so you have to pay close attention. The atmosphere is beautifully constructed and really drew me in. Definitely not a short game (and you WILL need to draw a map), but it's worth the time and effort it takes to play. Can't wait for the sequel!

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Written by
System Masters

Download file
Written for Quest 5.8
Published 22 Nov 2020
Updated 22 Feb 2022