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.

Optimal resolution is 1920x1080 (1080p, or Full HD). Resolutions lower than this may cut off part of the display causing text and commands to be unreadable.

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 colliclaw1294
06 Mar 2023
so good I love it

Review by Pudders
23 Feb 2023
I've loved text adventure games since playing The L-Shaped Room when I was about 13 at school (yes, I'm that old!), and The Shack was just brilliant! The graphics and sound really added to the atmosphere and helped me visualise where I was on the map (which wasn't ridiculously big and complex, like many other games), rather than the usual wandering around a million black screens totally lost! Some tasks took a while to work out the correct command and weren't immediately obvious why one command wouldn't work but another did (e.g. 'use key on X' didn't work, but 'open X' did, or why you couldn't 'use knife on X, but 'cut X' worked). Read all the descriptions carefully and search everything as there are clues everywhere. I got stuck a couple of times, but the developer responded to my emails straight away and was super helpful - thanks Mat! The puzzles were interesting and nicely tricky, making me feel pleased when I solved them one by one, with the story fitting into place throughout the game. Would highly recommend this game 5/5

Review by solotoro
26 Jan 2023
I just completed this game, and it took me a while to get there! I got stuck twice, in pretty close succession toward the end. The first time I broke the mental block loose myself after stepping away and coming back to enjoy the atmosphere (the pictures and sounds are such a great addition). I have to admit that the second time I got stuck I emailed Mat - he was very kind to respond quickly and give me a simple nudge to get over the hump. Agreed with everyone that what you need is clued, even that thing I missed!

Fantastic game! I love a game that presents logical puzzles but doesn't penalize you for throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks.

Review by t0r4nu
06 Jan 2023
i just finished it after forever!! such a great and immersive experience, although the puzzles are hard its more than worth the trial and error! 5/5! i wish i could start this over from the beginning just to experience the fun all over

Review by Snoogins
09 Nov 2022
Finally completed the game! This is one of the best text adventure games I've ever played. The depth of descriptions and examinable options makes it a really immersive game. Fantastic, wish I could wipe my memory and play it again from the start.

Review by rebekiah27
04 Nov 2022
Fantastic, immersive game with an intriguing storyline that keeps you glued to your screen for far longer than you'd planned. Looking forward to the next one!

- Examine everything, including items in your inventory and all the shelves
- Some items in your inventory need altering to become useful
- Some items need to be interacted with (e.g. push / pull / open) then examined again to become useful
- Draw a map
- The creators are friendly and quick to respond by email if you get stuck!

Review by SomeUkranian
19 Oct 2022
Great work, sorry cant tell more, this is just great

Review by probablyrichard
19 Oct 2022
So immersive. That familiarity of setting contrasted with the undercurrent of discomfort and tension. The story is compelling and well paced, the presentation draws you in, and before you know it you've been in there for hours. Unbelievable work.

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.

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System Masters

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Written for Quest 5.8
Published 22 Nov 2020
Updated 11 Apr 2023