So I hear Frotz, a popular Z-machine implementation used for playing interactive fiction, is now available for free on Apple’s iPhone App Store. Apparently there was some question about whether Apple would allow it in the store, probably because it is an interpreter used for playing separately downloaded game files. But it looks as if, for now at least, it is approved for downloading.
The software comes pre-packaged with a number of good IF games, and it looks like Jason’s original text version of Vespers is one of the ones included. Very sweet. Even better, the program can connect directly to the IFDB, allowing users to easily download and play any of the hundreds of games in the collection. From the screenshots, the interface looks nice and clear, and appears to be quite customizable.
Combined with the potentially vast user base for the iPhone/iPod Touch, this package might very well prove to be a great way of expanding the IF audience. I think a lot will depend on the speed, implementation, and interface. As soon as I can get my paws on a Touch, I’ll be trying this right out. For now, though, it looks very promising.
In the meantime, I’ll have to start daydreaming about how I’d do movement on this thing…
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