"This is a one-room game set in your apartment."

...That was how I introduced SHADE in the 2000 IF Competition. That line is a bit of a joke, of course. It's a cliche that everyone's first IF game is a boring apartment, because that's where you're sitting when you start writing it.

In fact, SHADE is a small work of psychological horror. It is highly regarded in the community; it's frequently mentioned in "best IF" lists. It has even been discussed in an academic paper. (By Jeremy Douglass, in Second Person, Harrigan and Wardrip-Fruin, 2007. Yes, I'm mentioning this because I think it's really nifty. Please don't be freaked out by the citation notation.)

Play SHADE if you're in the mood for a short trip into an uncertain, shifting environment that might just be a nightmare.


SHADE mostly uses the standard vocabulary of interactive fiction. You may find the command "find..." (or "where is...") convenient, though not critically important.

SHADE is copyright 2000 by Andrew Plotkin (erkyrath@eblong.com). He began coding it on the morning of September 2, 2000, and raced like the wind to finish it in time for the Sixth Annual IF Competition. (SHADE placed tenth, which is pretty darn good, considering the overall excellence of the entries that year.)

All hail the beta-tester: Michael Kinyon (still inevitable after all these years). And the people who sent bug reports after the competition, who include (but are not limited to): Ross Presser, Gunther Schmidl, Matthew Murray, Joe Mason, Nick Wolfe, Caleb Wilson, Neil Cerutti, Jason McIntosh, Daryl McCullough, Lelah Conrad, Jeff Hall. And -- this game is dedicated to Meatball Fulton.


Play SHADE now.