What is Twine exactly? It’s a non-linear, open-source tool that creates interactive fiction games, not unlike the point-and-click adventure and text games Grim Fandango and Planetfall. Many developers and writers use Twine to create experimental games and experiences that might not be commercially viable.

In the spirit of that experimental vibe, here are five free Twine games that are cut from a different cloth.

The Temple of No (2016) by Crows Crows CrowsTwine The Temple of No

Dripping in meta, The Temple of No parodies the classic video game journey with a fourth-wall-breaking temple adventure. Cut through leaves, push past trees, and brush away jungle debris as you travel through a silly and endearingly constructed world. The game is fairly quick, even for Twine standards, but is best enjoyed by exploring its various divergent paths.

The Writer Will Do Something (2015) by Tom Bissell & Matthew S Burns

Tasked with fixing a doomed AAA game, you try to navigate through a dysfunctional meeting to address its seemingly endless issues. In short, this Twine is almost a direct letter to every irate gamer who “armchair quarterbacks” game developers’ efforts. A great piece of work that examines the complexity of game making and the rosy pictures that many gamers paint when critiquing them.

Queers in Love at the End of the World (2013) by Anna Anthropy

Twine Queers in Love at the End of the World

Built on a 10-second timer, Queers in Love at the End of the World asks you what would do with your partner if you only had a few moments left. Dishing out intimacy in 10 seconds, this piece of interactive fiction explores questions of love and queer identity in beautiful poetic bursts. Just one of the many powerful offerings from the Twine LGBT+ community.

It is 1995 (2020) by Xolotlll

A spiritual successor to the Windows 95 brick screensaver, this Twine takes you through the twists and turns of the multi-room obstacles that comprised the default OS screensaver. Relive your impressionable years and all the time you spent with your friends waiting for that smiley face gracing your CRT monitor.

You are Jeff Bezos (2018) by Kris Ligman

You are Jeff Bezos is a game in which you inhabit the body of Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon, to spend every last cent of his literal mountain of money. As much a game as it is a cultural critique, think of this Twine as someone turning on the infinite money cheat in the real world.

Will Jardine
Writer and occasional Stanley Tucci cosplayer based out of Toronto, Canada.

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