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Shade is a text adventure game set in a single room, the protagonist's dilapidated apartment, as you prepare for a visit to the Burning Man-alike Death Valley Om Festival in the desert. The closer you get to being prepared to leave to the airport, the more problems befall you -- mundane ones at first, such as thirst and misplaced airplane tickets, and then, grain upon grain, a whole sandbox of more surreal ones suggesting that, as in the movie Jacob's Ladder, not all is as it seems.

With your only, inert, companions a revealing desert guidebook, a helpful task list and an esoteric radio tuned to what must be a campus station, you must ply the hallucinatory depths of a failing brain's rationalisations of its final few perceptions and determine if you're going to take a stand or be taken by sand.


Shade Browser Introduction (Java version on the author's site)
Shade DOS your thirst will not be satisfied
Shade DOS Something really strange is going on here
Shade DOS A reminder as to your destination -- the Death Valley OM Festival

Alternate Titles

  • "Shade: Interactive Fiction" -- iOS title
  • "Shade: A Brief Story" -- Tag-lined title

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User Reviews

More or less linear, but creepy nonetheless DOS Mirrorshades2k (273)

The Press Says

SPAG DOS Dec 29, 2000 8.5 out of 10 85


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Written entirely in the final month prior to the entries' release, this title placed 10th (of 53 entries) in 2000's 6th Annual Interactive Fiction competition, taking an Xyzzy Award for Best Setting and placing as a finalist for Xyzzies in numerous categories: Best Individual PC, Best Use of Medium, Best Story, Best Writing, and Best Game.

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Contributed to by Pseudo_Intellectual (44771)