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1893: A World's Fair Mystery is a historical mystery text-based adventure game using very detailed factual information regarding the famous 1893 World's Fair. Chicago historian Peter Nepstad was the one-person creator and researcher of the game. You play a detective who is looking into a diamond theft but eventually come upon kidnapping and murder as well which seem to be linked to a grander plot. There are 500 historical photographs used throughout the game, and numerous locations throughout the fair which will take many hours to discover and explore. If you get stuck, there are a visitor's guide to the fair, a map of the grounds and in-game hints if you can find them.


1893: A World's Fair Mystery Windows Start menu
1893: A World's Fair Mystery Windows Earning points!
1893: A World's Fair Mystery Windows Moving the plot along.
1893: A World's Fair Mystery Windows Introduction

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Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

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Critic Reviews Windows Jun 06, 2007 5 out of 5 100
Adventure Gamers Windows Feb 02, 2003 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
Just Adventure Macintosh Jul 27, 2004 B+ 83
Just Adventure Windows Jul 27, 2004 B+ 83
Quandary Macintosh Jul, 2003 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Quandary Windows Jul, 2003 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Game Chronicles Windows Mar 06, 2003 8 out of 10 80
Game Chronicles Macintosh Mar 06, 2003 8 out of 10 80
Game industry News (GiN) Windows 2003 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70


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Release history

Prior to the retail release, there was a text-version (1.4) uploaded to the IF Archive and announced on on 14th July 2002. An updated version (1.5) was available ten days later and on 17th October, a 2.0 preview release with graphics and music was shipped. Version 2.1 (28th October) fixed some bugs and starting from 2.4 (30th November), two PDF manuals were included with the game. Pictures on the history of the game can be viewed here.


As of May 2010, the author announced that sales of the game (after slightly over seven years) have exceeded 4,000 -- small fry for video games generally, but still an enormous figure for sales of text adventure games, a genre considered to be commercially defunct since the disappointing returns following the last big push by Infocom Implementor Michael Berlyn's Cascade Mountain Publishing circa 1998-99.


  • XYZZY Award
    • 2002 - Best Setting

Additional information contributed by Pseudo_Intellectual and Wizo.

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Contributed to by Kabushi (255195) and Scaryfun (17977)