"Malinche Entertainment has breathed new life into Interactive Fiction and made it more captivating than ever thanks to Howard Sherman's relentless devotion." -- Grandmaster Marc Blank, Implementer of Zork 1, Zork 2, Zork3 , Deadline, Enchanter, Border Zone and Journey as well as a founder of the legendary Infocom.
"You have made my husband a game widow. I am so enthralled in your games I can't even sleep at night ..." - Mona W.
When I first checked Howard’s
interactive fiction site, I couldn’t help but think of the Choose
Your Adventure books when I was a kid. This is such a clever and
inventive way for people to enjoy fiction from a more in depth
perspective. Fun, intriguing and just plain creatively different. "
- Karen Corum, JerseyWise Fiction
Fanfare for Four Badges
"Four Badges is some of your best writing ever."
- Bob N.
Salutes to Saints in Sin City
"For your creativity and resourcefulness in
crafting a story, you are the most gifted person I know.
Saints in Sin City makes me feel I'm really there running across a
Las Vegas casino resort hunting down terrorists." - Mike M.
Praise for Pentari: Second Dawn
"I just had to tell you that when the governor met
the apprentice in the coal mine, it was priceless." - June
Acclaim for The First Mile
"It is a wonderful read."
- Jaleecia L.
"The First Mile should come with a night light. Nightmares galore! Implementor Howard Sherman is at the top of his game. The First Mile is frighteningly good!" -
Jack van Landingham, Hollywood actor.
"The First Mile is a great game. I first heard about this on a gaming list for blind people. It is so rare these days to find a game that both sighted and blind people can play without anyone having an advantage. In closing, Steven King now has serious competition!"- David T.
"A long time ago, I was introduced to text gaming through Infocom's Deadline. I was thrilled to see that someone has introduced new high quality text games into the market. I bought The First Mile and will be purchasing Greystone soon. I had forgotten how enjoyable it is to be the main character in an interactive novel. This is more fun than any graphic game on either a console or computer." -
"I am a PhD student over here in the UK and I can see myself spending hours playing The First Mile rather than doing what I should be doing namely writing my thesis - oh well I'll just have to get by on less sleep! I find the First Mile really exceptional."
- Paul B.
Snippets from Ricardo Pautassi's Review in Justadventure.Com
"...the overall quality of the characters is good, in the sense that they have their own agenda, can follow orders, show an acceptable knowledge of their environment..."
"All in all, in-game descriptions are pretty interesting."
"The amount of detail presented to the player in TFM is bigger and the prose more vivid."
"when entering a room you will be offered a very rich description, running about three to five lines."
"Another good point of TFM is that has many optional puzzles, including a maze and the possibility to make your own “contribution” to the killing spree. Some of these additional quests are pretty good, requiring NPC’s cooperation and exploration. There are also many ways to kill the foes and most of them will require repeated attacks. Sure, you can die in many ways, drowned, eaten by beasts, under the influence of spells, poisoned, etc. So, save early, safe often, as it is said. Nonetheless, these death situations appear in dangerous moments and are organically inserted in the pace of the game."
"To sum it up, TFM offers a great deal in terms of gameplay quantity."
Excerpts from the Review by Rob Michaud of Adventuregamers.Com
"The First Mile is perfect for that late night chill-fest that's so rare in gaming today."
"Text adventures live and die by their story, and rest assured, this is a great one."
"There is a scoring system in place to award points as you play through the game, with different puzzle solutions garnering you different point amounts. This lends a nice replay value to the game as you try out different solutions in order to eke out that last point."
"...by the end, with the mysteries solved and your final score displayed, your only thought will most likely be how much you want to experience it again."
"...for the length of play time you'll get out of the game, combined with the replay factor in trying to max out your points and try different puzzle solutions, it is money well spent."
"Bottom-line: A lengthy, challenging game that will keep you glancing over your shoulder the whole time you're playing it."
"The First Mile is horror fiction, perhaps something torn out of Stephen King’s notebook. As soon as the game begins, my heart thumps harder with each move I make as I encounter a body, hear a hellhound growling, and see many empty buildings and homes."
"If you can’t get your teen to read a book and she constantly plays video games, sneak this into her computer, iPod, or Smartphone and she’ll convert and read without hesitance." -
Meryl Evans, celebrated writer
"I am enjoying your game immensely. I dislike computer games with graphics, they make my eyes water. I am so glad that you are carrying on the tradition of well thought out, literate games." -
"I just purchased The First Mile last night online and love it!" -
"I'm only about 2 hours in to The First Mile (I've barely cracked the surface), but I can say that it is an excellent title, and I will probably end up losing many a night's sleep over it. It's hard to stop playing once you've started. In closing, great job with The First Mile, Howard. It is much more enjoyable than I could have even fathomed. Keep up the good work." -
"I just received my copy of The First Mile today and I am enjoying it greatly. Okay, I've torn myself away from the game for too long." - Rich M.
"You really did it this time. This is a scary kind of game and I just love it. I received my copy this morning and I haven't stopped playing the whole day." (but wait - there's more!)
"This game is getting more interesting all of the time...it's getting so good it is almost scary. It is so much fun. I really believe this game is as good as my beloved Pentari: First Light. If you ever decide to start writing books, I will buy the first copy and then all of your books. You are really a good writer. I enjoy everything you write. I am your number one and most loyal fan."-
"Man, this game is gruesome...." "There are so many weapons in the First Mile." "I am now emotionally involved in this game...I need to see what happens next!!" -
"The prose is superb." -
(This next one's a little long but so worth reading from start to finish)
"I remember being 6 or 7 years old and staying up all night staring at the blue screen of my Commodore 64/128 trying to figure out how to open the Gates of Hades. Until now, I have never come across anything close to that experience again. I once heard of an interactive game called, "Majestic." As you probably know, this game never came to be. I occasionally do a Google search for something similar and usually shut down the computer disappointed.
Last Friday night I was at the mall with my wife, and after looking for something entertaining at the bookstore and video game store, I told her that I wished there was a book or game that was really interactive. Something that required thinking, solving puzzles and riddles.
The next day I did my regular internet search and clicked on the first few results. After finding nothing but disappointment, I decided to look several pages down on the search results. I randomly picked one of the many "O's" and came across your website. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I read the descriptions of each of your games several times and then spent several hours contemplating my purchase. Not whether or not I would buy, but which of the games I would buy first. I finally decided on "The First Mile" for no other reason than it was first on the webpage. I figured I would try it out to see if it lived up to my expectations. So far I have not been disappointed." -
Accolades for Azteca
"Just writing to tell you that so far I am really enjoying Aztec Adventure! I grew up on Sierra games back in the day and was excited to see that you were located in Matawan. I grew up in Atlantic Highlands, I was an assistant manager at the Strathmore movie theater for a spell...Keep up the good work!"-Aaron T.
"I guess I could could use a hint about the jaguar.(Tickle the Jaguar seems to do nothing...haha!)
Enjoy your games, brings me back to the days of Zork on my Commodore Vic20. Regards,
"I am really enjoying this – have really missed ‘interactive fiction’ – haven’t played it since I had the commodore 64 back in the 80s! Thanks!" -
"I have just downloaded Azteca from your site. I have already run into my first problem. I am at the point where I have the chalice the gold knife and the crowbar. I can only speculate that my next step has to do with the guardian with the spear. If there's any kind of hint you can give me that would be awesome. By the way, thanks for putting out a cool game. I haven't played a text game since I was a kid." -
"First of all, thanks for keeping Interactive Fiction alive. I started playing Zork on my Commodore 64 in 1983 and have been an addict ever since. Your stories kick ass. I have done the intro to Pentari and have started Azteca and am totally stuck, but not quite ready for a hint. Do you do any "invisiclue" type thing? I am also curious if you ever get in contact with Dave L. or Marc B. It would be great if they started making IF games again. I spread the word as much as possible, but many people these days just don't seem to understand the joy of making your own maps and solving puzzles using your brain. The puzzle of the Jaguar Room is currently stumping me, and I believe that is was a bad idea to break the calendar stone using the crowbar, but we shall see. Will ask for help if i don't get it figured out this week. I don't get to play too often as i have a restaurant business and put in many many work hours per week.
Yours truly, from adventureland G.U.E. 776 Rekroz D. Grueslayer " - aka Phill D
"The temple feels very real to me. I can vividly imagine the place and how sacrifices might once have been conducted there. The ending is a great plot twist." - Felix G.
"Although I have not yet had time to enjoy Azteca for more than about 30 minutes, I wanted to tell you that what I've seen so far brings back the good old memories of exploring Infocom text adventures. I've always regarded Infocom as the interactive fiction "gold standard" but so far I've found your work equally enjoyable. Your prose is rich and I'm eager to further tackle the mysteries in the world(s) you've created." -
"I came by Malinche by an advertisement at MobyGames. I visited your website, tried Azteca
hooked at once. No graphic knickknack, no annoying hardware requirements, just a
good game and pure imagination." -
"I like the game. I swear I am playing an Infocom game." -
"This game and First Light are both wonderful. It's good to see that people are still writing and playing interactive fiction and are just as passionate (and some even more) as I am. Keep up the good work!" - John C.
"I have enjoyed Azteca! I saved the archaeologists / anthropologists this afternoon. I scored 65 points in 75 moves. I will try again the full 75 point win. Thank you for your help, kindness and interest. Keep up the good work! I'll look for another of your adventures online." - Kelly C.
"I really enjoyed the game. Much more stimulating than most games. These make you think." -
"I think Azteca is great. I really find myself in the game with all the detail. I find it excellent that you had actual pictures of the pyramid." -
"Thanks a lot for your hints, Howard. They helped a bunch. Anyway, I beat Azteca two ways but the highest score I got was 55. That's cool. Azteca is a great game." -
"I finished the game but I didn't score all of the points. I really enjoyed Azteca." -
"The story line was good." -
"I've got the hang of it now. Azteca is quite good really." -
Salutes to Endgame
"I really love the detail in the game!" -
"Endgame is an exceptional tale on the edge of the newspapers!"-Larry M.
"It's a great story and very feasible. The packaging is also good." -
"The story line is timely and extremely interesting." -
Glory for Greystone
"When I was a kid, I used to play a game called "Suspect" by Infocom on a Commodore 64 (I'm sure you know this game). I was too young then to figure it out, but it always stuck with me. It's been one of those things that I never was able to finish...and I hate that.
Anyway, I just got back from a business trip and had a whole weekend to do whatever I pleased. I thought of Suspect and decided to surf to see if I could find it, or something like it. After placing a bid on eBay for Suspect and downloading a Commodore 64 emulator, I found your site, and, specifically Greystone. I was giddy when I saw that you offered a digital download!!! Thank you--not enough people do that.
I've played the game and enjoyed it. I was able to solve 3 out of 4 murders. I haven't figured out which one I was unable to solve, yet. I enjoyed the game." -
"THIS IS ADDICTING!" -
"I really liked Greystone's evidence. It reminded me of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (a very good book but a not so good movie) and of Silence of the Lambs my favourite book/movie as well as the book version of Hannibal. I also really liked the 'time element' in the game that after a certain amount of turns the killer will get after you. And the fact that you find, after the game starts, <censored to prevent spoiling the plot>'s body somewhere stashed away, this adds a nice sense of urgency. I also liked the fact that suspicion was thrown on more then one person and that <censored again> had actually a reason for killing the people he did..." "The atmosphere of the game was very well done and every new floor and room brought something new so it was never boring..." "All in all a very good game with nice tension" -
"I'm enjoying the game Greystone very much. I must say the maps you mailed to me are a very big help.
This game is huge." - Joan B.
"I have honestly not played a text adventure in probably 20 years, but I just started Greystone and so far love it." -
Randy Sluganski, Justadventure.com
Sharon Wheeler, Editor of Reviewing the Evidence:
"If you've ever wondered what it would be like to solve your own mystery, you might want to have a go at Greystone."
"I'm having great fun running my own investigation..."
"If you love riddles and puzzles, as well as crime fiction, I think you'll like Greystone."
The entire piece can be read at
Joy Spear Reviewer for The Murder and Mayhem Book Club:
"I am completely in awe of your work."
"I LOVED IT!! This is so intriguing!! I can play it over and over and not get bored with it. I had the trowel but when I went back to question the gardener, I had left it in my room. I thought about arresting him but didn't think I had enough evidence & no motive. I should've followed my first mind on that one!!"
"This is an awesome way to put your sleuthing skills to the test!"
"I am hooked!! I am so tempted to restart the game and play again, and I am so easily bored that it is unreal so that is really saying something."
"Greystone will very easily be more than that book you just couldn't put down."
The entire review can be read at
The Review of Greystone by Justadventure.Com
"Howard Sherman has done a good job recreating not only Greystone's buildings but also it's surroundings...
thus offering hundreds of areas to explore and examine."
"I found at least fifteen different endings of the game and should say this is by far
the most interesting feature of the game."
"...Mystery story lovers should find the quest for the murderer addictive..."
"I'm always thinking of new things to ask the patients and am surprised about how much they actually know. I actually like this better than a lot of the Infocom stuff. More detail. I can't wait to explore ALL of Greystone. It's nice to see an author of your quality actually spending the time to create new masterpieces like this. The setting of the Greystone mental hospital is BRILLIANT. Greystone is the best Interactive Fiction game that I have seen. It is VERY WELL written. I haven't gotten the chance to play any of your other stuff (yet) but I look forward to it." -
"I am just having the best time with Greystone. I am enjoying reading the story so much I forget I am playing a game. I am having a ball exploring. I noticed you have started a new game. I want to be on your waiting list. It is wonderful I will have a third Howard Sherman adventure for my collection." -
Fanfare for First Light
Here's a long one from a fan who has rediscovered the magic of text adventure games thanks to Malinche...
"It "all" makes sense if you "stop" and "think"... that's the best part of
what you've built and what Interactive Fiction is all about. This isn't
your mindless shoot'em up game. :-D
Oh...and I did more last night... I found my Zombied Sergeant in the other
castle tower...I'm confident I can
bring him back if I can only figure out
how to get the platinum orb home... more challenges! I also found and
restored the King (I knew there had to be a mouse somewhere in the game when
I discovered the cheese), and learned that the Amulet of Morden gets me a free turn with
Lich, but doesn't last long. I'm currently wondering
can take the mouse to the castle
before giving him the cheese and see if
that does anything interesting...
I've got a monster running
at the moment, so I'm just going to have to wait and try that later.
want to try to take the stick back to the magic shop and see if Herman will
do something cool for me...
it's a long shot, but If not, bank that idea for
your next game... And I've learned that I need to get the princess
Hermes should I ever find Her! SO many challenges! I need to focus on one
problem at a time...
In one of the many (many, many) times that Lich killed me I noticed a mouse
in one of the texts and
was certain that I needed to somehow find the mouse
before I got zapped...there being no way to do
such, I was interesting
cannon fodder for Lich many times...figured that was at least worth a laugh.
In the general commentary category, I don't ever remember being able to
interact with characters in the few
text games I played back in the CPM
days. I'm not always sure how much info I can pump out of the
encounter (Richard in the Church for example), but I find it absolutely
amazing that you put so
much obvious energy in making the individuals BEHAVE and respond. Asking Merle about is "Business"
yields the exact response I would expect from a business owner who's customer base is drying up
(like mine is in this economy). Nicely done." - John C.
"First, I congratulate you on your efforts keep Interactive Fiction alive. I've been playing IF since the early '80's, loving all of the Scott Adams games and the Zork series and almost all of the other Infocom games. There have been many great adventures.
Pentari is not bad for a short example of your work. I like your descriptions, even in this small setting. "
Rob M. after downloading Pentari: The Prequel
"Thanks for the hint! That helped a lot! Great little game! I even got to see three different endings." -
Dolby D. talking about Pentari: The Prequel
"Love your game! I'm stuck at the very beginning. This is a blast, and I look forward to rekindling some great Zork memories." -
Liz complimenting Pentari: The Prequel
"I am a Zork from way back... and am familiar with how it works. I love it. Graphics and neat but there's nothing like using ones imagination. Keep up the good work." -
"Because I was so impressed with the [Pentari] test drive I went ahead and purchased First Light. .I love this game! Maybe I'll give my daughter a chance to play Pentari, if I can tear myself away long enough. Thank you for what you've done with these games." -
"Awesome Game!" -
Wendy N. talking about Pentari: The Prequel
"First of all, I wanted to tell you how much I have been enjoying Pentari First Light. Being blind, as I know many of your customers are, it is a lot of fun being able to get every detail right there without having to see the screen. Also, horrible as I am at mental map making, I have been able to really keep the whole game thus far in my head...This is my first time playing interactive fiction, and I must say, I am glad I have been sticking it out even though it was frustrating at times...I am really enjoying this game, and I just bought Greystone a few days ago." -
"In the first 15 minutes I knew I was going to completely enjoy the adventure This is the type of relaxation I really need! Thank you!" -
Rob L had quite a few nice things to say about Pentari: First Light. Here are some of the excerpts from a post he made on JustAdventure.Com in September 2006:
I started playing the game and found myself once again hooked to a text adventure.
I enjoyed the Pentari world and thought the writing style was very good, as were the descriptions. The city of Delphin was very well realized and I enjoyed wandering round, talking to the characters and exploring all of the locations.
The storyline was intriguing and you did feel like part of a story. The rich, vivid descriptions also helped, and the place felt magical and far away. I could tell that the author had put a lot of effort into realizing the game locations.
I found the characters interesting and some were amusing.
Another thing I should mention is that this is a massive game. Once you have wandered round the surface of Delphin, there are castles, keeps and underground lairs and mountains to explore. I didn’t once get bored of exploring, as I thought the writing style was of a high quality.
There are also some awesome spells to be cast, which is very satisfying when they work. I had a very enjoyable time playing Pentari, and don’t regret the purchase for a minute.
(editor's note: Wow. Howard was floating on air after Rob's glowing testimonials. He bellowed "Wait until he steps inside The Apprentice and Second Dawn!" with a chuckle as he headed back to his studio.)
"I'm very impressed. Really. I have to hand it to you.... I think it's important that these games have logical puzzles and yours were. Pentari is better than any of the Zorks." - Fran S.
We're in awe of your lavish compliments, Fran, and thank you humbly for the kind words.
"Thank you for bringing back mind adventures of the best kind." -
"I want to commend you on your prompt service. I ordered First Light on a Saturday and it was in my mailbox on the following Wednesday. I was expecting a much longer turnaround time. I am looking forward to the adventure of First Light. If First Light is anything close to the Zork series I will be back for more of your titles." - Richard B.
(First Light is very much rendered in the Zork tradition, Richard. We'll be looking forward to your next order as soon as you solve PFL!)
"I enjoy your style of writing. After this game I am eyeballing Greystone. :-) "- Steven P.
"Pentari: First Light is great fun!" - William H
"I'm having a good time adventuring through Delphin's castle right now. I like how you put in a lot of rooms, staircases, ladders, etc. But that damn Valen! I'll figure out how to take him yet!" - Scott C
"The back-story sounds... um, interesting" ..." I really liked the line, 'Hell of a place for a party.'-
"Killed the <censored to prevent spoiling the finish> and all. Pretty cool game!" -
"I enjoyed it quite a lot. The story seems to be really good and I like the prose. I especially like the couple of extra rooms outside the warehouse that add to the atmosphere." -
"That's Cool!" - Harry, one of our volunteer play testers, commenting on an early beta version of First Light.
"The writing is good... on the level of the Dragonlance novels I would say." - anonymous commenting on First Light
"This is my kind of game. I think you have done a great job."
- June F.
"Thanks for creating an adventure game and making it public with feelies. I wish more people would do that. It makes the game more fun to play." -
"I must say that I have spent more time working on this game that about any other I have played. I have enjoyed it more than any other in a very long time. I love the old Infocom text adventure games...I probably have a complete collection. Your game has filled a huge gap in adventure game play as I know of no other text adventure published
in years. Obviously, the game is long, many rooms to explore, many items to find, many puzzles to solve and
overall, in my opinion, very difficult but for the most part fair. Your descriptions were outstanding. I appreciated
your encouragement and help as I struggled through it. I have very much enjoyed this game. Very tough, but rewarding for someone who loves adventure games." -
Bill E. just after completing First Light
Here's what Justadventure.com had to say about First Light:
"Pentari: First Light is a game that will appeal to both the hard-core IF player as well
as the casual adventurer and constitutes a must-play for those spellbound to fantasy."
"PFL has been described as a Zorkian game and it certainly shares many features
with the legendary Infocom game."
"As a matter of fact, Delphin can be compared, in terms of richness of diversity, to the
virtual city portrayed in A Mind Forever Voyaging, one of Infocom's jewels."
"The game's vocabulary is extensive and, in most occasions, multiple nouns are available to call for an object."
What People Are Saying About Malinche:
"I have spent the past
several hours enthralled by Malinche's interactive fiction. I
test-drove The First Mile demo and played part of the free game
Azteca. Malinche does an excellent job developing interactive
fiction! In fact, I consider the games of the same quality as
Infocom's, if not better. I know this for a fact because I have
played Infocom interactive fiction for many years." -
"Looking forward to more games. Really into the
two I received. Don't know about the third choice. I'm not much
into fantasy games, just adventures and mystery. Thanks for the
great service. Please let me know when others are available.
Thanks again." D. Hoover
"I'm glad to have found your site - I was addicted to Infocom games & have been looking for a similar interactive game. I've given Greystone a few tries and will contact you if I need any help. Thanks!" -
"KUDOS for reinvigorating this genre! I much prefer this type of game than video blast-em-ups. These games build our logic and reasoning skills, something I would much rather allow my kids to play, when they would be allowed to play indoors on a computer. I have a Master's degree, and I can honestly say that the problem-solving skills I learned from playing games like Zork and Myst helped me pass my GREs (Graduate Record Examinations - like the LSATs). Bring on more!"
I just wanted to say thank you for the wonderful description of your early experiences with text adventures.
I also had the same thrill of anticipation when I first loaded Zork into my C64 in 1983. Here it is, twenty-five
years later, and while I do love my new-fangled computer with all the bells and whistles, I still extol the virtues of those early Infocom games. And wouldn't you know? I finally got around to downloading the ones I couldn't
afford back then. Better two decades late than never, I always say;)
There's nothing quite like locking myself in my computer room on a dreary, rainy day and losing myself in Infidel, Deadline, or Leather Goddesses of Phobos. (Which I still play on that very same C64.) You've brought back some good memories, and it's heartening to know that there are people out there that have the same kind of affection for this stuff as I do.
I've downloaded some samples of your products, and will be ordering full versions shortly.
Just as soon as I trick that darn dragon into melting that wall of ice." - Ann
"Thank you for the First Mile demo. I am really impressed with the game.
I think you’ve captured the flavor of the old Infocom games.
I also appreciate that you’ve included the maps and the tutorials. As I’ve told you previously,
I’m new to interactive fiction, and I need all the help I can get.
What got me started was playing an old Infocom game (Witness) on the internet. I think it was neat that I could play this game on my computer. I did buy the complete collection of Infocom games many years ago, but never played them. I am a collector of games, and I knew these games were classics. I don’t know whether I can play them now on Windows XP. I’m sorry I didn’t play them with my older computer. But I am grateful for this website with the old Infocom games.
I did order Greystone, and I will shortly order 1 or 2 more games, probably the full version of 1st Mile.
Endgame is certainly intriguing."
- Steve T.
"Howard, I know I've told you this before on the phone, but I want to repeat myself:
You and your games are wicked awesome." -
"Howard-You definitely have a way with words. After reading your first sentence,
I wanted to read more of what you were saying!" -
"Howard, I can see from your writing that you have confidence in what you do. As I read your response,
I thought, wow, this person can really convey a true message in a believable and compelling way.
I would love to have an ounce of that!!!" - Michelle C.
There are a lot of incredible visual games on the market, but I much prefer text based programs.
Thanks for keeping new ones coming!" - Brian B.
"Thanks so much Howard. I got deeply into Infocom games with my old Apple 2 GS computer. I fell in love with those old text adventure games. They made you use your head and imagination instead of your thumbs and a joy stick. I was combing the web for any old Infocom games I might have missed when I happened on to your site, I thought I died and went to heaven. Thanks for bringing back the old style games! Thanks again."
"Thank you! Your Interactive Fiction games are fabulous. I'm having a ball remembering my early experiences with a 16K Model I TRS-80, trying over and over to get the volume just right so that I could load "Advent" from the danged audio tape. Somewhere I think I still have the entire Scott Adams series
...Thanks for bringing back some fond memories...
...One of the things I enjoy most about your text adventures is the well-written prose." -
Arnold G, English teacher
"I am glad to know that there are games that are everything Infocom was and much, much more." - Kristin R.
"I love your games, by the way. There are a lot of incredible visual games on the market, but I much prefer text based programs. Thanks for keeping new ones coming!" - Brian B
"It is good to have a company publishing Interactive Fiction again in a professional way, and if Malinche succeeds then maybe the Interactive Fiction scene will take off again." -
(editor's note: Malinche is indeed quite successful Rob thanks in large part to our valued customers. The interactive fiction scene is alive and well thanks to Malinche and the tireless volunteers in the community at large who contribute to interactive fiction's continued prosperity through the ongoing development of technology.)
"I must tell you that I was both surprised and thrilled to find that anyone was still commercially producing engaging text adventures. Kudos to you for the quality work and for keeping the magic alive." - Ed M.
"You can find free text-adventure games all over the Internet, but the modestly-priced games available from Malinche Entertainment are some of the very best". -
"Let me tell you how pleased I am to see that finally someone has picked up the torch and run with it to carry on what Infocom began." -
"For the iPod user in your house, Howard's games make a great gift and add a feature to the iPod that Apple did not even realize was possible." -
Tim Jackson, The Ontario Record
"You have made my husband a game widow. I am so enthralled in your games I can't even sleep at
night without getting up to try something new that I thought of that might work. I bring my laptop to our
business so that when (business) is slow I can work on these games of yours. Thank you so much for
continuing to make these games that really tease the mind and put your brain to work! I love to read and do crossword puzzles and play mind games but you have retired all of these avenues for your games are all I
do day in and day out. Keep these games coming for I WILL own them all. Again thank you for keeping people
like me entertained and our mates pissed off...." <smile>
Mona had this to add some weeks later after we sent her replacement copies of her
Malinche titles after her computer crashed....
"Starting from the beginning wasn't so bad. I already found all kinds of stuff I haven't done before.
I love your work. Keep up the great story lines...."
"I would like to thank you for investing so much time, effort and vision into the Interactive Fiction genre. Years ago, when I was in grade school and computers were spawning movies like Tron, it was Zork which captured my imagination and drew me into the digital age. Now, so many years later, your games and vision have renewed something I had lost to 3D role playing games and MMOs... a world rich in detail and depth where my mind may dwell even if I am not in front of the computer screen. Thank you!" - Rich M.
"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!! I was also an avid fan of Infocom games way back in the 80's. I was just recently discussing them with a friend of mine. We were wondering if they, or anything, similar was ever going to come out again. While searching for mystery puzzles I came across your link. I just couldn't believe what I was reading. You have yourself another customer." -
This next one is a bit long but really worth your time to read start to finish....
Howard's own comments will appear in blue:
I played my first text adventure game when I was around 10 years old. It was on the Commodore VIC-20 and was called The Count by, I believe, Scott Adams. From there, I was hooked. Needless to say, through the next decade I played my way through the Infocom titles on various systems. (Me too!) It always seemed a shame to me that advances in graphics, etc. seemed to doom text-only games. My thought has always been that geometrically increasing memory, storage capacity and processor speed could raise interactive fiction to incredible levels of sophistication and complexity. (You stole my thunder! You perfectly described my own thinking when creating Malinche.) I guess the market had other ideas. Although I have remained an avid gamer through my twenties and into my early thirties, I don't think I have ever enjoyed any gaming experience as much as my time spent with the old Infocom titles.
Over the years, I have occasionally replayed an old Infocom title here and there and I think I've played through all the Activision Zork titles. I've downloaded some free games off of "Interactive Fiction" contest pages and bulletin boards. Some of them have been okay, but most seem to be rather silly, pseudo-intellectual digressions hoping to convey the author's erudition, cleverness or fringe political ideals (You're not the first one to notice the peculiar trend, good sir.) I remember playing one that people raved about that seemed to be based on a Marcel Proust novel -- it wasn't really very much fun. (Most folks agree!) In any event, there's probably some good stuff out there, but I haven't really dug in enough to know for sure. I'd pretty much given up hope of ever finding the brand of text based games I'd hoped new technology would make possible or even finding anything that approached the old Infocom games in robustness. I believe I came across your company's name on Wired.com in an article about text games for the new generation of phones and PDAs. I checked out your website and was very encouraged. (As an aside, I've done quite a few web searches over the years for "Interactive Fiction" and "text games" etc, but never came across your site. I'm sure that if you could get your site to come up a little easier on those types of queries, you'd discover a lot of old-school gamers like me out there.) (We're continually working on it, I assure you!) I downloaded the Azteca demo game and ran through it. It had a nice, Infocom-type feel, so here I am. I bought First Light because it seemed like the oldest commercial title you offered and was in the Zork genre. I have a feeling I'm really going to enjoy it and will probably buy the rest of them in order of release date (Unless the sequel to First Light you're working on comes out before I've finished this one, in which case I'll buy that one next).
I can't wait to get started. I'm quite interested to see how your titles hold up to the old classics and to see what sorts of improvements and advances you've been able to develop. I appreciate the maps you've included, but I, like you, prefer to forge my own way from memory or, as a last resort, make my own maps or notes. Thank you in advance for keeping a fantastic genre alive and I wish you all the best in making this endeavor commercially viable so that you, and perhaps others, can continue the tradition.
We love receiving emails like yours and I take great joy in reading each
and every one of them. The classic form is back and I can assure you it's
here to stay. - Howard Sherman
"Thank you for your superior service." -
"Thank you for keeping these great games alive!" -
"Congratulations on your awesome text adventures. They really kick ass!" -
"Keep up the good work. The interactive-fiction-deprived world needs you to help restore the glory!" -
"Howard, you are the bomb!!!" -
"I have played three of the demos and I give them a double thumbs up. The interactive ability
games is remarkable. I am definitely buying your games." - B.M.
"Boy, am I glad I did find you. Every so often I'd go looking for text adventure games & I haven't
found much that worked for me until I found Malinche." -
"I've been looking for Infocom style text games for a while so it was a real pleasure to find Malinche.
I'm playing Azteca on my Pocket PC (just the thing for long plane trips) and I'm looking forward to
Endgame. I work for the Navy and Endgame will be a treat." -
"Your customer service is excellent." -
"After first browsing your website I thought "This man is my new hero"...A big hand to you sir
for carrying on the torch of Interactive Fiction! Bravo!" - Andrew P.
"I found your site while doing a search on Google...Once I saw the stories you had, I knew
I had to play both Greystone and First Light. Both storylines are interesting and deep....
Thanks again for the games and the maps. I really can't wait to play them." -
"Hey it really works!! Thank you very much, you're awfully nice! I've been trying to find a
working interpreter for my iPaq for three months. Many, many, many thanks." -
"Howard, you are the best." -
"Thanks a million. You've been so patient and helpful." -
"The guy behind Malinche takes the task of writing Interactive Fiction very seriously." -
Dan Parsons, the Androids Library
"It's really reassuring to know I can rely on such excellent after-sales support!" -
"Hello Howard, I am so glad I got to talk to you on the phone. And thanks for your help!" -
BOFH Boasts Bravos
"This is a really nicely done game." -
"Good fun." -
"I definitely enjoyed the feeling of Evil Power" -
"I am actively playing BOFH and I really like it. Kudos to you." -
"Just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed BOFH." -
Yoon Ha Lee
"Nice game." -
"BOFH is wonderful. Your descriptions gave me really clear pictures." -