|Industry||Computer and video games|
|Headquarters||Matawan, New Jersey, USA|
|Key people||Howard Sherman, founder|
|Products||Interactive fiction including Pentari: First Light and The First Mile|
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (December 2013)|
Malinche Entertainment is an interactive fiction development and publishing business founded by Howard Sherman in 2002. Prior to starting his own software consulting business and Malinche, Sherman worked at RMI.net, then Excalibur Internet Corp. While Sherman claims to be working in the tradition of early interactive fiction developer Infocom, there is no legal or commercial connection to that company or any past developer. Despite this fact, he has used Infocom's logo as a launcher icon for at least one game as a marketing ploy, for which he has been criticized. Sherman claims to have sold 150,000 copies of his games as of May 2006, though this has not been verified by any secondary or tertiary sources.
Reception and criticism
Sherman's published games under the Malinche label include Pentari: First Light (March 2003, fantasy), Greystone (2003, murder mystery set in an asylum), Endgame (2004, suspense), The First Mile (2005, horror), and Pentari: The Apprentice (2007, fantasy). All of Malinche Entertainment's games are written by Sherman. They are written using Inform targeting the virtual Z-machine. Versions of some games are also available for iPods, using a hypertext interface. The games have also been ported to the Nintendo DS, personal digital assistants, and the iPhone.
Sherman states that he markets his products to adventure gamers, the general fiction book market, and blind gamers.
Sherman's The First Mile received a poor review from PC Gamer, being criticised for "typos" and for "incorrectly linked objects, caricatured minorities, physical impossibilities, and confusing commands."
Controversy and legal threats
Sherman has threatened to sue the web publication SPAG for considering to publish an unfavorable review of one of his games. The Malinche website has displayed carefully edited review quotes for games, in order to alter the reviewers' intended meaning ("...mystery story lovers should find the quest for the murderer addictive enough to overcome its weaknesses. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t recommend it for the more wide-ranging hard-core interactive fiction player." was reduced to simply "...Mystery story lovers should find the quest for the murderer addictive..."), and quotations from reviews written decades ago for games by Infocom were presented so as to imply that they described Malinche games.
He also calls himself "the only active Implementor of Interactive Fiction in the world", despite the existence of a thriving hobbyist community and his own acknowledgement of hobbyist-produced games. In fact, Sherman himself was taking part in that community in the very same year that Malinche Entertainment was founded, when he entered a game called "BOFH" (based on Simon Travaglia's Bastard Operator From Hell property) into the 8th annual Interactive Fiction Competition.
- Douglass, Jeremy (2007). Command lines: Aesthetics and technique in interactive fiction and new media (Ph.D. thesis). University of California Santa Barbara. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
- Sherman, Howard. "Did Graphics Kill the Adventure Genre?". Retrieved 2006-12-30.
- Willis, David P. (2006-06-20). "You Make the Call". Asbury Park Press (Asbury Park Press). (Abstract)
- Amrich, Dan (2005). "The First Mile". PC Gamer 12 (October): 64.
- Ogles, Jacob (2005-07-06). "Playing on Your IPod: Text Games". Wired News. Retrieved 2006-12-30.
- Arendt, Susan (2007-10-10). "Play Old-School Text Adventures on Your DS". Game|Life, Wired. CondéNet, Inc. Archived from the original on 2008-08-31. Retrieved 2008-08-31.
- Barton, Matt (2008-04-27). "An Interview with Howard Sherman of Malinche Entertainment". Armchair Arcade. Armchair Arcade, Inc. Archived from the original on 2008-08-31. Retrieved 2008-08-31.
- Maher, Jimmy. "Chapter 9: The Evolution of a Community". Let's Tell a Story Together (A History of Interactive Fiction). Retrieved 2009-11-15.
- Pautassi, Ricardo. "Review: Greystone". Just Adventure. Retrieved 2009-11-15.
- Malinche Entertainment. "Interactive Crime Fiction - A Murder Mystery Only You Can Solve". Archived from the original on 2009-11-16.
- Gilbert, Dave. "Deconstructing Howie". Dave Gilbert’s gamedev blog. Retrieved 2009-11-15.
- Malinche Entertainment. "The Only Interactive Fiction Publisher in the World - A Profile". Archived from the original on 2009-11-16. Retrieved 2009-11-15.
- Malinche Entertainment. "iPhone & iPod Touch Text Adventure Games". Archived from the original on 2009-11-16. Retrieved 2009-11-15.
- "8th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition". ifcomp.org. Stephen Granade. 2002. Archived from the original on 2009-11-16. Retrieved 2009-11-15.
- Malinche Entertainment - Official site