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ADRIFT software logo.jpg
Original author(s)Campbell Wild
Developer(s)Campbell Wild
Stable release
5.0 release 33 / May 4, 2015
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows
Available inEnglish
Typeinteractive fiction development and play
LicenseDonationware[clarification needed]

ADRIFT [1] is a graphical user interface used to create and play text adventures.[2][3] The name is an acronym for "Adventure Development & Runner - Interactive Fiction Toolkit". The project is solely developed by Campbell Wild.

The toolkit consists of two programs; a generator (used to write games), and a runner (used to play them), though the runner is available to download separately. In the current stable release (version 4.0.51), released in 2002, both programs only run on Microsoft Windows platforms as they are written in Visual Basic. The generator is shareware (adventures over a certain size cannot be saved until a registration fee of 18.95 USD - around 12 GBP is paid), though the runner is available free to everyone. Older (freeware) versions of the program can also be downloaded on the website. However, version 5 is now donationware, enabling full functionality of the software without requiring payment. The runner program is also able to run on Linux using the Mono project. A Mac version is expected soon.

Coinciding with the 2011 Interactive Fiction competition, ADRIFT WebRunner was launched. This allows any ADRIFT game to be played online. Because the game runs server side, it allows games to be played on any device such as iPad.

Unlike many text adventure creation tools (such as TADS), the author needs little knowledge of how to program to use the ADRIFT generator. Instead, the author is presented with a simple graphical interface with which to write their game.[4] This allows for text adventures to be written more quickly by people who are primarily authors rather than programmers.[5]

Two of the most critically acclaimed ADRIFT games to date are The PK Girl, which achieved 6th place in the Interactive Fiction Competition in 2002,[6] and A Fine Day for Reaping, which took 7th place in the Interactive Fiction Competition[7] and won the XYZZY Award for Best Story in 2007.[8]

The next major version, version 5, is being written in Visual ADRIFT 5 went into Beta [9] status as from 4 April 2011, where it is open for everyone to download.[10]

Other Operating Systems[edit]

Because ADRIFT 4 only natively runs on Windows, many users on other operating systems were unable to run the original software. jAsea is an open-source Java application that runs ADRIFT games. It allows anyone with a Java-enabled web browser regardless of platform to play ADRIFT games. Development of jAsea was discontinued in 2004. However, SCARE is an ANSI/ISO C secondary clone of jAsea and the project has resulted in the ability to play ADRIFT games on several platforms including Linux, Windows, DOS, Macintosh and Amiga.[11]


  1. ^ "ADRIFT's entry on"
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-09-30. Retrieved 2015-07-30.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Brass Lantern - Easy Interactive Fiction Languages"
  6. ^ IF Competition 2002 Results
  7. ^ IF Competition 2007 Results
  8. ^ XYZZY Awards 2007 Results
  9. ^ "ADRIFT 5.0 Information page"
  10. ^ "ADRIFT 5 Progress Blog"
  11. ^ "ADRIFT Clones Archived 2005-02-11 at the Wayback Machine"

External links[edit]