1893: A World’s Fair Mystery – Reviews

“A text adventure brought vividly to life with 500 period photos, 1893 is the kind of adventure game we’ve allowed to languish far too long. Author Peter Nepstad has meticulously mapped and recreated the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair in prose and pictures and used it as the setting for a mystery. Full of puzzles, history, intrigue, and interactive dialogue, 1893 immerses you in a place and time like few recent games have.”
– GAMES MAGAZINE, Top 100 Electronic Games of 2004, Category Runner-Up, RPG/Adventure

“…proves convincingly that the best games aren’t about razzle-dazzle special effects or cheap gimickry. They’re about story, character, and especially here, location, location, location.”
– Nick Wadhams, The Associated Press


“…1893: A World’s Fair Mystery is fascinating, entertaining, deviously educational, and simply one of the most fantastic adventure games I have ever played, text or otherwise.”
– Evan Dickens, Adventure Gamers

“[1893]…brings out the simple elegance of the genre…an amazing game with so much more than you’d expect…give it a try!”
– Greg Crowe, Game Industry News

“1893…arrives on the gaming scene like a breath of fresh air.”
– Mark Smith, Game Chronicles Magazine

“1893: A World’s Fair Mystery is a well-written, atmospheric, and even educational text adventure reminiscent of Infocom’s Sherlock: Riddle of the Crown Jewels.”
– Home of the Underdogs

“Well worth a look…I’m flabbergasted at the size and grandeur of the Chicago World’s Fair Exhibition.”
– Quandary Magazine

And while getting positive reviews from the major game websites and magazines was a great honor, I wrote 1893 to connect to other people who might share a passion for the same type of game, or for the same historical context. So here is a sampling of my mailbag from back when 1893 was first made available to the public:

“…a very great game, one of the best I’ve played.”
– Alice.

“This is an amazing game!…The writing is top-notch, and combined with the photos, makes you feel like you are actually there.”
– John M.

“This is by far the best simulation of a setting I’ve encountered in a long time, even if the level of detail is a bit maddening :P”
– Liz

“I can wholeheartedly recommend this game to everyone. It’s huge and very entertaining, with a great story and brilliant puzzles…”
– Astrid B.

“I just wanted to drop a line and tell you, and any other potential players out there, how impressed I am by what you have done here…The scope of 1893 is stunning!…I haven’t felt this immersed in a game since Anchorhead…I was amazed to find that every little detail of the World’s Fair was accounted for, from the larger exhibits to the kiosks to some of the lesser pavilions. This is the first game, to my knowledge, that goes to such exact lengths to recreate a historical setting, and as a result it would serve just as well as an eductional experience even if there was no “game” component to it…For those of you wondering where all the *big* IF pieces are these days, book every evening off for the next month and look no further.”
– Francesco B.

“It’s been years since I’ve been this immersed in a game! All the pretty graphics in today’s adventures do not measure up to the detailing in 1893! I spent hours enjoying the sites and making my own map of this world…The story and characters and witty humor make 1893 an outstanding piece of work!! Thanks for making and sharing 1893 for the rest of us to enjoy! :)”
– Sandy W.

More Information

From here, you can go back to the main download page for the game, look at screenshots, or learn more about the 1893 World’s Fair.

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