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System's Twilight: An Abstract Fairy Tale

Game screenshot
Your rating: None Average: 5 (16 votes)
Year released:
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us
SystemsTwilight.img_.sit (567.44 KB)
MD5: b1b6f5e9c471b6a3b8552803986137b9
For System 6.x - Mac OS 9

I spent a year writing System's Twilight. Was it worth it? It paid for my second Macintosh, I believe. (The PowerMac 9500! No, I neer bought Doom.) It was great resume fodder for my brief stint as a Mac programmer at Magnet Interactive. (Then Magnet tried to turn me into a Win95 programmer. Whoo-ee, did that ever not work. Ah, licensed "Highlander" video game, how poorly you worked out for Magnet.)

And then, just last week, I get this email:

      I'd like to register System's Twilight v1.0.5. Is the address provided in
      the readme ([...]) still valid?

The elided address was that of the shareware company that handled fulfilment from 1997 to 2000. So, no, it's not still valid -- please play my game for free! But I didn't ask where the querent had found version 1.0.5. Maybe one of those shareware-shovelware companies that used to orbit the Mac universe, Nemesis-like, raining down comets of questionable CD-ROMs.

Conclusion: people still like my game! That's really cool.

   - excerpt adapted from System's Twilight turns fifteen.

System's Twilight is a wonderful puzzle adventure for the Macintosh, designed by the incomparable Andrew Plotkin (Affectionately known in the IF community as "Zarf," Andrew is most famous for excellent IF games, including So Far and Spider And Web.)

The game is evidently inspired by Cliff Johnson's classic 3 in Three and The Fool's Errand, but not derivative: all twelve kinds of puzzles in the game are original, and they range from ingenious wordplay to logic puzzles. The plot is-- well, I'd rather leave you to find out on your own so I won't ruin any surprises. Suffice it to say that it's wonderful, unique, and very captivating.

With many locations in the game world to explore, clever puzzles, and great graphics and animation, you'd be hard pressed to find fault with System's Twilight except to complain of some unfair puzzles. (In the sense that they are very difficult.) Fortunately, Andrew has posted the solution to the most unfair puzzle in the game on his website, and you can also ask him personally for help.

Best of all, the game is freeware as of January, 2000, so there is really no reason not to try it on your Mac emulator Smile If you like Cliff Johnson's games, you'll love System's Twilight.

Information source: Home of the Underdogs: System's Twilight

More information on this game can be found on the game's official website, including additional downloads, goodies, t-shirts, hint, and pre-packaged versions of the game with Mini vMac for Windows and Mac OS X.

Architecture: 68k

According to the developer, one user has reported an incompatibility with the "Font Smoothing" option in the Appearance control panel in Mac OS 8.6. If you find most of the display text to be distorted and unreadable, try turning that option off.


Rezmason's picture
by Rezmason (not verified) - 2009, June 15 - 3:51am

This game is brilliant, and it lies near the heart of the Mac shareware movement. But the hint guide is a real help at times. Don't feel ashamed to use it.