In the summer of 2019 a professor of mine described a text based game wherein the goal was to learn enough of an alternative chemistry system to synthesize fuel before your ship lost power. He said that it was immensely difficult and barely any fun at all due to the complexity of the task.

I cannot find even a hint of such a thing existing now, but would very much like to find it--does this ring a bell for anyone?

In terms of setting, I recall him describing it as a kind of steampunk airship that the player is working on, and the chemistry system is entirely fictitious. That's all I have to go on at the moment!

Many thanks for any help.

  • @FuzzyBoots Didn't see any matches there...
    – DavidW
    Commented May 10 at 0:50
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    @FuzzyBoots That's okay, I missed it anyway. (Hadean Lands is on the list but I wasn't paying enough attention to descriptions that mentioned alchemy.)
    – DavidW
    Commented May 10 at 4:30
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    Seems it would have been reasonably easy to email the prof: "Hey, Prof X, I had your ___ class back in 2019 and you talked about this game. Would you please remind me of the name of it, I'm interested in giving it a go now that I'm out of school and have time to dig into it." I'm sure he'd have been thrilled that someone actually paid attention in his class and remembered this little detail.
    – FreeMan
    Commented May 10 at 17:53
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    @FreeMan I remember the names of exactly three of my professors from the entirety of my undergrad and graduate school - Drs. Brown, Reddy, and Short. It's been more than 5 years, but I honestly couldn't have told you the majority of my professor's names while I was their student. Nothing against them, they just focused on material rather than building relationships. My three genuinely bad profs had their own names... Drs. Boring, Ancient, and Evil. Commented May 11 at 15:54

1 Answer 1


I think this is Hadean Lands by Andrew Plotkin. Plotkin is a text based interactive fiction specialist. He launched Hadean Lands by a kickstarter and it was published in 2014.

See if this review rings bells. Your prof was correct in that it's immensely difficult and the player had to learn a new alchemy in order to work out what is going on and how to fix things.

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    That sounds about spot on! I'll check it out, thank you very much!
    – Limabean
    Commented May 10 at 2:26
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    Thank you for finding this. Questions like this one are why I participate in the SFF Exchange - recommendations!!! (Already have ~10 hours in this game in two days, and yes, it's pretty tough). Commented May 11 at 16:14

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