Voices of Spoon River

From IFWiki


A game based on Edgar Lee Masters’ collection of poems, The Spoon River Anthology. Ghosts haunt the Spoon River Cemetery. Read their epitaphs to learn about their interrelated stories and problems.

Voices of Spoon River
Author(s) Brett Shelton (faculty advisor), Jared Bernotski, Tom Caswell, Marie Duncan, Marion Jensen, Jennifer Jorgensen, Jon Scoresby, Tim Stowell
Publisher(s) Creative Learning Environments Lab
Release date(s) 01-Jun-2006
Authoring system Inform 6
Platform(s) Z-code 8
Language(s) English
License(s) Creative Commons - Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5
Color effects none
Graphics none
Sound/Music none
Cruelty scale Cruelty to be determined

How It Begins

The game begins with an overview of the game: there are ghosts in the graveyard who are unable to rest because of unresolved issues in their former lives. Your task will be to end their suffering by performing tasks that resolve those issues. You are instructed to read the epitaphs on their gravestones, talk to the ghosts, explore the town, and examine any objects you find in your search for clues.

You might be anyone, carrying nothing. You stand near a fountain in the center of the Spoon River Cemetery. The fountain contains a statue of Edgar Lee Masters, several coins, and an iron key.

Notable Features

  • Conversation uses the simple "TALK TO person" syntax.
  • Winning the game partly unlocks a bonus section. You will need to use all the keys in the game to fully unlock it, after which you will be able to explore a second graveyard with more poems from the anthology. There are no new puzzles in the second graveyard, but the interwoven stories continue. (Unfortunately, Inform 6 would not allow input of all epitaphs so a sizable portion of the second graveyard is unreachable.)
  • There is an Easter egg section that contains epitaphs written by the authors of the game.

Trivia and Comments

  • This game is designed to be used in conjunction with an English Literature class' study of The Spoon River Anthology.
  • If you are interested in using this game for educational purposes, please contact Dr. Brett E. Shelton of Utah State University. brett.shelton [_AT_] usu.edu.


Release 1 (Text)

The zipfile contains the following files:

  • MacOSX-Zoom-1.0.4 Interpreter.dmg - a copy of the Zoom interpreter for Macintosh users.
  • ReadMe.rtf - a brief intro to the game, and basic instructions on how to play IF.
  • VOSR_r1.23.z8 - the story file.
  • WindowsFrotz2002.exe - a copy of the Windows Frotz interpreter for MS-Windows users.

Graphical version

See Creative Learning Environments Lab :: VOSR 3D.