Organizers for the 15th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (IFComp 2009), a contest centered around short text adventures lasting under two hours, recently announced this year's winners: Rover's Day Out, Broken Legs, and Snowquest.

Since it's unlikely that you'll recognize those titles unless you follow the Interactive Fiction community, I gathered blurbs for the top-scoring titles. Note that you can play all 24 of the submitted entries for free, though you'll need an interactive fiction interpreter to run many of them (suggestions included in the link above).

Jack Welch and Ben Collins-Sussman's Rover's Day Out, voted the top game of the bunch, was hailed by The Onion A.V. Club as "an engrossing science-fiction experience to rival the genreā€™s best short stories". Here's a short description for the title:

"Three hundred years ago, the Brazilian Space Agency discovered a rocky exoplanet only 38 light years from Earth. With a surface temperature of 1200 Celsius and nine times Earth gravity, it's hardly the sort of place you'd take your dog walkies. Most days."

Sarah Morayati's Broken Legs has you following teenage brat who will do anything to get ahead in her audition for Bridger Conservatory:

"You are Lottie Plum: '18' year-old actor, singer, dancer -- in short, a future star! And this is your big break, Lottie Plum -- remember that name -- a callback here at Bridger Conservatory. That's why you're here in the waiting room with the other wannabees who didn't get weeded out during first auditions. You're carrying a resume, a water bottle and your handbag. You're wearing a black camisole, a short skirt and your way-too-old character shoes.

Unfortunately, you've also got a frog in your throat. Aargh! This can't be happening! You need to get this audition at any cost! You'll do anything: bribery, trickery, sabotage! Eliminate your competition, Lottie! Tonight, there's gonna be some broken legs."

Eric Eve's surreal Snowquest, IFComp 2009's third highest scoring game:

"You've been on your quest so long you've almost forgotten what it is all about, but now you are nearing your destination -- if only you can stay alive long enough in this frozen wilderness to reach it."

You can read more about the competition, its rules, and the prizes that the winners received at IFComp 2009's official site.