Ostensibly, The Baron (in Dutch De Baron) is the story of a father who sets out to rescue his kidnapped daughter. Moving through a fairytale land of dark woods and crumbling castles, he is forced to make difficult choices until he finally stands before the evil baron himself. But all is not as it seems.
The Baron is a puzzleless piece of interactive fiction of short to medium length and high replayability. Among the innovative design features are the fact that it is left to the reader to decide which of the possible endings are the better or truer ones (thus, one cannot win or lose in any traditional sense); that there are moments when the player decides not just what action she will take, but also for what moral reason; and that highly non-linear menus are used for both conversations and some actions.
The Baron was released as an entry in the Spring Thing 2006 interactive fiction competition, where it won first place. It was nominated for sevens XYZZY awards (Best Game, Best Writing, Best Story, Best NPCs, Best Individual NPC, Best Individual PC, Best use of Medium), and won Best Use of Medium.
You can download The Baron from the Interactive Fiction Database, where you can also rate it and see reviews of it. More information can be found at the IFWiki.
What others are saying
[E]ssentially defined a whole new reason for why IF is interesting. We've talked in the past about buzzwords like "exploration" and "agency" and "complicity" to name things you get out of IF that you don't get out of static fiction, but The Baron defines a new one--justification. [...] The game-design insight in The Baron is that by shifting the moral judgement onto the player, the decision suddenly becomes much more interesting, because now the player (and not just the PC!) has direct personal stakes. -- Dan Shiovitz
The Baron is neither funny nor reassuring, and it refuses to provide a clear, game-like answer to its very difficult question. It does, however, present a novel approach to presenting ethical issues in a game format. It's not exactly fun, but it's worth playing anyway. -- Emily Short
It's by no means a perfect work, but it is a very brave and important one. I don't expect you to enjoy it, but I do highly recommend that you play it. -- Jimmy Maher