Here are some personal favorites of reasonable beginner length and difficulty.
A lovely, hilarious Twine escapade that begs to be read aloud. The dead ends are like secret prizes that don't waste time, rolling you back into the story with the trip of a tongue.
"Rule 1 is that no one gets iced.
Rule 2: the loot's evenly sliced.
There's only two rules.
Now listen up, fools!
We're pulling a..."
A beautiful environmental parser game, sort of the Joe Pera Talks With You of interactive fiction. You can dig in to the slowly unfolding plot at the center of it, or simply enjoy the experience at your own pace.
"This piece of land is given over to native prairie, which consists of many different types of grass. The sun makes everything glow, and the gentle breeze makes all the grass sway cheerfully."
TMBG-inspired parser puzzle game. A bit dark, incredibly funny, with puzzle solutions that require you to get into the absurdist spirit of the thing (without being too unfair).
"You can tell it's the usual test chamber by the anatomically correct ichthyosaur you managed to carve into the linoleum before they got the knife away from you. You miss that knife."
Uniquely structured parser puzzle. You have 9 moves to defeat the eldritch horror threatening Fantasy MIT. You won't succeed the first time. Grab a pen and paper!
"You hear something huge rousing itself from cosmic sleep. The thing groans, and the entire campus shakes. Ynf-Okh-Omm has awoken. Shortly it will consume G.U.E. Tech—and then the universe."
Twine puzzle game, exactly what it says on the tin. Really well-structured, well-written, and the protag's wry voice makes it all the more fun.
"Seriously, I can't show neck in a bar without someone tall, dark and anemic sidling up to me and staring at my breasts to keep himself from ogling my jugular.
Which is good. For us. Sort of."
Short, linear parser story game. Magical realism, sort of, with a premise that's transparent to the player character but unfolds strangely, well-pacedly, to the player.
"You know exactly what he's got, and soon enough it's going to be yours. Talent and skill aren't anywhere in the picture. It would take something much more than that to perform what he's started to pompously call his 'Three Card Trick'."
TMBG-inspired parser story game. As much a Don Giovanni tribute as it is TMBG, this was the game that first got me into IF! Some very evocative imagery and despicable characters throughout.
"'Yeah! I invited the statue to dinner! And he showed up!' John raises his hands in the air and smirks triumphantly. He is not nearly as bothered by this situation as he should be."