I don't know if this counts as a fringe game but I feel like text adventures are rarely sold as commercial games these days so maybe?
Just completed Thaumistry for adventure game club and really liked it. It's by an Infocom alumni (Bob Bates who also founded Legend Entertainment) but also felt very modern at the same time. There's no softlocks or deaths and also has an in-game map and hint system. I was also surprised it had a small amount but positive trans man representation. Anyway, it rules and was just very pleasant to play
@michael Seems interesting! And at $4 there's no risk in trying it out. I'll pick it up sometime