Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Zork I

Now this one goes deep. Real deep. We're talking 1980, a year where computing had reached some of its finest moments with innovations such as the creation of MS-DOS and Pacman being released (in Japan). Dave Lebling and Marc Blank had been busy making not so much of a game, but what is labeled as an interactive fiction. Yeah, Zork scares me a little bit. The best way to play it is to just turn off the lights, listen to this shoutcast, and imagine yourself in a freaky world where you don't really know what's going to happen.

Gameplay: 9/10
Zork is pretty great about describing in good detail where you are, and it's completely necessary. It's really a game for those that can read, and well, because if you're slow it's going to take a while. You start off next to a mailbox, near a house. You can open the mailbox and grab an item from the inside, or just go to the house. You command yourself by using commands such as "go north" or "open door". There's a quantity of items to carry, you can carry too many though, so you either have to decide what is important or remember where you dropped all your stuff. This is also my main beef with Zork, because without a walkthrough the game is so confusing you really gotta crunch to figure stuff out. -1 for that.

Graphics: 1/10
        or maybe 10/10
Let's be fair, it's 1980, and this game is more like an interactive computer book. Choose your own adventure without the own adventure part, or something. Basically, there are no graphics. Use your freaking imagination though, and bam, best graphics you've ever freakin' seen. Zork wins again!
Sound: 0/10
The only sound you'll be hearing is your keyboard, unless you followed by instructions in the beginning of this post and chose to listen to something while you play it. -10 points for no sound, but there's not much problem with it.

Overall: 7/10
I tend to die a lot when I play this game. Sometimes, I don't really want to imagine that I'm in a dark scary place, waiting to be eating by some snarling grue monster. Sometimes, I don't really want to imagine myself getting locked in a trap door and hearing someone bar the door. Zork is still an awful lot of fun to play, and if you can figure some of this stuff out, you're a champion. Zork's free. It probably shouldn't be. Get it.


  1. haha i am downloading it right now

  2. This is ancient. I'm also really bad at these so I think I'll pass.

  3. I remember playing this (around 98' tho). Kinda loved it..