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ZORK I

Reviewed by  Mr. Bill & Lela


This is the famous game that started the whole computer gaming industry... the first game made commercially available to the general public.  It was published by Infocom way back in 1980 when personal home computers were a brand new thing, with no memory and of course no sound or capability for graphics at all.  It was originally published on 5.25-inch floppies, but is now available on CD, combined with many other games.

You typed in what you wanted to do, like TAKE BIRDCAGE or NE (which meant 'go Northeast'), and the game responded by saying TAKEN (and adding the item to your inventory), or by telling you what there was to see at the new location.  It was called a Text Adventure (or Interactive Fiction), and it became a worldwide sensation, with millions of fans.  So much so that eventually 8 more Zork related text adventures were published due to popular demand.  But this game was the first!

As the game begins, you find yourself standing outside a boarded up white house with a mailbox, as shown in the actual screenshot below.

Being the intrepid and dauntless adventurer that you are, you begin to explore the various paths around you, finding one or two things which look as if they might be of value.  Thinking, "there's probably more where that comes from", you decide to search the house.  There you find, among other things, a trophy case:  so you decide to deposit your newfound treasures in it, for safekeeping.  Exploring further, you discover a trap door apparently leading underground.  So with visions of riches dancing in your head, you take your lantern and go down, only to see the trapdoor close and lock behind you!  Because you now have no other options, you go on...

Zork creates a wondrous, magical realm that is a veritable feast for the imagination.  You find that you have stumbled upon the ancient ruins of a vast empire lying far underground.  Yes, you will find many more treasures for your trophy case. But to do so you will have to search far and wide, solve diabolical puzzles, and defend your treasures (and yourself!) from a few very nasty characters... and one monster, a vicious GRUE that lurks in the dark!

You'll explore strange rooms, a temple and Hades, a mine and a river, and you may even find the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!  Your Elvish sword (which glows blue whenever danger is near) will help, but you may also have to remember what you have learned from watching movies... and pray a lot!  So try anything, but remember to save often.  And always conserve the energy in your lantern by remembering to turn it off whenever you don't need it.

Instructions on how to play the game are included with the CD, as is a Hint Book.  Don't spoil your own fun by reading the hints beforehand, but be sure to do so after you finish:  they are hysterical, plus there is a list of other fun things you can try in the game (like 'cussing' or 'taking' yourself).

It's a great game, with many memorable moments you will never forget.  Every adventure gamer owes it to himself to play it, if for no other reason than to experience firsthand the original Wonderful World of Zork.  Try it... you'll like it!

You can download the game for free (along with Zork 2, Zork 3, and Zork: The Undiscovered Underground) by clicking HERE.  They come without instructions on how to play them, but you can use the instructions supplied on our website called HOW TO PLAY TEXT ADVENTURES.

For some fun things to try after you finish playing the game, click HERE.

Produced (1980) and initially published by Infocom (out of business).  Rights to Zork are now owned by Activision, who have re-released Zork 1 numerous times in various collections of Infocom's text adventures on both 3.5 inch disks and CD-ROMs.

One of the nicest collections published on a CD (which included Zork 1) was called Classic Text Adventure Masterpieces of Infocom. It contains 33 of Infocom's original text adventures (nearly all of them), plus 6 additional 'contest winning' text adventures.

Minimum System Requirements: PC and / or Mac.  Most of the CD-ROMs are Hybrids (both PC and Mac versions on same CD).

Where To Buy This Game:

Walkthroughs or Hints:

"InvisiClues" available here!

"Walkthrough" available here!


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