The Modern Zorkalikes - an IFDB Poll

by Ghalev
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My desire is straightforward, but proving difficult to satisfy. I want games that are like the Zork games might have been, given a more contemporary set of design ideals. It seems to be an abandoned playing field in some ways, as if the baby of the Zork gaming style has been tossed out with the bathwater of frustrating mazes and cruel unwinnable states.

Please vote for games (of any era) which, in your estimation, fit ALL THREE of the following criteria: (A) You play some manner of (presumed adult) adventurer (thief, delver, lore-hunter, etc) exploring fantasy ruins (with or without additional non-ruin locations like forests, towns, etc), solving puzzles (B) The tone is unabashed fantasy wonderment laced with clever satire or at least a light heart (C) the game has a modern design ethic in the sense that it respects Nelson's "Player's Bill of Rights" and is either Merciful or Polite on the Zarfian scale of forgiveness.

Bonus points if the writing is decent, the puzzles are easy and the feelies are kickass and/or existent (but none of that is essential). Bonus bonus points if the games are full-length.

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Augmented Fourth, by Brian Uri!
5 votes
"All this... AND there's a magic trumpet." [+]"All this... AND there's a magic trumpet.: There's a very Zorkian setting to explore with plenty of detail and humor, and the game's quite good about nudging you along or warning you when appropriate. It's definitely one of the most charming and memorable attempts at updating the old formula." () --GDL... (No comment) [+](No comment) --Victor Gijsbers... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --DJ... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Edward Lacey... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Sobol...

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The Meteor, the Stone and a Long Glass of Sherbet, by Graham Nelson (as Angela M. Horns)
3 votes
"Designed right..." [+]"Designed right from the start as an affectionate pastiche of the Zork games, down to the setting, Meteor... however follows modern sensibilities, with lavish worldbuilding, sophisticated NPCs and no way to get stuck (though you *can* lose at the end). Definitely has a place here!" () --Felix Pleșoianu... (No comment) [+](No comment) --strivenword... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Ghalev...

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Lost Pig, by Admiral Jota
3 votes
"Bite-sized Zork" [+]"Bite-sized Zork: You've probably already heard of this one before, but it's a great game that takes place in a wizard's wonder tomb, is very funny, and you can't get stuck, although it is possible to lock yourself out of the Last Lousy Point." () --Molly... (No comment) [+](No comment) --Asherred... (No comment) [+](No comment) () --Sobol...

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Guess the Verb!, by Leonard Richardson
1 vote
"Contains two short Zork-like vignettes" [+]"Contains two short Zork-like vignettes: One of them is a parody of cave crawling adventures, the other pokes fun at the Enchanter series." --Molly...

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Treasures of a Slaver's Kingdom, by S. John Ross
1 vote
"Ruin Slug. heh-heh-heh. I'll say it again. Ruin Slug!" [+]"Ruin Slug. heh-heh-heh. I'll say it again. Ruin Slug!: I think S. John Ross says it best himself - "if you consider yourself an "IF enthusiast," you should just back away slowly, now, and forget this game exists. It isn't for you, and it responds dangerously to sudden movements. Never break eye contact until you're ready to run, then run, run like the wind, and don't look back!" - if this game doesn't count, then it damn well should do...

" --gruelove
...

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Portcullis, by Robin Johnson
1 vote
(No comment) [+](No comment) --IFforL2...

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Scroll Thief, by Daniel M. Stelzer
1 vote
(No comment) [+](No comment) ( - Full review) --MathBrush...

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Uncle Zebulon's Will, by Magnus Olsson
1 vote
"besides the exploration aspect (its map is rather small), this one fits your poll very neatly. Great fun!" [+]"besides the exploration aspect (its map is rather small), this one fits your poll very neatly. Great fun!" --stadtgorilla...

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Ruins, by Graham Nelson
1 vote
"Title made me think of it" [+]"Title made me think of it: The "fantasy ruins" here are related to ancient Mayan myth; I think that counts. This is an interesting game in it's own right, even though it was intended as an Inform example. It's a shame that the compiled game doesn't appear to be available to be downloaded or played online, only the source code is shown on the IFDB page." --strivenword...

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Adventurer's Consumer Guide, by Řyvind Thorsby
1 vote
(No comment) [+](No comment) () --Sobol...

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El Cetro del Sol, by Toni Pera
1 vote
(No comment) [+](No comment) () --IFforL2...

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