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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Christiaan, November 26, 2012 - Reply
I always thought of Savoir Faire as Zork + a good story + a better magic system.
While it doesn't fit the rules, I do feel it's what Zork would have been, had it been written now.
strivenword, June 3, 2012 - Reply
Could you qualify "fantasy ruins" a little more? Does a dungeon that doesn't have a connection to specific fantasy worldbuilding count? How about a fantasy game that may or may not have large central section that constitutes "ruins" but still has a sense of ancient myth?

It sounds like you're asking for the All Around Perfect Game. I hope it's out there, somewhere. :)
Ghalev, June 4, 2012 - Reply
I expect all-around perfection from EVERY game, so naturally I'm hoping for perfection in these as well :) But by "fantasy ruins" I just mean ruins that are fantasy, rather than real ruins represented in IF form. The ruins needn't be central, but I'd hope for them to be prominent. I'm not here to police the results, though, so basically "any game my description brings to mind" is fair game (if not the all-around perfect one) ;)
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