Zork I

by Marc Blank and Dave Lebling

Episode 1 of Zork
Zorkian/Cave crawl
1980

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Reviews and Ratings

5 star:
(45)
4 star:
(88)
3 star:
(43)
2 star:
(15)
1 star:
(5)
Average Rating:
Number of Ratings: 192
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- Karlok (Netherlands), August 15, 2021

- heasm66 (Sweden), August 10, 2021

- Keybordz (Raleigh, NC), April 8, 2021

- Zape, March 18, 2021

0 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
sucked, March 10, 2021

I would rather read read the Catcher in the Rye a thousand times than be forced to play this again. Sucked


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
One more star for the hystorical importance, March 1, 2021

This text adventure is essential and it is a must-to-play for every IF fanatics due to its hystorical importance.

But from an technical/artistic point of view, it's very difficult, unfair, sometimes illogical and frustrating (maze, inventory).

In spite of its fame it's not the pinnacle of the genre, but it keeps its legendary charm despite its 50 years of age.


- Nomad, February 16, 2021

- mifga (Brooklyn, NY), October 15, 2020

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
A classic!, October 5, 2020
by RadioactiveCrow (Irving, TX)
Related reviews: 10+ hours

I really enjoyed playing through this game again this year (after having played, but not beaten it back in the 1980s). Yes, I understand how the phrase "Zork hates its player" came about, but at least because the tasks are compartmentalized and getting back to where you last were doesn't take more than a few minutes that it doesn't feel like a major setback to blow yourself up when you weren't expecting it. I had fun puzzling through everything (or at least most things, I had to cheat to figure out (Spoiler - click to show)the secrets of the egg) and even making the maps on my own, though I can see how those can become tedious as well.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed myself and look forward to picking up Zork 2 and 3 for the first time ever, soon.


- steamfire, September 22, 2020

- The Defiant, June 17, 2020

- Artran (Prague, Czech Republic), May 9, 2020

- eldis (UK), April 11, 2020

- edcst (Canada), April 11, 2020

- Vicusol, February 16, 2020

- plutonick, February 7, 2020

- wisprabbit (Sheffield, UK), January 8, 2020

- Durafen, October 1, 2019

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
One of the first Adventures I've played., August 20, 2019
by Tim Delag (Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan )

This Adventure is something that you have to play. I remember being a young child on my parent's 386. Spending my summer days trying to solve the puzzles. It makes me yearn to be young again. But now I'm a father and my two kids are just discovering Infocom.


- Whom (Wisconsin, United States), August 19, 2019

- Otheym, August 18, 2019

- Denk, July 5, 2019

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Look. I have yet to find a game as satisfying as 'Zork 1.', May 6, 2019

If you've never played 'Zork 1' before, give it a spin. As for myself, 'Zork 1' is the first interactive fiction game I've ever played. Maybe it isn't the friendliest game for beginners of IF, but I'm personally glad that I began with this clasic masterpiece.

What 'Zork 1' did well, in my opinion, is that it hooked me right away. The opening scene - and this is not a spoiler, it's the start of the game - where the player is placed in front of a mysterious white house is purely brilliant. My brother and I, who I first played this with, would brag to each other via text who made it furthest into the game. It was thrilling to text to him that 'Hey! I made it past the house!' or 'I did it - I killed (Spoiler - click to show)that horrible thief!'

So maybe it was the rivalry I had ongoing with my brother in playing this game that made it so exciting and gratifying to me on my first play, but 'Zork 1' really is clever when it comes to its presentation of exploration and surprise.

Don't miss this one.


2 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
I'm grateful for Zork and never want to play it again, May 3, 2019
by deathbytroggles (Minneapolis, MN)

Yes, Zork was the most important computer game of the early 1980ís. Perhaps even more important than Kingís Quest. "You are standing in an open field, west of a white house," is quite possibly the most well-known line in adventure game history. It laid the foundation for many wonderful things to come. And it was an incredibly impressive, engaging adventure when it was released. But other than nostalgia, it has little going for it after all these years.

A simple treasure hunting expedition can actually be a welcome relief from more story-based games, but Zork breaks so many conventional rules of modern game play that most fans of current interactive fiction would rip it to shreds were it released today. First, thereís the pointless maze (of twisty little passages, all alike). Then thereís the random enemy encounters and random battle elements. There are several ways to lock oneís self from victory without even realizing it, and a few puzzles are so poorly clued (or not clued at all) that it doesnít matter anyway. And all that onto a time limit (due to a finite light source, at least early on), and you have one maddening game.

To be fair, the atmosphere still holds up well after all these years. The parser is impressively strong. And a few of the puzzles are rather ingenious. But I donít have patience any longer for the aforementioned annoyances. Zork used to be a giant, but so many others have piled on top of its shoulders that it has weakened considerably. Still, I would recommend this to those who do have an interest in seeing how computer gaming first exploded in the market.


- e.peach, March 16, 2019


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